Sunday, May 31, 2015

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

by:  Sara Gruen
published by:  Spiegel & Grau
publish date:  March 31, 2015

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. 

So I kept hearing this was like a Scottish Downton Abbey.  Um no.  These are American people that are visiting Scotland.  That's not Downton Abbey.  Anyway, this book reminded a lot of a Sarah Jio book so I think fans of her's would really like this book.

At the Water's Edge was about Maddie and her husband Ellis traveling to Scotland after a disgraceful incident in America.  I was a little unclear exactly what that incident was, but I guess there was some drunken behavior.  So, Ellis decides to go hunt the Loch Ness monster.  His father famously failed to find the monster and Ellis thinks that if he finds it he will gain his father's favor.  However, Ellis is spoiled, greedy and lying about his colorblindedness.  He spends all his time with his friend Hank and leaves Maddie alone in a foriegn country.  Maddie begins to realize her marriage isn't what she thinks it is.

I liked this book, but the characters were very unlikeable.  I'm pretty sure Ellis was in love with Hank and not his wife.  Hank and Ellis were so annoying.  I don't understand how Maddie ended up involved with them.  Like I said it reminded me a lot of a Sarah Jio style book.  The setting was great and all the supporting characters were interesting.  I would recommend this with the caution that the main characters are frustrating.

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