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.