At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading and loving Water for Elephants a few years back, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to request Sara Gruen's new title and I guess I wasn't alone. "At the Water’s Edge debut[ed] at #6 on the New York Times bestseller list, #5 on the Indie bestseller list, and #12 on the USA Today bestseller list!"
THE STORY: Madeline Hyde and her husband Ellis never go anywhere without his best friend Hank. Drinking, dancing, spending money, and amusing themselves consumes their days; but they throw away their privileged lives when they disgrace themselves at a fashionable Philadelphia New Year's Eve party. To escape, Ellis and Hank decide to make good on the many times they have talked about hunting down the Loch Ness monster. Maddie has always thought of their discussions as a game. After all, it is 1944 and World War II is raging; but Hank finds a ship that will take them across the Atlantic and thus begins a journey that will change them all.
The remote Scottish Highland and its inhabitants aren't particularly welcoming to this frivolous trio who expect to be waited on in the middle of difficult times. While the men go off to search for monsters, Maddie, left behind, learns more about the people and how they survive. She makes friends and begins to understand what life can really be.
WHAT I THOUGHT: A mixture of historical fiction (the Scottish during WWII), romance, coming of age, mysticism (Loch Ness monster hunting), and more, the book seems over the top sometimes but is always compelling. It is impossible not to think of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (without the time travel) when you read this story.
FIRST SENTENCE: "The headstone was modest and hewn of black granite, granite being one of the few things never in short supply in Glenurquhart, even during the present difficulties."
BOTTOM LINE: Women everywhere will be reading this book - a great beach read!
Disclaimer: An advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book was provided to me by NetGalley for an honest review.
Title: At the Water's Edge
Author: Sara Gruen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (an imprint of Random House)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
No. of Pages: 368
Copyright: 1st edition (March 31, 2015)
Sara Gruen is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Water for Elephants, Ape House, Riding Lessons, and Flying Changes. Her works have been translated into forty-three languages and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. She lives in western North Carolina with her husband and three sons, along with their dogs, cats, horses, birds, and the world’s fussiest goat. (From Amazon)