“At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen

Quick Statistics

  • “At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen
  • Historical Fiction
  • Listened to the audiobook as part of the Reading Glasses Postal Book Club
  • 3/5 stars
  • Finished February 8, 2018

Official Synopsis

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.

My Thoughts/Summary

This was one of the books picked for our Reading Glasses Postal Book Club and while I didn’t get to finish it within the actual month I had it, I did want to make a valiant effort to finish it. While this is something I probably would have never finished if it wasn’t for my friend Danielle and Sarah’s reviews of this book, I’m glad I did.

I had found the audiobook for this one pretty early on and really enjoyed the narrator, so that’s how I did the majority of this book. This book was kind of slow in the beginning, and because I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect, I thought this book was going to be much more focused on the monster hunting. It wasn’t. It was absolutely more of a romance book which isn’t bad at all, just not what I was expecting.

Maddie is married to Ellis and they go with one of their friends to Scotland during World War 2 to hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. Once they get there it becomes evident that Ellis really has no desire to include her, just to control her, and steal the pills she was given by a doctor for “nerve issues”. As the book goes on, Ellis becomes completely unlikeable and I honestly couldn’t find a positive thing about the character. However, I really like how Gruen leads up to this. In the beginning, you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, he seems sweet, but as the book progresses you start to see who he really is as does Maddie.

Overall this book was a lot of fluff, and a nice break from what I’ve been reading lately which is a lot of more serious stuff. I am glad I spent my time on this book, and I did find myself really wanting to know what was going to happen to Maddie. I really enjoyed Gruen’s writing style, and I’m so glad I picked this book up and saw it through.

Follow-Up Links

(this post does contain affiliate links that help me keep the site going. please consider purchasing using these links if you’re interested in this book! thanks so much xo r)

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