With their own water and power supplies, fourteen year old Nairne and her family are well prepared, but most people are less fortunate. When Nairne persuades her father, Daniel, to house some of the evacuees on their small holding in the south of Scotland she plunges the family into a world of violence, deception and murder. With society at breaking point, she has to grow up quickly as she discovers that the fortress Daniel built to give his children a chance has become the prize in a struggle where winning can mean the difference between life and death.
So, why a novel about climate change and why a novel for young adults? As the author of Water’s Edge I wanted to do two things: deliver a story about characters that young adults could relate to and deliver a message about climate change. As a reader, the books that have stayed with me are those read in the formative years, when you still believe that anything is possible and that people can change the world.
Climate change and its effects are already impacting communities in developing countries. The premise of the book is how to cope in the Western world when faced with climate pressures that interrupt our food security, water supply, and energy needs. What happens when shops have no food, when floods happen–not once, but every few months; what happens when climate change forces mass migration and there is not enough oil to go around. When governments start to buckle. This is not set in some distant imagined future. It is set in the here and now.
Water’s Edge is the story of one family’s coming to terms with a changing world in which the rules we live by no longer apply. The novel is an action-adventure/thriller that takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as the fortunes of the Grear family, in rural Scotland, are played out in the midst of the very climate change events that the majority of Western dwellers don’t believe could ever happen to them.
I hope that readers enjoy this as a work of fiction, but I also hope that the book causes its audience to pause and think about how delicate the balance is and how easily we may slide into a state where the climate begins to change our society irrevocably.
And what’s next? Water’s Edge is the first in a series of three books charting the changes over a number of years. Book Two, Power’s Out, will be released shortly, when the question is: what happens when the lights go out for good? Book Three, well … that’s still under wraps!
Water’s Edge is available as a Kindle e-book or paperback.