At the Water's Edge
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Praise for At the Water’s Edge
“Breathtaking . . . a daring story of adventure, friendship, and love in the shadow of WWII.”—Harper’s Bazaar
“A gripping, compelling story . . . Gruen’s characters are vividly drawn and her scenes are perfectly paced.”—The Boston Globe
“A page-turner of a novel that rollicks along with crisp historical detail.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Powerfully evocative.”—USA Today
“Gruen is a master at the period piece—and [this] novel is just another stunning example of that craft.”—Glamour
“A captivating tale.”—Us Weekly
“Compulsively readable . . . a rich, beautiful novel . . . at once a gripping love story, a profound examination of the effects of war on ordinary women, and a compelling portrait of female friendship.”—Kristin Hannah
“Utterly winning.”—The Miami Herald
“A compelling, enthralling read, a novel which captivates and rewards, paying off in a series of emotional and narrative twists . . . comfort reading of the highest order.”—The Globe and Mail
“A super steamy love story.”—Good Housekeeping
“Unique in its setting and scope, this impeccably researched historical fiction is full of the gorgeous prose I’ve come to expect from this author.”—Jodi Picoult
“[Gruen] conveys the lure of the Scottish Highlands. . . . At the Water’s Edge captivates with its drama, intrigue and glimpses of both the dark and light of humanity.”—BookPage
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
At The Water’s Edge is a calm and elegant whirlwind
I never saw Water for Elephants, I never read it, but it would have been impossible not to know about it. Between the hype of Robert Pattinson attached as the lead actor and the occurrence of the book on multiple reading list I have seen Water for Elephants pop up a few times. When I saw this title come across my search on Netgalley, I knew that I wanted to read it. I wanted to read something different than what I normally read and I wanted to take the chance on Sara Gruen and her newest title At the Water’s Edge.
The story has a slow pace or perhaps it was just a slow relaxation, the book took me multiple days to fully consume. It was not out of boredom, the story is beautifully written, but it was more the sense that this book was not meant to be devoured quickly but rather it was meant to be read slowly and give a sense of relaxation amongst the lives of these anything but relaxed characters. Maddie is in the center of everything and slowly she starts to realize not all is as it seems.
At The Water’s Edge is a calm and elegant whirlwind and Maddie is the eye watching the madness around her take place. She is a quiet woman who is realizing not everything is at it seems. The life she was leading is so very different then the life she finds herself in now. She questions the way she thought that life should be and begins to form relationships that are built on the harsh realities of life rather then the status of ones family. Maddie is a young woman who is thrown into an unfavorable situation to realize she knows so very little about life but has the opportunity to learn so very much.
Beautifully written, wonderful characters, and a great story.
Not in the same league as Water for Elephants
This book was pleasant and easy to read but not especially memorable.