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Water's Edge: Women Who Push the Limits in Rowing, Kayaking and Canoeing (Adventura Books) Paperback – January 15, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Each of the 10 chapters in this exciting look at female athletes focuses on a woman or group of women who have accomplished incredible feats on the water, including seven women who rode three canoes 630 miles up the Back River to the Arctic Ocean; the eight-person U.S. crew that won a gold medal in rowing in the 1984 Olympics; the 83-year-old "matriarch" of rowing who still competes in at least two regattas a year; the first woman to paddle a canoe around the Baja Peninsula; and a hard-driving member of Martha's Moms, a group of competitive middle-aged rowers whose insignia is an apple pie and crossed oars. Freelance journalist Lewis offers just the right amount of straightforward explanation about the sports themselves so that even the uninitiated can follow the action. The book is more than a collection of individual stories however. As a whole it illustrates the importance of sports and convincingly portrays how identifying, training for and achieving a goal permeates the athlete's entire life with self-confidence. At the very least, as one of Martha's Moms remarked after trouncing a collegiate men's team, "It sure beats watching the grandkids."
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- These easy-to-read biographies of some of the stars of water sports emphasize the tremendous strides women have made in athletics since the 1970s. The book not only explains the joys, trials, and mystique of each of the activities, but also profiles ten athletes who have made their mark on these sports from the first pioneers to today's Olympic champions. The world of rowing, kayaking, and canoeing is opened up to readers as Lewis describes the lives of such figures as Ernestine Bayer, Kris Karlson, and Valerie Fons.

Copyright 1993 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • Series: Adventura Books
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (January 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878067184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878067180
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,244,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robin Wolfson VINE VOICE on March 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Books about rowing are rare enough. Books about women rowing or paddling are even rarer. Along with "The Red Rose Crew," "Water's Edge" is a lovely addition to this tiny category. In an unusual and delightful "double funnel" structure, the book begins with the most structured form of rowing, crew, then narrows to individual sports such as racing singles and single kayaking and canoeing, and then widens again to double canoeing and kayaking and finally ends with the "Back River Seven," a group of seven women who canoed one of the most remote rivers in North America, the Back River in the Canadian Arctic. Interestingly, a second layer of structure governs the book, moving from the most controlled settings, regattas, to the wildest, represented by two chapers, one on the Back River Seven and another on Valerie Fons who, with her husband, paddled over 21,000 miles, almost entirely by river, from Canada's Northwest Territories to Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America.

If it seems I'm overly stressing the structure of the book, it's because it's part of what makes the book so rewarding and fulfilling to read. It covers a wide range of methods of moving boats by hand, and the structure gives the book a lovely cohesiveness and unity. The stories of the women themselves, of course, are stirring and inspiring. In most cases, these are women who have had to fight for recognition in their sports or, in the case of Ernestine Bayer (gnerally acknowledged as the matriarch of U.S. women's rowing) to have a sport at all.

"Water's Edge" really should be read in concert with "The Red Rose Crew." As it happens, I read "The Red Rose Crew" first, and it feels as if that's the proper order. In any case, they make excellent companions.
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