Tuesday, April 28, 2015

At the Water's Edge


I was meant to read this book. Synchronicity? Serendipity? Who knows!

Members of my family might relate to this:

  •  Completely oblivious (more than usual, that is) I started reading At The Water’s Edge on April 21, the day Google was celebrating the 81st anniversary of that famous photo (the Surgeon’s photo) of the Loch Ness Monster. 

"Hoaxed photo of the Loch Ness monster" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

At the Water’s Edge is a story about Maddie, who accompanies her husband and his best friend from their home in Philadelphia to Drumnadrochit, on the shore of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands where they want to prove the existence of the fabled Monster.
  • The main character’s name is Maddie, short for Madeleine (granddaughter’s name/nickname)
  • The author, Sara Gruen, was born in Vancouver, raised in London, Ontario and worked in Ottawa.

Meet the Writers - Sara Gruen

  •  Sara Gruen worked as a technical writer while in Ottawa before deciding to write fiction full-time.Her first two novels were about horses.




  • She married and moved to the United States, to that little piece of Appalachian paradise, Asheville, North Carolina.
Those few points of congruence, none of which I knew about when I reserved the book at the library, are amazing to me!

All of Sara Gruen’s books are enormously popular and captivating.


One has even been made into a movie


And now for the item of the day: At the Water's Edge:


I really enjoyed At the Water’s Edge. I was captured right from page 1 by this romantic adventure story and read it in practically one sitting.

Set in the 1940’s Scottish Highlands, the story follows three privileged and frankly, whiny and unlikable young Americans on the trail of the Loch Ness Monster at a time in history when the rest of the world is at war with a real-time, no­­­-nonsense monster. In searching for this mythical monster, the friends discover the monsters within and in looking for something that might or might not exist (there seems to be no consensus on this issue) they discover that they are no longer who they thought they were.

Gruen has a talent for dropping the reader right into her setting and we feel the anxiety, frustration and discomfort of people living in war-time. Maddie, our main character, becomes who we would wish her to be, a more compassionate understanding person while her husband and friend degenerate even further into the selfish unthinking boors they have always been. The gap between them continues to widen until at the end of the novel “things come to a head”. This last part of the novel becomes, in my opinion, more of a romance novel and a bit more predictable than I usually care for, but I stuck with it anyway and enjoyed the happy ending.

There's adventure, danger, Scottish folklore, friendship and loyalty and heroism. To say nothing of flawed characters. Lots to enjoy from the comfort of your favourite reading chair.