At the Water's Edge
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen.
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (November 10, 2015)
In this thrilling new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water’s Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands.
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.
This is my third book by Sara Gruen. The other two I have read are: Ape House, and Water for Elephants (which became a movie). She is a really well written story teller. I've enjoyed all her books. Each a little different but each with a "story" to tell. No Murders, no deep mysteries.. but interesting life stories.
Admittedly, this one is a bit of a love story, which generally is not up my alley. But she surrounded it with the close ending of WWII and her and her husband and friend being filthy rich, and so despite the war, they go to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster. But everything begins to fall apart when she over hears the men talking.. and then realizes lies that have been told to her and others.
The romance part is not throughout the entire book, which is nice. So there is plenty of atmosphere to be had and genuinely really great characters.
It was a fast read and I totally enjoy it, as I have her other books. Sara Gruen and her books gets a thumbs up!