Annela grew up in Helsinki feeling alone and unwanted. Now she has decided to begin a new spiritual life. In her heart, she knows that this new path will lead her to the happiness and peace she desires. But shadows from her past keep reappearing, stalling her progress and making her ultimate goal seem unreachable. First her boyfriend, Tommi, pledges his love, all the while acting in ways that destroy her faith in him. Then her mother, Helena, keeps a dark secret from her that could change Annela's life forever. Then Kenneth appears in her life, but during his brief stay in Finland, will he help her find the love and happiness she’s looking for, or will he prove to be one more complication?
~Jewelz Review~I have found that full-length novels by Annette Lyon have a depth not often found in today's literature. Admittedly, I have read more of her novellas than full-length novels and given the contraints of that medium the depth isn't really possible. I have decided I need to track down and read more of her longer works.
At the Water's Edge tells the story of Annela - a twenty-something young Finnish woman who at the opening of the book has just decided to be baptized in the LDS church. Her father disowns her and her new beliefs impact her relationship with her boyfriend Tommi, but through all the difficulties she faces, she is able to find peace in the gospel that she knows is true.
Annela's story isn't a simple one. There are a lot of complexities in her backstory, her current relationships, and then the new relationships she begins with Mrs. Hendersen, Kenneth, Mia, and even her family members. If Annela believed that joining God's church would secure for her a life without difficulty, she would have been wrong. However, she knew she'd face difficulties and despite moments of despair and weakness, she held fast to her faith and found that God is mindful of her and that He will provide for her.
This was an emotional story - there were some upsetting events that pulled at my heartstrings and other tender moments that made me sigh. As the story unfolded some things were predictable (as they should be) and others came as a bit of a surprise. It was a very well-balanced story that kept me turning pages and not wanting to put it down.
FYI ~ clean read with LDS (Mormon) themes along with mainstream topics (drinking, abuse, etc.)
Honest disclosure ~ I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review