Book Review: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen


I received this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: March 31, 2015 by Spiegel & Grau

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Review: At first I really disliked the main characters.  Spoiled socialite Americans traveling to Scotland in the middle of World War II and expecting to be waited on hand and foot…  Ugh!  As the story continued and Maddie slowly became her own person, I disliked her less and less til I eventually started to like her.  I still could not stand Hank and Ellis though.  Ellis constantly acts like a petulant child and Hank just makes excuses for Ellis’s behavior.  The two of them leaving Maddie behind to fend for herself in a foreign land show they have no consideration for other people’s feelings.  Overall, this was an interesting read.  There were some issues I had but mostly they were just small annoyances with certain characters and has no reflection on the story or writing.  In fact, I think those annoyances helped with the story.  Anyone who reads this book and likes Hank and Ellis would have to be crazy!

Three out of five stars


2 thoughts on “Book Review: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

  1. Pingback: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge | The Worn Bookmark

  2. Pingback: Month In Review: January 2015 | The Worn Bookmark

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