Book Review – At the Water’s Edge

At the Water's Edge

Got a rogue post in here, because I think there will be another on Monday as usual – no promises.

Our August Book Club pick did not excite me at all, but I try to be a team player and still read the books when this is the case. I requested it at my library, forgot to pick it up in time, and seriously considered not trying to get it again. But then I snatched it from another local library, and dove in with just enough time before book club rolled around again, but boy, was I surprised by this one…

Book 32:
At the Water’s Edge
by Sara Gruen

Historical Fiction

March 2015

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, At the Water’s Edge is the story of three high-society Americans in 1942 who bypass involvement in the war, and set out, instead, in search of the Loch Ness Monster. Ellis, Maddie (a husband and wife) and their friend Hank live a frivolous life of fancy clothes, parties, and alcohol. However, when the country faces one of its darkest times and they can’t seem to turn away from their frivolity, Ellis’s free-flow of money stops and he has to prove himself worthy despite his inability to serve his country due to color-blindness.

Tied by marriage, Maddie follows her husband and hank across the ocean to a foreign country where they search, with a child-like vigor, to prove the monster’s existence, hoping this will restore their appearance in their wealthy circle back at home. Meanwhile, Maddie is left each day in their hotel, searching for things of her own – truth, friendship and love amidst the craziness that’s become her life.

Favorite Quote(s):

“It seems there’s nothing so good or pure it can’t be taken without a moment’s notice. And then in the end, it all gets taken anyway.”

– Sara Gruen, At the Water’s Edge

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2015)


My Overall Rating:
4 – I can’t deny it’s slow start. Based on the synopsis and the first 50 pages or so, I really thought this book was going to be a maximum of 2 stars. However, the farther I got, the more I enjoyed it. Beyond the mythology of sea monsters and the whimsical title, this book spoke to the heart of finding oneself. Ellis and Hank thought they were finding themselves as they set out on their adventure, but Maddie was doing the cold, hard work of seeing her mistakes, learning her truths, and changing herself for the better.

I absolutely loved Maddie’s character. She was vulnerable, yet strong. She made mistakes, yet sought good. She was willing to be lowly, yet previously accustomed to high society. I wanted all fo the best things for her and was happy to see where she ended up.

Genre-wise, the book vaguely reminded me of All the Light We Cannot See, another book I would highly recommend.

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