Publisher: Random House
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Source: I received this galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
When you read an enjoyable book, the author tends to stick in your mind. So when I saw Sara Gruen had a title available on NetGalley, I jumped on board with only a quick glance at the summary. If Gruen's name isn't ringing a bell, think Water for Elephants, which was a hit novel in 2006, followed by the movie in 2011. I enjoyed both the book and movie for the unique setting of a 1930s traveling circus. Likewise, At the Water's Edge has a WWII setting with which I was not as familiar. Usually WWII books I've read are set in America, London, or a German concentration camp. I couldn't pass up a different setting in one of the most written about pieces of history.
Set in the Scottish Highlands during WWII, At the Water's Edge focuses on Maddie Hyde, her high society husband Ellis, and their mutual friend Hank. Unable to serve due to minor physical impairments (flat feet and colorblindness), the men take up the idea of finding the Loch Ness Monster to escape their self-disgracing behaviors and replace the honor fighting on the front would have provided.
As Maddie travels from America to the Scottish Highlands, her life changes every step of the way. Living in a small country inn of a war torn area, Maddie is faced with hardships she is not used to. Her own little world broadens a little at a time until she is left with revelations of secrets and lies, showcasing the obvious wreck her life is and will become; opening her to the beauty of what life can be if she has the courage to go for it.
There is also a romantic element to At the Water's Edge, but I liked it. I found myself cheering on the various characters who found themselves in love or looking for it...hoping all would turn out in the end.
So thumbs up Sara Gruen, I enjoyed your new novel! And readers, which authors draw you to their new books just because of who they are?