I felt I too had stayed at 'The Water's Edge' watching as the characters checked in and checked out. Like Persephone, who visits from Hades every summer, I was compelled to return for another chapter of the lives and loves of the generations of women Rice becomes part of while growing up in a Bournemouth hotel. As a reader I wished the hotel had not burned as it clearly had more beautiful, strange stories to tell.
So this is the story of Thomas and Grace and of Margaret and how she went mad, and of Beatrice and her daughter. But most of all this is the story of Rice and how she fell for the Water's Edge Hotel and the people in it. Slowly, without her noticing the change, like people who fall asleep on the beach don't notice the creeping tide, Rice became intrigued by Grandma Maggie's history and the hotel people and the things they carried round with them. Someimes I think that Rice dived into the hotel like it was the sea and went under the surface in a white line beneath the blue water. She wanted to look inside each cupboard and climb into the walls to see the people who had been there before her, and she began to fall for Esther most of all, because Esther looked as though she had witch ancestors and like she might cast spells with her eyes.