At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

by on August 3rd, 2015
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen Cover Image

I really enjoyed Gruen’s New York Times Bestselling book, Water for Elephants, so when I saw At the Water’s Edge on the New books list at ICPL, I put a hold on it.  When a copy arrived I started reading and quickly got caught up with the characters and the story.  Maddie Hyde, a Philadelphia socialite, her husband Ellis, and his best friend, Hank, travel to Scotland on a lark in search of the Loch Ness monster.  Ellis’s father purportedly took photographs of Nessie years earlier, and Ellis wants to get back into his father’s good graces and fortune by confirming the monster’s existence.  The Colonel has never forgiven his son for not joining the fighting overseas even though Ellis’s reason is that he was turned away because he is color-blind.  Once the three are ensconced in a nearby small village, the men go adventuring with their gear leaving Maddie to fend for herself for days on end.  She gets to know the locals and breaks out of her isolation exploring the beautiful Scottish Highlands.  Set in 1945 toward the end of WWII, Maddie and the others deal with the air raids while they are sequestered at the inn with the brooding big innkeeper, Angus.  Soon Maddie becomes disgusted with Ellis and Hank’s drunken behavior each time they return; she finds friendship with the staff at the inn and ultimately, romance with Angus.  At the Water’s Edge is a compelling novel, even with its flaws, about the reawakening of a beautiful privileged young woman set against the backdrop of war.

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