Wednesday, May 20, 2015

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

If you enjoyed Water for Elephants, you are going to love this new Sara Gruen tale, At the Water’s Edge. Maddie, a newlywed into Philadelphia society, and her husband Ellis disgrace themselves at a 1944 New Year’s Eve party and are cut off financially by Ellis’ parents. Ellis had already disappointed his parents by being rejected from the army twice for being colorblind, so the party sealed his fate. To regain approval, Maddie, Ellis, and his best friend Hank (also rejected from the army) set sail across the Atlantic during World War II to the Scottish Highlands. The goal of their journey is to capture the Loch Ness Monster on film, something that Ellis’ father failed to do in previous years which in turn brought disgrace to the family name. They check in to the only inn in the tiny town, and Maddie begins to learn many secrets about her husband and their pristine life begins to crumble around her. She befriends the workers at the inn, Anna, Meg, and the innkeeper Angus, and through those friendships (and being left for days and weeks at a time alone at the inn with no indication that Ellis and Hank were ever going to come back), she realizes that she is worth more than just being the pretty society wife touted for show by her husband. Even though the story seems like it is going to focus on the actual hunt for the monster in the beginning, it really focuses on Maddie’s hunt for herself.

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