I received an egalley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: At the Water’s Edge
Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 31st, 2015
Summary (from Goodreads): In her stunning new novel, Gruen returns to the kind of storytelling she excelled at in Water for Elephants: a historical timeframe in an unusual setting with a moving love story. Think Scottish Downton Abbey.
After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.
If you are in search of a book that has a hard to put down, spellbinding quality, then look no further. At the Water’s Edge is one of those books that will affect you and surprise you at the same time. As I was reading this book, I had a very difficult time not envisioning the beautiful landscape of the Scottish Highlands. I am almost certain that this book will be optioned for a historical fiction movie if it already hasn’t been. It is that good!
One of my favourite features of At the Water’s Edge is the setting. World War II is not an unfamiliar setting for a novel. Navigate yourself into a small war torn village in the Scottish Highlands and you’ve found the perfect setting for adventure, love affairs, friendships and coming of age. As a reader, you will experience the devastation of war first hand through the characters and how it can change some of us forever.
Fans of Sara Gruen’s other works will not be disappointed with At the Water’s Edge. It is a magical story with lots of Scottish folklore and characters that readers will grow to both love and despise. Add this book to Goodreads and set yourself on an epic adventure!