After enjoying Water for Elephants and Ape House, by Sara Gruen, I was excited to read her newest novel, At the Water’s Edge. This historical fiction novel was mainly set in Scotland during World War 2. It blended the struggles of an ill-matched marriage, the atrocities of the war and the legend and fantasy of hunting the Loch Ness Monster.
Having been to Scotland, visiting the River Ness and Urquhart Castle, I enjoyed the setting of this novel. The author did a fantastic job describing the dark and deep River Ness and the beauty of the castle ruins. It was easy to picture the characters standing at the River’s edge and exploring the remains of the castle.
Maddie, a newlywed got caught up in her spoiled husband’s quest to find the Loch Ness monster following in the footsteps of his father. He impetuously put their safety at risk as they sailed across the Atlantic risking bombing by German U Boats. While her husband behaved poorly and selfishly searched, he left her in the safety of their rooms where she developed friendships with the staff at the inn as they dealt with their own challenges.
Her husband’s behaviour deteriorated. He struggled to find evidence as he continued to drink copiously. Maddie’s began to see his boorish behaviour. As his actions grew worse, her resolve grew stronger. Her confidence built and she started to contribute at the inn and began to stick up for herself with the assistance and support of her new friends.
This novel, although sprinkled with fantasy was an easy, enjoyable read. Gruen has again spun a tale that makes it difficult to put the book down. The tale was a bit predictable at times but as the war was won, goodness and love prevailed over the evil.