Book Review: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water's Edge

Reviewed by Ayla & Sylvia Archer

Sara Gruen, once again, does a great job with characterization. Her story, which takes place in WW2 era Philadelphia and Scotland, begins by throwing you into a life of luxury and riches.  You join the characters as they embark on a journey that you cannot help but feel will end badly. Madeline Hyde, her husband, Ellis, and his guy-pal Hank embarrass their families socially and escape from WWII Philadelphia on a search to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, a task which defeated Ellis’ father previously.

Surrounded by characters that make you regret not being a local Scotsmen, you find yourself immersed in the warm comfort of the Scottish countryside, holding your breath and smiling as you follow Maddie through her struggles in this new/old world. You are proud of her for building a bridge between her old ways of life and finding a way to exist in the world she now finds herself immersed in. We particularly enjoyed reading her descriptions of the Scottish Highlands. We found ourselves visualizing her long walks and the pub so clearly, and then of course there is Angus, sigh.

We recommend, At the Water’s Edge, for anyone who enjoys the Outlander series, The Great Gatsby, and is curious about Loch Ness and its environs.

You can see Sara Gruen at the 10th annual Cm Lit Fest Saturday, September 12.