Review: At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance


Maddie, her husband Ellis, and their friend, Hank decide on a whim to travel to Scotland to find and photograph the Loch Ness Monster…all in the midst of the fighting and bombings of WW2. The trio come from very affluent families and lifestyles in the United States, but when Maddie and Ellis are suddenly financially cut off from his parents…after thoroughly embarrassing themselves with terrible behavior at a social event…they decide that the only way they can get back in his father’s good graces is by proving this monster is real. They take little to no regard to the war that is happening around the world…after all, it doesn’t directly affect them very much in their daily lives in America. Once they make it to Scotland, they realize just how different life is there compared to home and just how much of an everyday impact the war has on the people there.

Maddie, who previously had very little family and really only had Ellis and Hank for a social circle, begins to befriend the staff at the Inn where they are staying. She soon learns the true meaning of friendship and she also begins to see Ellis for what he really is….an unloving, manipulative, spoiled and selfish husband and person. Because of the daily hardships Maddie witnesses all around her, she begins to look at the world in a very different light and her opinion and view of her life back in America also changes. There were things she chose to ignore in her previous life that she could no longer turn a blind eye to. Maddie, Ellis, and Hank’s lives will forever be changed after they make the long and dangerous journey across the ocean to Scotland.

I read this book based on a recommendation from someone in a Goodreads reading group and I’m so glad she chose this for me…because I likely otherwise wouldn’t have picked it up.
Sara Gruen also wrote Water For Elephants and, like that book, this is beautifully written with fantastically developed characters. At The Water’s Edge was easily a 4.5 star read for me. Sara Gruen’s writing style is just so beautiful and flows so well…you really feel for these characters and to be able to witness their transformation on the page is just so enjoyable. I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea of the search for the Loch Ness Monster at first… but as the story and history unfolded, I began to understand how that fit into the rest of the story. I also liked how even though WW2 was the setting and part of the focus of the story…it wasn’t the ONLY thing about the story. It set a very dramatic and real backdrop that had a definite impact on the characters and storyline….but the book, as a whole, was more about relationships, understanding, redemption and love.
If you were a fan of Water For Elephants, I think you should definitely give this one a try.

My Rating – 4.5 Stars

At The Water’s Edge – Amazon

Water For Elephants – Amazon


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