Monday, March 30, 2015

(25)At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen


Philidelphia socialite Maddie Hyde knows that her husband's plan to go to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness monster is a bad one, but she also knows that unless they can get back into the good graces of her Father-in-Law they will be destitute and financially ruined.  Unfortunately,  the fact that their trip to Scotland falls in the middle World War II does not dissuade her husband, Ellis and his best friend, Hank.   Ellis is convinced that finding the monster is his only hope.   After a rough passage to Scotland the trio is completely shocked at what they find in the village in the Scottish Highlands.  They find blackout curtains and food rations and air raid sirens and people so broken down by the war that they are just moving through the motions of life.  It was quite a shock to the three that are used to servants and gourmet meals and the security of living in the United States. As the days turn into weeks and months Maddie realizes that her husband is not the man she thought.  He is selfish and cruel and threatens not only her, but the good people of the village that has taken them in. Will Maddie give in to the demands of her husband or will she follow her heart?

At the Water's Edge gives a unique perspective of World War II.  I have read a few novels recently that take place during the World War II era, but none quite like this one.  The author shines a light on how insulated many in the United States was to what was happening across the ocean.  They were aware of the war, obviously, and some did  their part, but it people like Maddie still got to enjoy their society parties and other extravagant items.  There was gossip  that Ellis and Hank faked medical issues to keep themselves out of the war and  Maddie kind of believed that if she ignored the whole thing it would go away.  Obviously burying her head in the sand is not the best way to handle anything. Maddie was the character that evolved the most in this novel. She was left behind while the men went off in search of the Loch Ness monster Maddie  and she got to know the people who ran the inn.  Anna and Meg both have their own war stories to share.  Anna was a bit more prickly than Meg, but I enjoyed watching the way they opened up to Maddie.  And then there was Angus, he was the kind of guy that would definitely catch the eye of any woman.

Bottom line - At the Water's Edge was an absolutely fabulous read.  A most unique love story that will capture your heart and cheering for the good guy to win.  A definite must read!

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