At the Water's Edge


At the Water's Edge by Annette Lyon
Reviewed by Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine


At the Water's Edge is Annette Lyon's second book for Covenant and again is a well-developed love and social issues story.


Lyon, drawing on her own experience of living in Finland to provide firsthand background information, writes about a young woman who is converted to the Gospel after months of prayer and study, then while her roommate boyfriend is away on a trip, she makes the decision to be baptized. Knowing she can no longer live with him, she asks her parents to let her stay with them until she can find another apartment. Her father refuses and the reader learns of her father's long history of abuse and drinking. She flees to a favorite spot on the beach and that is where her boyfriend finds her. She calls the place Elephant Rock and there she thinks, prays, and faces several significant events in her life as she watches the frozen water change to rolling waves as the seasons change. When she can't convince Tommi she can no longer live with him, she discovers he's a man much like her father, and she is forced to flee from him.

At the Water's Edge is the story of Annela Sveiberg's conversion to the gospel and her struggle to change her life. Only through real commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and faith in her Heavenly Father is she able to see and overcome the abuse and anger of the home she grew up in, see her boyfriend Tommi's controlling behavior for what it is, and face a future that may not include marriage and children. With the help of the elderly Sister Henderson she makes new friends in the Church, who bring her both love and heartbreak.

Sister Lyon deals with her leading lady's living arrangement at the beginning of the story much the way the movie Charley deals with a similar situation. There's no mistaking the extent of the arrangement, but the reader is spared unnecessary graphic details. She handles Tommi's seductive attempts to change Annela's mind in the same direct, but tasteful manner. The book is as much a story of spiritual growth as it is a tender love story. Fans of romance won't want to miss this one.