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On the Edge of Wild Water

Bethan is in the grip of a serious eating disorder. Taken to her late grandmother’s cottage in West Wales in a last-ditch attempt to tackle her illness, there she is beset by unsettling visions. History and place exert a powerful hold on her fragile sense of self

(18 customer reviews)

£3.99£8.99

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Description

In extremis, the future will feed on the past

Bethan is in the grip of a serious eating disorder. Taken to her late grandmother’s cottage in West Wales in a last-ditch attempt to tackle her illness, there she is beset by unsettling visions. History and place exert a powerful hold on her fragile sense of self. 

Driven on by the revelations of a Victorian minister’s journal, her vivid psychic connection with a troubled boy and the ambivalent, enigmatic sway of the visitant Lydia, Bethan is plunged into a one hundred and sixty year-old tragedy as the material world and the voices of the dead collide.

The force of a past not yet assuaged is unleashed, compelling Bethan and her parents to confront a seemingly unstoppable catastrophe of their own.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Pages

320

Imprint

Wordcatcher Publishing

MainBISAC

FICTION / General

PubDate

20170630

Series

The Glasswater Quintet

BySameAuthor

9781912056767, 9781912056767

18 reviews for On the Edge of Wild Water

  1. Stephen K David – Amazon

    Utterly absorbing. ‘At the Edge of Wild Water’ is a truly absorbing book not only in that it absorbed ME but also in that I absorbed IT. Weeks after reading it the book has remained with me, entwined around my subconscious in some undefinable way. The prose and descriptions of nature and location are sumptuous and the characters are warm and real. The text moves back and forth through time but place remains solid and timeless and it is this sense of place and permanence that resonated with me.
    I wouldn’t say I am usually a reader who chooses books which include elements of the supernatural but I make an exception in this case and I’m glad I did!

  2. SB

    A masterful piece of writing by James Morgan-Jones. A must-read.

    ‘On the Edge of Wild Water’ is likely the best novel I’ve read in a very long time. It’s suspenseful and thought-provoking, as the story is written within the framework of unique narrative elements. There is the old Victorian Reverend’s journal, and then there is the more modern-day story that centers around Bethan. Without giving too much away, the stories collide, quite vividly, in ways you don’t expect. I like stories that make me think and keep me on the edge of my seat, and this novel really kept me engaged.

    The novel has a tremendous balance of beauty and ugliness, which is what makes ‘On the Edge of Wild Water’ have such an impact. They say art imitates life, and this story is no exception. As you will read on the back cover (just so you know I’m not giving anything away), the main character, Bethan, is struggling with an eating disorder. It’s easy to write an anorexic character, but James Morgan-Jones actually creates Bethan as a very human, authentic character. She is flawed, ill-tempered at times, difficult and stubborn, but curious and humbled by some experiences. Rather than painting her as a tragic character, Bethan emerges as a complex figure. I found myself annoyed by her despondence at times, which means she’s real enough to elicit a reaction from a tough reader like me. There is a part where Bethan is alone and examining her body: read this part multiple times. It’s a harrowing, poignant moment that will make you uncomfortable with the reality of Bethan. It’s an incredible scene.

    As for the literary elements of the novel, James Morgan-Jones does not disappoint. The imagery is really striking, which I would compare along the lines of A.S. Byatt (whose work I enjoy). Like Byatt, James Morgan-Jones uses imagery throughout the story that is held together by a common thread. It stems from a place of observation and natural awareness. Flowers and color are especially significant motifs, as are other elements of landscape and architecture. From a purely academic standpoint, I can see how this novel could be taught in a university setting with an Eco-critcal reading.

    It was refreshing to read a story that wasn’t set in a conventional place. James Morgan-Jones takes readers to Carmarthen, Wales, and even includes a sketched map of where the ‘On the Edge of Wild Water’ unfolds. The story is authentic to its setting in this respect, as there are Welsh words, names, and elements of culture. This is the first book of the ‘Glasswater Quintet Series,’ so I actually hope forthcoming stories also take place in a similar setting. It has a far-away nostalgic feel that is organic and successfully supports the story.

    I highly recommend ‘On the Edge of Wild Water.’ It’s an engaging read for casual readers, an academic study, or in an audio book format. I actually think an audio book reading would be quite interesting considering the way the narration is executed. Regardless, you will find that James Morgan-Jones has a lot to offer as an author, so I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series.

  3. Glenda

    On the edge of wild water! Book review!

    Brilliant read..great story. Excellent use of literature,left me mesmerised and transported back to its time in the book! Could not put it down! A must read! Well done !

  4. M Evans

    You will enjoy this book

    I read this book, as it was chosen by my book club. I was amazed by the speed with which the author drew me into the story and how quickly I became embroiled in the characters’ lives. I have no interest in the supernatural but it was an essential part of the story and done extremely well – I even googled the workhouse in Carmarthen, so I could see the rioting ghosts more clearly, in my mind!

  5. A Martin

    Poetic, lyrical riveting. Let the wild water sweep you away.

    What an astonishingly good debut book. I was captivated by the lyrical and poetic prose from page one. The author has skilfully woven the different time zones of the various threads of this story. So much so, that they blurred at one time before merging, like wild water, into one riveting finale. Highly recommended reading and Iook forward to the sequel, confident I will enjoy it as much as the first book in the quintet.

  6. B Bennett

    Compelling read, be prepared to lose yourself from beginning to end.

    This book captivated me from the very start. I fell very easily into Bethan’s world of darkness and light. She is a young girl who desperately wants to understand both her condition (severe anorexia) but also the past into which she is frequently drawn. James Morgan-Jones has an incredible gift. He has the ability to capture the Reader, to involve you, to want you to understand because you care. This book is highly charged with emotion, dark places, mysteries of the past and historic facts which makes it even more compelling to read. I’ve read it twice now and eagerly await the next book. I very highly recommend it. BB

  7. Amazon customer

    Don’t miss this!

    On the sort of cold, grey days we have had recently, there really is nothing else to do but curl up on the sofa and lose yourself in a good book – and this is just the book! Beautifully written, the author is a real master at bringing characters to life, evoking atmosphere and place and creating the tension of two time periods colliding! I really didn’t want to put it down and towards the end, as the storm built and the flood water rose, I had to keep reading to find out whether all would be resolved for those who needed closure! This is a first novel not to be missed – I can’t wait to read the next one!

  8. Gillian Bell

    An ambitious novel

    A portrait of an anorexic girl, this novel explores the connexion between Bethan’s rejection of her body, and her sensitivity to disembodied presences from the past. The past that she discovers is something that lies waiting to be put to rest, and in being the instrument through which this happens, we sense that Bethan begins her own healing process.

    The book enters dark territory, with the disturbance in Bethan’s family, and the terrible events of the Rebecca Riots that took place in Carmarthen in the mid nineteenth century. But the darkness is not overwhelming because of the presence of down-to-earth characters from both past and present who reach out into the troubles and bring renewed life – where they can.

  9. Amazon customer

    A gripping tale

    Once I got used to the switching back and forth in time, the two melded together into a fascinating story I just couldn’t stop reading.

  10. Philippa Bridge

    Hauntingly atmospheric

    Wraps around and draws you in from the outset. Small particles of the story linger in your mind, magical, descriptive, unsettling. Past and present collide, utterly brilliant. You need to read

  11. Lin

    A great story

    I’ve always enjoyed stories which use the idea of past and present overlapping, so I was pleased to discover this book. Bethan, a troubled teenager, becomes entangled in the events of the past, when South Wales was gripped by the Rebecca Riots.

    The characters are sympathetic, the place well described, and it builds to a satisfying climax. I’m looking forward to the next in the series!

  12. Elaine

    Well written

    A beautifully written first novel – An anorexic Bethan retreats to her late grandmother’s cottage with her father to try to settle her health issues but becomes entwined in old local happenings. The story is centred on Wales and the differential between time zones past and present is cleverly presented.
    There is a lot of scene setting , this will bear even more fruit in later novels to come in the series – I found the continued usage of Welsh locations and as house names a bit confusing at times , probably because it’s unfamiliar to me but it did not detract from the beautiful descriptive prose of the book.
    Well worth reading

  13. Adrian Gilpin

    An utterly compelling read

    This is a gloriously clever and thrilling book. The author cuts through spacetime, leaving not just his readers but his characters in an unsettling universe of overlapping realities. I could not put this book down. In part, the tone of the narrative is absolutely “normal” and grittily unforgiving in its observations of family dynamics and psychology. In part, the narrative is spooky and haunting – creepily raising the hairs on the neck as time falls away causing history to inhabit the here and now. The storytelling is compelling, the wordsmithery a joy.

  14. Ms. D

    Highly recommended

    This is a gripping and evocative read with its roots firmly tethered in rural Wales. The strong storyline is peopled with vivid characters that weave between past and present in an atmosphere of brooding suspense.
    Teenage Bethan is taken to a remote Welsh cottage to help combat anorexia but history and long dead lives begin to seep through into the present. In this place, the past can’t let go.
    If you enjoy a good story tinged with the supernatural I’d highly recommend this book.

  15. Ada

    I loved the vivid descriptions of the countryside and flora

    A compelling read. I very quickly became immersed in the different worlds that Bethan was inhabiting (or enduring) and the writer’s skill with events and timings meant that they didn’t become confused. I loved the vivid descriptions of the countryside and flora, which brought the area to life and as I was previously unaware of the Rebecca Riots it was good to be enlightened with credible personal narratives of those involved. The dramatic events carry you along, whilst I often paused and reread passages to enjoy the richness of language, and the Welsh phrases – plus translations – enhanced this. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in the Quintet.

  16. F. Henry

    compelling and convincing

    I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to read a full-length novel by this author, having previously enjoyed his collection of short stories (Lantern Light), several of which I felt would have worked well as the basis for longer work, as the characterisation was a particular strength of the writing.

    I was not disappointed and really enjoyed this book, reading much of it in about three sessions and wanting to keep going, particularly during the denouement. I have always liked books with a mystical/psychological element and some of my favourite books are historical and/or time-shift novels. As a relatively recent arrival in south-west Wales, I found the local history connection fascinating, the Rebecca Riots not having crossed my path previously.

    In particular, I admired how the author makes both the present and past eras come to life, as well as cleverly intertwining the two, while never leaving one confused. He makes the reader care about the destinies of characters now and then, which can’t be an easy feat to achieve. An intelligent and beautifully-crafted novel. Looking forward to further instalments of the planned quintet!

  17. Annie Lewis

    Brilliant read!

    From the moment you open this book you are taken into two different worlds which collide magically. The first is a modern family facing problems which will touch many, the second is a harsh reminder of the struggles our ancestors faced, not so many years ago, just to keep food on the table and avoid the workhouse. The characters are so real and the back story of each of their lives so interesting that I just didn’t want it to end. Having said that, I don’t remember the last time I read a book so quickly – even into the wee small hours! This book is a ‘must read’ for everyone from early teens upwards – beautifully written, I was transported immediately. I am so glad it is part of a quintet!

  18. Telford AJ Williams

    Beautiful, lyrical, haunting and hypnotic.

    I read the author’s collection of short stories (Lantern Light – published under the name AJ Morgan) last year and enjoyed them immensely, so I was really looking forward to reading his first novel. He did not disappoint!
    As other reviewers have pointed out, the book has two timelines which unwind side by side and both come to a satisfying and page turning conclusion.
    The publishers describe the book as ‘supernatural mystery’ but it is much more than this. The book deals with universal themes – love, loss, betrayal and redemption. The characters jump off the page and the sense of place the writer evokes is amazing. I was brought up in Carmarthenshire where the book is set and his perceptive writing made me look afresh and re-evaluate this area and its people.
    If Daphne du Maurier, Dylan Thomas and Kate Atkinson had got together to collaborate on a novel, this would be the result.
    My book of the year and I can’t wait for the next installment in the series..

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