Thursday, June 4, 2015

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

Soon after a disastrous display at a New Year’s Eve party, Maddie Hyde finds herself reluctantly crossing an ocean, headed towards Scotland, a war at full tilt, and her husband’s impossible mission: to find the Loch Ness Monster.

With only the details of his father’s very public (and failed) hunt for the monster years earlier, Maddie watches as Ellis, with best friend Hank in tow, dives headfirst into a plan to restore the Colonel’s name - and with that, his financial support.  As the pair dissolve into drunken reverie day and night, Maddie withdraws, out of place among the townspeople and alone in a foreign town struggling in the midst of WWII.  As the days and weeks stretch on, Maddie begins to wonder about the life she’s chosen, and the man she’s chosen to share it with.

At the Water’s Edge is a wonderful combination of life and lore.  Gruen pays particular attention to detail, and, in doing so, creates a rich setting.  The story conveys a strong sense of place and history, made even more pronounced by Maddie’s complete displacement within it.  Fans of Water for Elephants will recognize the theme of a main character thrust into a new world, left to figure out a new way - and, in doing so, discovering themselves.

Fans of historical fiction (particularly WWII era) will enjoy this book, but so will those in search of a well told story with a main character who must forge a new path in life.

No comments: