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  • Writer's pictureMyranda

AT THE WATER'S EDGE Book Review

Profile of a woman wearing a jacket and hat, water and rocks in the background, title and author name in yellow

"At the Water's Edge" by Sara Gruen, physical, 348 pages

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.

First and foremost I have said this multiple times to my book club...I did not read passed the book description that something happened at a New Year's Eve party and thought "This is perfect! It takes place at New Year's and it's January! Makes perfect sense!" I had no idea that we would be hunting for Nessie! So...hi, my name is Myranda and my toxic trait is picking books based on on the cover and not even reading the first full sentence about the book! While I read the physical book, I found myself sick for a couple weeks and didn't touch the book. It came to discussion day and I am so very thankful that Spotify Premium includes audiobooks now because I was about halfway through and I listened to the book at 1.5x while following along in the actual book. This is also one of my favorite ways to read. While there wasn't a lot of Gaelic in the book, there were some and I couldn't always find a translation and have no idea how to say those words so I tend to gloss over them. Hearing them in the audio form as I read helped a lot! The book is very easy to read. Had I been able to set aside time to read a little every day, I definitely would have finished well before book club which is incredible for me to think of since it's almost 350 pages and I was listening to other books and reading other books on my Kindle at the same time! The author made the character's come off the pages. I felt for Maddie. I felt like when I was in my early 20s I was kind of like Maddie. When it came to Ellis and Hank, it felt like there was something more to their friendship but in the 40s that wouldn't have been something they would given thought to...if you catch my drift. There were a couple of twists, some tugging at the heart strings along the way, and the author notes at the end of the book that some of the historical facts that she mentions in the book have been slightly skewed for the book but not too drastically.


Overall, based on my feeling at the end of the book, this was a 5 star read for me! If you read this and enjoy it, I would love to know!

5/5 Stars


2024 Reading Challenge: 4/50 complete

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