Scroll through to see what's new or click through the tabs to find what you're interested in!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

*Psst* Click the picture to find a copy

If Sara Gruen sounds like a familiar name to you, it's probably because she wrote Water for Elephants, which happens to be one of my favorite novels. When I saw her name at the top of yet another book in the store I knew it would be great! And from the time I opened it last week, all I wanted to do was dive back into the Scottish Highlands and the world Gruen had recreated.

The story follows Maddie Hyde, a well-off Philadelphia woman who's been sheltered from the realities of the world. Her husband, Ellis and his best friend Hank are also from a very similar upbringing. World War II rages on, but due to ailments the two men aren't able to enlist. So hiding behind their large homes and money, life goes on despite the many lives being lost across the ocean. After embarrassing his family for the last time, Ellis is tossed out – Maddie along with him, which avalanches them into an adventure of a lifetime. Ellis, Hank and Maddie cross the Atlantic, braving German U-boats on the journey to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster.

Once they settle in the small inn next to the Loch, the team begins to unravel. Ellis, determined to find the monster and regain status in his family, begins to deteriorate. Hank, obsessed with the adventure and unable to break the habits of his wealthy upbringing, isn't willing to accept change or defeat. But as Maddie becomes disillusioned with the whole event, she starts to realize what a fog she's been in her whole life. With the war raging on and her companions falling apart around her, Maddie decides it's time to change.

I loved following Maddie's personal growth throughout this story. She goes from doting wife – a weak character driven by those around her – to a selfless, strong woman who blazes her own path. Once again, Sara Gruen sucked me in with all of the amazing details and historic tie-ins. (Some of which are admittedly changed a bit for the timing of the story, as described in the Author's Note.) I love that she also talks about only using numbers that the characters would be able to get at the time. Death tolls from the war were underreported during the conflict, and despite what we know now, Gruen used the papers that would have been available to Maddie for her research and depictions of the front.

I would definitely reccommend picking this book up over the weekend. It's a quick read, so grab a blanket and some tea and enjoy the story!

I'm headed to Powell's in Portland on Saturday! Have any book recommendations for me?

Love you lots,

No comments:

Post a Comment