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At the water's edge : a novel
2015
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Madeline "Maddie" Hyde (Female), Married, She and her husband, Ellis, disgraced themselves at a New Year's Eve party; cut off financially by her husband's father; travels with her husband to Scotland; falls in love with the Scottish countryside; becomes friends with two women
Ellis Hyde (Male), Married, Color blind, His father cut him off financially; determined to regain his father's favor by hunting down the Loch Ness monster
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Adventure
Coming of age
Topics
World War II
Financial problems
Social classes
Travel
Female friendship
Scottish folklore
Husbands and wives
Self-discovery
Scottish culture
Socialites
Mythological creatures
Setting
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Pennsylvania - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Scotland - Europe
Time Period
1944 -- 20th century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Gruen (Water for Elephants) spins a tale of monsters, romance, history, and more. It's 1944, and Maddie; her husband, Ellis; and his best friend Hank leave Philadelphia under less-than-ideal circumstances and head to the Scottish countryside to search for the Loch Ness Monster. Snippets of history and war are interwoven into the melodrama of small village life; Hank and Ellis are on the sidelines as they focus on the search, and the tale follows Maddie as she discovers more about her marriage, her life, and herself. Justine Eyre handles the accents well, brings the secondary characters to life, and helps this predictable, quiet tale make its way to its tidy ending. VERDICT Of interest to Gruen's fans. ["You'll find yourself skimming along entertainingly with Maddie as she grows up, asserts herself, and gets the right man": LJ Xpress Reviews 3/20/15 review of the Spiegel & Grau hc.]-Denise A. Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Gruen's (Water for Elephants) riveting fifth novel follows Philadelphia socialite Madeline Hyde; her husband, Ellis; and his best friend, Hank, on a quest to Loch Ness in January 1945 as they seek proof of the legendary monster, which Ellis's father allegedly photographed 13 years earlier. Once the trio is ensconced in the tiny village of Drumnadrochit, Hank and Ellis begin disappearing for days at a time, leaving Maddie alone back at the inn with no ration card, no practical skills, and no emergency gear. She soon bonds with the locals-even Angus, the inn's brooding, standoffish owner-and her newfound friendships help her cope with household chores and air raids alike. As the days drag on, Maddie begins to uncover truths about her family, as well as secrets about Ellis, that force her to reimagine her entire life as she knows it. A slow start gives way to mystery upon mystery, building to a gripping climax. Though some aspects, particularly an ambiguous brush with the supernatural, are a little pedestrian, Gruen's beautiful setting and deeply sympathetic characters ensure a memorable read for new and returning fans alike. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * In this thrilling new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water's Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman's awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands.<br> <br> After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son's inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel's favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed--by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster--Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.<br> <br> The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.<br> <br> As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life's beauty and surprising possibilities.<br> <br> Praise for At the Water's Edge <br> <br> "Breathtaking . . . a daring story of adventure, friendship, and love in the shadow of WWII." -- Harper's Bazaar <br> <br> "A gripping, compelling story . . . Gruen's characters are vividly drawn and her scenes are perfectly paced." -- The Boston Globe <br> <br> "A page-turner of a novel that rollicks along with crisp historical detail." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram <br> <br> "Powerfully evocative." --USA Today <br> <br> "Gruen is a master at the period piece--and [this] novel is just another stunning example of that craft." -- Glamour
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