Book Review: At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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. 

I was hesitant to start reading At the Water's Edge, as historical fiction is not the typical genre I indulge in. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by Sara Gruen's work. At the Water's Edge was rather frustratingly good to read. The main characters were well written, Gruen made it easy to adore or despise them. There are two extremely spoiled, whiny, and despicable men, who will strike a nerve if you have any sense of dignity. Then we have Maddie, who starts off just as entitled as her two counterparts, but slowly becomes aware of her situation and demeanor. I enjoyed witnessing her  journey in becoming more self-aware, capable, and independent [insert cheer for girl power in the mid-1900's!]. At the Water's Edge is an entertaining read for those who enjoy fiction with a touch of unlikely romance, fun and eerie folklore, traces of redemption, and a brief taste of the horrors of war.



*Synopsis provided by Goodreads.com

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