Friends at Waters-edge and Fremont House
by Margaret Margereson
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Pub Date 05 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 05 Dec 2022
Matthew Weldon has been ill, locked in a coma with visions so intensely real, he wakes up feeling as if he's lived them. There's no reason why - at least no earthly reason. The truth is out there, indeed, and it's that the vulnerable are always the first to be experimented on. However, what our galactic researchers don't count on when they try to implant what are called 'life patterns' to observe how we fare, is just how strong our minds can be... something Matthew discovers when he sits down to write down the adventures he's experienced in the scope of his own mind.
The life pattern involved four characters from the animal world, together with an AI robot. All find themselves homeless for different reasons. A rabbit is dumped, unwanted, by the roadside one dark night by the elders of her commune and eventually finds shelter in an empty garden house in the village. She is later joined by the robot, a badger who was a financial adviser with a city bank and who had been made redundant, and a spaniel who escaped one night from a gang he had got involved with. Finally a penguin, who arrived by boat, whose background was never discovered. Together they form a strong friendship, but when they meet a cat who was a city broker, all their lives changed dramatically.
But what does it mean for our galactic visitors that Matthew recalls these stories so vividly? More - what does it mean for Matthew himself?
A Note From the Publisher
Average rating from 4 members
A charming story about friends who have enough differences to make for a fun story for kids, and it also contains life lessons.
Parents, you want this book for your kids this Christmas.
I only removed one star, because even for a childrens book, a bit more personality differences among some of the (substantially numbered) characters, could improve the book.
I tend to read plenty of children's books to vet them for suitability for our library's young one's tastes, so this book piqued my interest.
A really odd and quirky book is Friends at Waters-edge and Fremont House, and I wasn't sure how to relate my views on reading the book. It felt like some strange cross between Wind in the Willows and Tales from the Riverbank.
This could have been written for children of a much younger demographic than the designated group if it wasn't for the extended vocabulary. It did feel educational in parts, with the talk of brushing teeth and regular visits to the dentist.
I wasn't too enamoured about one of the characters being fobbed off to a psychiatrist just because he was a bit exuberant. Perhaps I am being unfair, but it didn't seem fair or valid.
The story was very pedestrian early on, and it took a long time for the main protagonists to amalgamate as a group. They did so with some sense of adventure, at least, getting into a fair few scrapes along the way.
There were times when things got a little more exhilarating as the story progressed. Renovating buildings, celebrating festivals, and a life-and-death situation with one of the main characters added to the excitement.
On the plus side, there is a lot to like about forming friendships and having camaraderie, having a spirit of adventure. Using the bond of companionship to accomplish tasks that would usually seem beyond rhyme or reason was an encouraging message to pass on.
The characters themselves were of fascinating nature, literally. Daxham was my favourite of a tight bunch for the sheer roguishness of his antics, but I probably wouldn't tell the kids that.
There are plenty more goings-on to be found within the narrative, but I will not go into any more detail than that as I will not spoil the book for others.
I have to say that the ending was not exactly what I was expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised by the climactic conclusion and final outcome.
In the end, it became one of those books where you think you enjoyed it but may have to read it once again to be sure or view it in a different light.
Thank you, Matador and NetGalley, for the opportunity to view the advanced copy of Friends at Waters-edge and Fremont House by Margaret Margereson.
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