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Friday, April 24, 2015

At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen - Book Review

In this thrilling new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, author 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.

About The Book:

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.

My Thoughts:

I have been a big fan of Sara Gruen's writing since I read her incredible book, "Water For Elephants." So I knew I was in for a treat with "At The Water's Edge," but I wasn't prepared to be awe-struck!

This World-War II era novel, set in Scotland, was one of the most moving stories that I've read in a long time.  Gruen captures the time period so exactly, and with her masterful storytelling skills she pulls her readers deep into the heart of her tale with a bit of romance, a lot of mystery, and a dash of humor here and there. Plus there is the lush background of Scotland for the story's setting, and the always intriguing mystery of the Loch Ness monster lurking around the edges.

I thoroughly enjoyed "At The Water's Edge," and in my opinion, I think this is one of the top books for 2015 so far! 

About The Author:

Sara Gruen

SARA GRUEN, the author of Ape House and Water for Elephants, moved to the United States from Canada in 1999 for a job as a technical writer. She was laid off in 2001 and decided to pursue a lifelong dream of writing fiction. She has published four novels, each involving animals as full-fledged characters.

Gruen lives in North Carolina with her husband, three sons, and a menagerie of rescued animals. She donates a portion of her earnings from all her books to various animal charities.

Check out her website at www.saragruen.com (It's really cool!)

My thanks to Random House Publishing and NetGalley for the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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1 comment:

Mystica said...

I read this awhile ago and liked it very much. The settings and characterizations were so very good.