Review – At the Water’s Edge

At the Water's Edge

 Title: At the Water’s Edge

 Author: Sara Gruen

 2015 – Fiction – Historical Fiction

 Rating: 4.5/5

The Story: Maddie’s life is a blur of parties, alcohol, and luxury. But after war comes and her husband and best friend are both declared unfit for military service, they decide to take off for Scotland in order to search for the legendary monster of Loch Ness. During their stay, Maddie befriends the village locals, her husband grows more maniacal, and their marriage slowly begins to deteriorate.

The Opening Line: The headstone was modest and hewn of black granite, granite being one of the few things never in short supply in Glenurquhart, even during the present difficulty.

What I Loved: Gruen really knows how to set the historical scene, and that was really the star of the book. Maddie found herself in the middle of a battle at sea, encountered firsthand the wounded, learned to carry her gas mask everywhere she went, and survived several raids by hunkering down in a bunker. But even in the midst of war, Gruen placed a priority on adventure, friendships, and romance. Maddie’s growth as a character really just made me adore her. She went from being somewhat of a spoiled brat to a mature young lady with a better sense of perspective.

What I Didn’t Love: I would have loved to known more of Hank’s story. As Ellis and Maddie’s best friend, Hank financed their journey to Scotland and helped keep Ellis in check. And he seems like a decent guy, more or less, if a bit lazy and unmotivated. I also would have loved to see the romance blossom a bit more, as opposed to seeming like it was suddenly there without too much development.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed Water for Elephants, and my love for historical fiction is growing, so I was pretty certain that I would enjoy this title. And I did. I’ve heard a couple of dissenting voices, but overall, the reaction to this book has been really positive, and I’m happy to add to that. It was a fun read, while discussing some serious topics, and that really worked here. I think Gruen has a hit, and I can’t wait for you all to read it and let me know what you think!



Filed under Reviews

10 responses to “Review – At the Water’s Edge

  1. Isi

    I have it on my kindle, so I hope to read it soon.
    I have read more positive reviews, so I’m glad you also liked it 🙂


  2. Does anything bad happen to animals in this one? Because that was my biggest problem with Water for Elephants and if I knew that wasn’t going to be a problem with this book, I might be willing to give Gruen another chance.


  3. I kind of avoided Water for Elephants, just because it was so so hyped. I may have to pick this one up though because I love good historical fiction!


    • I’m finding more and more that I do too. I just have to choose my historical fiction very carefully. And as I found with the newest Elizabeth Wein, even my go-to faves can let me down. But this one was good.


  4. Did you think Water for Elephants was better than this book? Seeing it everywhere right now, so very interesting to read your thoughts. The story doesn’t really grab other than the part about the Lochness monster. 🙂


  5. It’s been a loooong time since I read Water for Elephants. But I think I liked this one slightly better.


  6. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | Jancee Reads

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