Water's Edge

by Genevieve Fortin

In 1888, the impoverished Levesque family becomes one of thousands of French Canadians forced to leave their beloved country and seek employment in the booming textile mills of Fall River, Massachusetts. Young Emilie Levesque’s initial culture shock is eased by her intelligence and adventurous nature—and by her budding friendship with Angeline Fournier, the US-born daughter of a fellow immigrant family. As they grow into young women, their close relationship is a welcome respite from the stifling heat, dust-filled air, deafening noise, and mind-numbing work at the mill.

Emilie knows she is different but has no words for what she is or what she feels. All she knows is that she wants Angeline with her always. Despite her own hidden attraction to Emilie, Angeline cannot conceive of life beyond what all 19th-century girls are taught to aspire to: a husband, a home and a houseful of children.

A life-altering kiss and painful parting will lead the women on very different paths—until an unthinkable tragedy brings Emilie back to Angeline’s side. But can these loving friends ever cross the forbidden boundary between the warmth of affection and the heat of desire?

Water’s Edge is a deeply moving historical romance by the bestselling author of First Fall and Two Kinds of Elizabeth.



In stock



Genre Historical Romance
Length 238 pages
Publication Date May 15, 2017
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781594935534
Editor Katherine V. Forrest
Cover Designer Micheala Lynn


Rainbow Book Reviews
Historical lesbian romances are few and far between, but I usually really enjoy them, and this one was no exception to that. Set in 1888, partly in Canada and partly in the US, it tells the story of Emilie and Angeline. Both young girls come from families who have fallen on hard times in Canada and are forced to travel to the US to find work. I liked how the author followed both women’s different pathways from each of their points of view—it gave me a great insight to the different ways of living both of them had chosen, and the challenges they each faced. I empathized with each of them at different points in the tale, and the author did a great job of delving deep into their emotions, making me connect with both women. The historical setting was authentic and clearly well-researched; the author’s introduction explains how she has a personal interest in the background of this story and she clearly wanted to do it justice.

Pin’s Reviews - This is my first book by Genevieve Fortin, but after reading this one I will definitely check out other offerings from her. The story is divided into four chronological parts (Flow, Maelstrom, Meanders, and Undertow), and follows the life and love of two women from childhood to maturity, one of which is resigned to such fate, even accepting it as the only possible way of living, but the other, always a rebellious one, is not. One is in denial, the other accepts herself as she is. She wants to live a life of her own while breaking some rules of her time. Would they, with such different personalities, succeed in loving each other and living together in such unsuitable environment? To find that out you have to read this well written book. I liked it a lot, and very much recommend it to anyone who enjoys this kind of stories.

Lex Kent’s Reviews - This is not a book I would have picked up on my own. I'm glad I had the chance to review it, and read it. Historical-fiction fans, you will enjoy this book. I will be keeping my eye out for books by Fortin, in the future.

Customer Reviews

1 review for Water’s Edge – Paperback

  1. aehughes52

    This book is like a prayer answered-a story about my ancestral homeland, set in the same period as my grandmother’s youth, and containing little nuggets of Franco culture. It’s beautifully written and my only regret is that the story isn’t longer. A great love story set in an impossible time for a lesbian couple, yet Genevieve Fortin pulls off a promising ending with a tale that could only be woven by a true French Canadien. Nicely done, and I will read more of her work.

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