May 29, 2015

Women's Fiction Spotlight: At the Water's Edge

Blurb from Goodreads: After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.

It took me a while to get into this book, but once I was hooked, I was completely hooked. The setting, the characters, and the way that Maddie is depicted were masterful. Gruen has this ability to show transitions of characters in natural ways, both positive and negative.

I loved Water For Elephants, so I doubted that another could match. I went into the story expecting to like it, but ultimately be disappointed because of how MUCH I enjoyed Water for Elephants. Somehow, masterfully, and thankfully, At The Water's Edge aligns with its famous predecessor. Maybe it exceeds it too.

**I received a copy from NetGalley for a fair review***