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Water's Edge

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$15.99


Description

Sometimes small towns hold the biggest secrets.

Ambitious young attorney Tom Crane is about to become a partner in a high-profile Atlanta law firm. But first he must clear one final matter from his docket—the closing of his deceased father's law practice in his hometown of Bethel, Georgia. Killed in a mysterious boating accident, John Crane didn't appear to leave his son anything except the hassle of wrapping up loose ends.

But instead of celebrating his promotion, Tom finds himself packing up his office, having suddenly been "consolidated." To add insult to injury, that same night his girlfriend breaks up with him . . . by letter.

Returning to Bethel with no sense of his future and no faith to fall back on, Tom just wants to settle his father's final affairs and get back to Atlanta. But then he runs into an unexpected roadblock—two million dollars of unclaimed money stashed in a secret bank account. And evidence that his father's death may not have been accidental. Worse still, a trail of data suggests his father played a role in an international fraud operation.

Tom follows the money into a tangled web of lies, theft, and betrayal. Along the way, he meets a woman who is as beguiling as she is beautiful. And her interest in the outcome of the case is just as high as his. She challenges Tom's assumptions . . . and his faith. Now he has to decide who he can trust—and how far a father's love can reach.

Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. After Tom loses his job and his girlfriend at the beginning of the book, Elias responds to Tom with, "God is good." What did you think of Tom's response? Have you ever experienced a huge, unexpected change in your life, and someone spoke similar words to you? How did that make you feel? Encouraged? Angry? Confused?
     
  2. Though for years Tom held himself back from truly grieving his mother's death, upon returning home, he is overcome with emotion while visiting Austin's Pond. Why do you think Tom held those tears back for so long? How did his mother's death forever affect Tom and his father's relationship? Have you ever stored up grieving and then had it triggered by an unrelated incident?
     
  3. Why do you think Elias wanted Tom to read the Bible story of Balaam and his donkey?
     
  4. Elias points out that Tom's first name is Joshua, which means "God rescues" or "Jehovah is salvation." How does the meaning of Tom's name enter into his story?
     
  5. Many people in Bethel urge Tom to stay and continue his father's work. What do you think Tom believes about the kind of man his father was? About the kind of attorney he was? Do you think he considers himself a chip off the old block?
     
  6. Elias is a man of prayer and intercession. Have you ever known someone who was a prayer warrior? How has his or her intercession affected your life and the lives of others?
     
  7. Psalm 78:72 says, "So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands." Why do you think this was one of John Crane's favorite verses? How did reading this verse open Tom's eyes and heart?
     
  8. Rose is convinced that there are "thin places" in this world--physical places where one can better hear from God. Do you believe in thin places? Have you ever experienced a thin place?
     
  9. Do you agree with Elias that Christians can sometimes have "divided hearts"--that they can know the love of God, yet still live with dark secrets and deceptions? Elias says that "people are like houses. Most of the rooms may be filled with light, but there can still be a dark corner." Which characters fit this description? Have you experienced this duality in your own heart? Do we sometimes compartmentalize our lives so that we can legitimize our vices?
     
  10. Have you, like Tom, ever felt that you were caught in a situation where you weren't sure who, if anyone, you could trust? What did you do? Where did you turn?
     
  11. After his arrest, Tom's world crashes down on him, and he feels that he has nowhere to turn. He doesn't trust that God can resolve his situation, and he is ready to take his own life. How can desperation skew our perceptions of our situations? How does God step in and assure Tom that he is present and in control?
     
  12. What do you think about the verse John Crane wrote down after his wife's death: "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death" (Isaiah 57:1-2). Have you lost someone important in your world? How does this verse affect the way you feel about his or her passing?
     
  13. At his baptism Tom looks around at his friends and supporters and says, "I'm learning that God placed me in this world, not so other people can serve me, but so I can serve them. Only when we focus our attention on others can we become who we're intended to be ourselves." What value do you place on community? Do you serve, and allow yourself to be served by, others who care about you?
     
  14. In the Epilogue, Tom claims the verse Jeremiah 6:16: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." How does the wisdom of this verse affect Tom's decisions about moving forward with his life? Are you at a crossroads in your life? How does this verse speak to you?
     

Reviews (1) Write a Review

a book with a heart October 19, 2012

When a door closes, a window opens. This is the premise of Whitlow’s story when Tom Crane suddenly finds himself jobless. Forced by circumstances, he returns home not realizing that the trip would change the direction of his life.

It’s easy to be engaged with Whitlow’s book. Crane’s dilemma about his future can make anyone sympathetic enough to feel his anger and his pain. One is naturally led to find out how this and the events tied up to his father’s practice interconnect.

One snag in the story however made it difficult for me to fully appreciate it. There seemed to be an insufficient play of events for Crane to suddenly turn to bible passages so easily as his source of enlightenment in all the mishaps that happen. A change of heart is possible of course. But for a rational and objective thinker as Crane was, brought about by his long-standing legal career, there wasn’t much to show for that change of heart.

Still, Whitlow’s story flows smoothly. More so, conflicts never seem to let up, even until the last few pages of the book. It keeps readers both entertained as well as curious. More importantly, it offers us an invitation to confront our own life choices and evaluate how much of these we have actually lived, both for ourselves as well as for others. It is truly a book with a heart.


Review by Anne

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Water's Edge, Robert Whitlow
  • Water's Edge, Robert Whitlow

Details

Sometimes small towns hold the biggest secrets.

Ambitious young attorney Tom Crane is about to become a partner in a high-profile Atlanta law firm. But first he must clear one final matter from his docket—the closing of his deceased father's law practice in his hometown of Bethel, Georgia. Killed in a mysterious boating accident, John Crane didn't appear to leave his son anything except the hassle of wrapping up loose ends.

But instead of celebrating his promotion, Tom finds himself packing up his office, having suddenly been "consolidated." To add insult to injury, that same night his girlfriend breaks up with him . . . by letter.

Returning to Bethel with no sense of his future and no faith to fall back on, Tom just wants to settle his father's final affairs and get back to Atlanta. But then he runs into an unexpected roadblock—two million dollars of unclaimed money stashed in a secret bank account. And evidence that his father's death may not have been accidental. Worse still, a trail of data suggests his father played a role in an international fraud operation.

Tom follows the money into a tangled web of lies, theft, and betrayal. Along the way, he meets a woman who is as beguiling as she is beautiful. And her interest in the outcome of the case is just as high as his. She challenges Tom's assumptions . . . and his faith. Now he has to decide who he can trust—and how far a father's love can reach.

More Information

Length 416 Pages
Occasion
  • Father's Day
Publication Date July 19, 2011
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595544518
ISBN-13 9781595544513
Height 8.3"
Width 5.4"