At The Water's Edge by Sara GruenAt The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

At The Water's Edge

bySara Gruen

Paperback | November 10, 2015

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In her stunning new novel, Gruen returns to the kind of storytelling she excelled at in Water for Elephants: a historical timeframe in an unusual setting with a creature who may or may not be the hero of the story.
     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 color-blindness. 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. Meanwhile, Maddie undergoes a social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and, finally, to love.
SARA GRUEN, the author of Ape House and Water for Elephants, moved to the United States from Canada in 1999 for a job as a technical writer. She was laid off in 2001 and decided to pursue a lifelong dream of writing fiction. She has published four novels, each involving animals as full-fledged characters. Gruen lives in North Carolina ...
Title:At The Water's EdgeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 7.98 × 5.18 × 0.88 inPublished:November 10, 2015Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385664494

ISBN - 13:9780385664493

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Ending This was a good book, with a slow beginning. Some may think this is a predictable story, but I think otherwise. A good book if you like Downton Abbey, or Anne. The story is however, set in the 1940s.
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from enjoyable but easy to figure out the plot.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sweet Story It is a sweet love story set in a troubling time in history, but still delivers that bit of suspense and interest. I really enjoyed this book as I found the story intriguing. In reference to other reviews, it is true that this book is not written as an epic adventure, essentially becoming a love story. Still, that story and the character development was enchanting to read, and you cannot help yourself but cheer on the characters. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Phenominal! There are a few slow parts, but overall this is a wonderful read - great historical mixed with romance.
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! A sweet story nicely written. Couldn't put it down, and when I finished it, I read it again.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good book! Loved this! Historical, intrigue, romance... a lot of great things all wrapped up in one great story!
Date published: 2017-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very Good book Writing was good but the story was better!
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Something about it To be honest, not much happens in this book. However, I was totally captivated by the writing. Maybe it was the great detail in which Sara Gruen writes, or perhaps my recent trip to Scotland, but I found every bit of the novel easy to picture. I enjoyed getting to know each character and their back story, and ultimately, it was an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I literally could not put this book down At the Water’s Edge is a magnificently gripping and poignant story of one woman’s struggles to make a place for herself in the world and live a life of meaning at a time where everyone and everything around her has gone mad. At once a historical fiction, romance and adventure novel, Sara Gruen has wonderfully captured the atmosphere of the small Scottish village and community of Drumnadrochit that serves as the backdrop to most of the novel. The characters are brilliantly written and developed and the reader is compelled to have feelings for them, feelings that range from love or hate, sympathy or disgust. I literally could not put this book down. The need to find out what would happen to Maddie, Ellis, Hank, Angus, Meg and Anne was just so strong and kept me turning the pages at almost breakneck speed. The plot was intriguing, the characters superb and the writing absolutely flawless. What else could you possibly ask for of this book? Nothing because it was absolutely perfect!
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jealous of her writing How she can hook you instantly, then discuss everything from relationships, friendships, women's rights, the Holocaust, the Loch Ness Monster, and never disappoint? I don't know, but she does. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4 Stars I loved this book. It was an interesting and unique story. You won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4 Stars Another great book by Sara Gruen! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very enjoyable story This was a wonderful book. Hard to put down. Gruen is a masterful storyteller. The story was believable and original. I think I enjoyed this more than "Water for Elephants". I had this on my wish lost for some time and only wish I had bought and read it sooner.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable story I think this topped "Water for Elephants". The characters were interesting and so was the storyline. There was enough of a twist that it made me want to keep reading while still be believable. I enjoyed this one.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rewarding Read This book had me wondering exactly who I was to root for when it started off as none of the characters seemed particularly reputable. As the story unwound it was at parts engaging, infuriating, enriching and ultimately exciting.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really loved this book I bought this book because I had read "Water for elephants" & "The ape house" and I was pleasently surprised at how it different. I expected another book full of animals like the others but this book is more about love, or hate maybe. It is beautifully written and I enjoyed it very much. It is not a heavy read, very easy! I suggested this book for our book club and can't wait to see what people have to say about it! The only negative thing I would have to say is that I wish there would of been more about the Loch Ness moster and Scotland in general!
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Almost a great story. A feel-good story with almost rich characters; touched too briefly by history, action, legend and war, the story dances on the precipice of offering thrills and adventure, but settles for a bit less... wraps up with a courteous closure leaving no loose ends, if you like that sort of thing.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent characters, fun setting This book was the perfect vacation read. The book transports you from the wealth of society in America to the hardships of rural Britain in the Second World War. The setting was more interesting than most World Ward Two romances, and the characters were surprisingly and pleasantly complex. I was also surprised by the twist to this romance. I will confess I was hoping for more Loch Ness!
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sweet! I loved each character, Ellis, Hank, Angus, Anna, Meg, and especially Maddie. Sweet story! Very enjoyable.
Date published: 2016-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Water's Edge This was an enjoyable love story, although I wasn't really drawn in until more than half way through the book. I enjoyed it more knowing part of the story was based on true events.
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from At the waters edge Very easy to read, wraps up rather conveniently. I would recommend to anyone else for a vacation read
Date published: 2015-09-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from At the Waters Edge An odd scenario finally leads one to a gripping second half. Hard to stick with it at first but worth it in the end.
Date published: 2015-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Loved every page, finished the book in record time and was winning it never ended. Sara Gruen is an amazing author, love her work and At The Waters Edge lived up to my expectations.
Date published: 2015-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this Novel. I adored this book. It reminded me me very much of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. The landscapes and descriptions are beautiful but more than that it's the classic story of realizing the monster you're looking is closer than you think. I don't know how to explain it other than that it's quiet, thoughtful, and had me entranced from the very first sentence. Even with Maddie stuck in the Inn for much of the novel I was never bored. I would love to see this one as a film one day. It's a definite recommendation for anyone who enjoys romance with a bit of depth.
Date published: 2015-07-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from at the waters edge Quite disappointing. The story had so much potential at the beginning but deteriorated into a boy meets girl very quickly.
Date published: 2015-07-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from At the waters edge Well. It took a while to get there but I get what the author was trying to illustrate..the premise just did not match what I thought I was reading
Date published: 2015-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Loved every page!
Date published: 2015-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Poignant Love Story! Set against the historical backdrop of WW11, "At the Water's Edge" is a poignant love story that begins in Scotland in 1942 with the suicide of Agnes Màiri Grant who loses her unborn child after her husband is reported missing in action and presumed dead. The story quickly switches to 1945 when Maddie and Ellis Hyde venture to the Scottish Highlands after an embarrassing incident leaves them cut-off from Colonel Hyde's financial support. To Maddie's dismay Ellis is determined to regain his father's favor by proving that the Colonel's pictures of the Loch Ness monster are not a fabricated hoax, that the creature exists. After suffering a harrowing experience at sea Maddie, Ellis and their friend Hank Boyd arrive in the small town of Drummadrochit that's also haunted by the destruction, despair and death of the war that creeps over the isolated landscape in nightly German bombing raids. Undaunted the men begin the investigation of the loch, looking for any trace of the monster while Maddie alone at the local hotel learns about the harsh reality of life, about friendship and even love. In a well-written and moving plot that connects past and present and is set against the ravages of a brutal and pitiless war in Europe, Maddie Hyde a wealthy, sheltered socialite in an odd twist of fate begins a journey of self-discovery that has her facing the shattering truth about her past and her marriage. In a story about a hunt for a creature of legend, Sarah Gruen crafts an innovative romance that juxtaposes the monster that is Hitler's war with all its death and deprivations against the monster that arises in Maddie's marriage to threaten her health and welfare. Woven into Maddie's awakening to the fragility of life are elements of desire, hope, heartbreak, jealousy, grief and love. Intoxicating and chilling in its realism the plot heats up in intensity and suspense when Ellis begins to reveal his true nature and hunger for money. Among the characters that add passion and power to this captivating drama Maddie Hyde stands out as a woman who begins to shed her self-absorption and flightiness when she's forced to confront the horror of war after the SS Mallory is sunk by a torpedo. Slowly she emerges from her privileged cocoon showing kindness, generosity and a feisty, confident spirit in her relationship with the gentle but superstitious young maid Anna Mckenzie , and the lively and friendly Meg. As Maddie who's haunted by a lack of parental affection gains insight into her flaws and faults, she gains confidence and compassion that wins her not only close female friendships that she's never had before but the unconditional love of a man respected in the community. Maddie's husband Ellis Hyde the spoiled , handsome son in a family of wealth and privilege masks his deceitful, cowardly self-serving traits behind charm and optimism. Similarly Hank Boyd is rich, arrogant, conceited and easily manipulated by the volatility of Ellis. In contrast rugged, weathered Captain Angus Grant a brave war hero haunted by tragic loss hides his position, influence, kind and humble nature under a rough, no-nonsense facade. It is these characters among a host of others that add emotional intensity to a story you can't put down. Having enjoyed "Water For Elephants" I wasn't disappointed by "At the Water's Edge". It's well-crafted plot, complex and memorable characters make it well-worth reading.
Date published: 2015-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Gothic Romance In the same vein as Whitney or Holt, this is a tale of a young woman caught in a web of lies that lead her to marry a man who is totally unsuited. And when she finds herself in the back of beyond in Scotland looking for a monster, she soon learns which monster is real and that true friends are the most important part of life.
Date published: 2015-06-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not nearly what I'd hoped for This one seemed more like a romance novel than a tale of intrigue in the Scottish loch against a World War background. Gruen's characters are excellent...some loveable, some repugnant, but well written. The story though seemed to lose its thread and never quite catch it fully. Not a bad read; just not as good as previous or as interesting as I'd expected from all the blurbs.
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rivetting This is the first book I've read by the author, although I've wanted to read the others. I can't believe I waited this long! I just loved this! It had a little bit of everything I enjoy: historical fiction, quirky characters, and suspense. Although I'm not a romance reader, I found the love story just beautiful. Mostly I enjoyed the suspense as the secrets were revealed throughout and the dramatic ending. I also enjoyed all the characters; the Scottish ones were adorable. Maddie was an engaging, believable character and I enjoyed the personal journey and awakening she went through during the story. Hank and Ellis, on the other hand, are not likable, nor are they meant to be; Ellis, I found to be the weakest written character being somewhat unbelievable and over-the-top while I had wished Hank had been developed more. I found myself wanting to know more about his point of view, what he knew and didn't know and his thoughts/feelings on the situation, something the reader is never made privy to. It felt as if his character was important in a way that never fully materialized. In all, it was a riveting story that took me two sittings to read, both lasting until the wee hours of the night.
Date published: 2015-04-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Movie in the Making Three young adults, naive of world events, rich, and irresponsible encounter life changing events searching for the Loch Ness Monster. a story that leaves you exasperated with the naïveté of the characters. Barely is it about anyone but themselves. No doubt movie material , not complex but romantic if that's your thing
Date published: 2015-04-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A marriage in difficulty! Maddie is married to Ellis who comes from a wealthy family. Hank is Ellis' best friends and the two are inseparable. Because Hank has flat feet and Ellis is color blind, they were not called up to serve in World War II. The Colonel is Ellis' father, and he believes the flat feet and color blindness are just an excuse to escape serving. After a terrible family fight, the trio travel to Scotland deterimined to photograph the Loch Ness Monster, something the Colonel had attempted to do many years prior. In this way, Ellis hopes to reconcile with his father. It is when the three arrive in Scotland that matters begin to deteriorate. Ellis and Hank begin to drink very heavily. Maddie is often left alone at the inn where they are staying, where she is an outsider, and there is enmity towards any strangers. The heavy drinking begins to affect Maddie's marriage and Ellis' behavior turns cold and hateful towards her. What is strong within this novel is how the characters change and develop over time. All three of the main cast undergo tremendous alterations in personality, motivation, and behavior. Sometimes, the changes happened so swiftly, that it was hard to believe. Having said this, the story is still very engaging and I was fascinated by it. The author writes well and the storyline kept my interest throughout. A little bit on the dark side, it has a very rich plot and strong characterization. A very enjoyable story.
Date published: 2015-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving story set in Scotland in 1945 I fell in love with Maggie as her character developed from a spoiled, wealthy, party girl into a woman of integrity and passion. We meet Maggie on New Year's Eve 1944 in Philadelphia and travel with her by freighter through U-boat infested waters to her arrival January 14, 1945 in the Scottish Highlands where she is confronted with the folly of her husband Ellis and his best friend Hank's quest to capture the Lochness Monster on film. The depths of treachery that Ellis will to go to achieve his life goal of wealth and a good name puts Maddie in danger many times. Her friendship with Anne and Meg grow as Maddie learns basic life skills at the inn where Ellis has left her behind. The reality of women's roles and expectations in 1945 are highlighted in good experiences and brutal ones. Definitely a book I would highly recommend. Thanks to Net Galley for access to an advance copy of this novel.
Date published: 2015-02-05

Read from the Book

EXCERPT Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, December 31, 1944 “Five! Four! Three! Two!” The word “one” had already formed on our lips, but before it could slide off there was an explosion overhead. As screams rose around us, I pitched myself against Ellis, tossing champagne over both of us. He threw an arm protectively around my head and didn’t spill a drop. When the screams petered out, I heard a tinkling above us, like glass breaking, along with an ominous groaning. I peeked out from my position against Ellis’s chest. “What the hell?” said Hank, without a hint of surprise. I think he was the only person in the room who hadn’t jumped. All eyes turned upward. Thirty feet above us, a massive chandelier swung on its silver-plated chain, throwing shimmering prisms across the walls and floor. It was as if a rainbow had burst into a million pieces, which were now dancing across the marble, silks, and damask. We watched, transfixed. I glanced nervously at Ellis’s face, and then back at the ceiling. An enormous cork landed next to General Pew, our host at what was easily the most anticipated party of the year, bouncing outrageously like a bloated mushroom. A split second later a single crystal the size of a quail’s egg fell from the sky and dropped smack into his cocktail, all but emptying it. He stared, bemused and tipsy, then calmly took out his handkerchief and dabbed his jacket. As everyone burst into laughter, I noticed a footman in old-fashioned knee breeches perched near the top of a stepladder, pallid, motionless, struggling to contain the biggest bottle of champagne I’d ever seen. On the marble table in front of him was a structure of glasses arranged so that if someone poured continuously into the top one, they would eventually all be filled. As a rush of bubbles cascaded over the sides of the bottle and into the footman’s sleeves, he stared in white-faced horror at Mrs. Pew. Hank assessed the situation and apparently took pity on the fellow. He raised his glass, as well as his other hand, and with the flair and flourish of a ringmaster boomed, “One! Happy New Year!” The orchestra struck up “Auld Lang Syne.” General Pew conducted with his empty glass, and Mrs. Pew beamed at his side—not only was her party a smashing success, but it now had a comic anecdote people would speak of for years. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne . . . Those who knew the words sang along. I had refreshed my memory that afternoon in order to be ready for the big moment, but when cork met crystal, the lyrics were knocked straight out of my brain. By the time we got to running about slopes and picking daisies fine, I gave up and joined Ellis and Hank in la-la-la’ing our way through the rest. They waved their glasses in solidarity with General Pew, their free arms looped around my waist. At the end, Ellis leaned in to kiss me. Hank looked to one side, then the other, and appeared baffled. “Hmm. I seem to have misplaced my date. What have I done with her?” “What you haven’t done is marry her,” I said and then snorted, nearly expelling champagne through my nose. I had sipped my way through at least four glasses on an empty stomach and was feeling bold. His mouth opened in mock offense, but even he couldn’t pretend ignorance about Violet’s growing desperation at the seemingly endless nature of their courtship. “Did she actually leave?” he said, scanning the room a little more seriously. “I’m not sure,” I said. “I haven’t seen her in a while.” “Then who will give me my New Year’s kiss?” he asked, looking bereft. “Oh, come here, you big lug.” I stood on tiptoe and planted a kiss on his cheek. “You’ve always got us. And we don’t even require a ring.” Ellis threw us an amused side eye and motioned to Hank that he should wipe my lipstick off his cheek. Beyond him, the footman was still balanced on the second to highest rung of the stepladder. He was bent at the waist, trying to aim the bottle at the top glass, and had gone from pale to purple with the effort. His mouth was pressed into a grim line. I looked around to see if reinforcements were coming and didn’t see any. “Ellis? I think he needs help,” I said, tilting my head in the footman’s direction. Ellis glanced over. “You’re right,” he said, handing me his glass. “Hank? Shall we?” “Do you really think she’s left?” Hank said wistfully, his lips hovering near the edge of his glass. “She was a vision tonight. That dress was the color of the gloaming, the sequins jealous stars in the galaxy of her night, but nothing, nothing could compare to the milky skin of her—” “Boys! Concentrate!” I said. Hank snapped back to life. “What?” “Maddie thinks that man needs help,” said Ellis. “That thing’s enormous,” I said. “I don’t think he can hold it on his own.” “I should think not. That’s a Balthazar,” said Ellis. “That’s not a Balthazar,” Hank said. “That’s a Nebuchadnezzar.” The footman’s arms were quaking. He began pouring but missed. Champagne fell between the glasses, splashing onto the table and floor. His gloves and sleeves were saturated. “Uh-oh,” said Hank. “Uh-oh indeed,” said Ellis. “Mrs. Pew will not be pleased.” “I rather suspect Mrs. Pew is never pleased,” Hank said. Rivulets of sweat ran down the footman’s forehead. It was plain to see that he was going to fall forward, right onto the glasses. I looked to Mrs. Pew for help, but she had disappeared. I tried to signal the General, but he was holding court with a replenished cocktail. I dug my elbow into Ellis’s side. “Go!” I said urgently. “Go help him.” “Who’s she talking about?” said Hank. I glared at him, and then some more, until he remembered. “Oh! Of course.” He tried to hand me his glass, but I was already holding two. He set his on the floor and yanked his lapels in a businesslike manner, but before he and Ellis could mobilize, help arrived in the form of other servants bearing four smaller but still very large bottles, and three more stepladders. Mrs. Pew glided in behind them to make sure all was under control. “Now those are Balthazars,” said Hank, with a knowing nod. He retrieved his drink from the floor and drained it. “No. Those are Jeroboams,” said Ellis. “I think I know my champagne,” said Hank. “And I don’t?” “I think you’re both wrong. Those are Ebenezers,” I said. That stopped them. I broke into tipsy giggles. “Ebenezer? Get it? Christmas? The holidays? Oh never mind. Someone get me another. I spilled mine.” “Yes. On me,” said Ellis. Hank spun around and set his glass on the tray of a passing waiter. He clapped his hands. “All right, who’s up for a snowball fight?” We toppled outside and made snow angels right there in front of the Pews’ home and all the cars and liveried drivers that were lined up waiting for guests. I gathered one snowball and managed to land it on Ellis’s chest before screeching and running back inside. In the vast foyer, Ellis helped brush the snow off my back and hair. Hank hung his jacket over my bare shoulders, and the two of them guided me to a trio of ornate, embroidered chairs near a roaring fire. Hank, who had had the presence of mind to grab my mink stole on the way back in, shook it off and draped it over the edge of the rosewood table in front of us. Ellis went in search of hot toddies, and I peeled off my gloves, which were stained and soaked. “God, look at me,” I said, gazing down at myself. “I’m a mess.” My silk dress and shoes were ruined. I tried in vain to smooth out the water spots, and checked quickly to make sure I still had both earrings. The gloves were of no consequence, but I hoped the stole could be saved. If not, I’d succeeded in destroying my entire outfit. “You’re not a mess. You’re magnificent,” said Hank. “Well, I was,” I lamented. I’d spent the afternoon at Salon Antoine having my hair and makeup done, and had eaten almost nothing for two days before so my dress would drape properly. It was a beautiful pomegranate-red silk, the same material as my shoes. It matched my ruby engagement ring, and all of it set off my green eyes. Ellis had given me the dress and shoes a few days earlier, and before the party I had presented myself to him like a flamenco dancer, twirling so the skirt would take flight. He professed his delight, but I felt a familiar pang of sorrow as I tried, yet again, to imagine exactly what he was seeing. My husband was profoundly color-blind, so to him my ensemble must have been a combination of grays. I wondered which ones, and how many variations there were, and whether they had different depths. I couldn’t imagine a world without color. Hank dropped into a chair, leaving one leg dangling over its arm. He pulled his bow tie open and undid his cuffs and collar. He looked like a half-drowned Clark Gable. I shivered into his jacket, holding it closed from the inside. Hank patted his chest and sides. He stopped suddenly and lifted an eyebrow. “Oh!” I said, realizing what he was looking for. I retrieved the cigarette case from his inside pocket and handed it to him. He flipped it open and held it out in offering. I shook my head. He took a cigarette for himself and snapped the case shut. “So, how about it then?” he said, his eyes glistening playfully. “Shall we go get us a monster?” “Sure,” I said, waving my hand. “We’ll hop on the next liner.” It was what I always said when the topic came up, which was often, and always after boatloads of booze. It was our little game. “I think getting away would do Ellis good. He seems depressed.” “Ellis isn’t depressed,” I said. “You just want to escape Violet’s clutches.” “I do not,” he protested. “You didn’t even notice when she left tonight!” Hank cocked his head and nodded, conceding the point. “I suppose I should send flowers.” “First thing in the morning,” I said. He nodded. “Absolutely. At the crack of noon. Scout’s honor.” “And I think you should marry her. You need civilizing, and I need a female friend. I have only you and Ellis.” He clutched a hand to his heart, mortally wounded. “What are we, chopped liver?” “Only the finest foie gras. Seriously, though. How long are you going to make her wait?” “I’m not sure. I don’t know if I’m ready to be civilized yet. But when I am, Violet can have the honors. She can pick a mean set of china.” As I set my drink down, I caught another glimpse of my dress and shoes. “I think maybe Ineed civilizing. Will you just marry her already?” “What is this, an ambush?” He tapped the cigarette against the top of the case and put it between his lips. A servant appeared from nowhere to light it. “Mm, thanks,” Hank said, inhaling. He leaned back and let smoke drift from his mouth to his nose in a swirling white ribbon that he re-inhaled. He called this maneuver the “Irish Waterfall.” “If I do marry her, Ellis and I won’t have a hope, because you girls will gang up on us.” “We won’t be able to. The distribution will be equal.” “They’re never equal between the sexes. You already gang up on Ellis and me all by yourself.” “I do not!” “You’re ganging up on me right now, at this very minute, single-handedly baiting the marriage trap. I tell you, it’s the ultimate female conspiracy. You’re all in on it. Personally, I can’t see what all the fuss is about.” Ellis returned, followed by a waiter who set steaming crystal glasses with handles on the table in front of us. Ellis flopped into a chair. Hank set his cigarette in an ashtray and picked up his toddy. He blew steam from the surface and took a cautious sip. “So, Ellis, our darling girl here was just saying we should go on a trip,” he said. “Find us a plesiosaur.”

Editorial Reviews

A New York Times BestsellerA National Post Best Book of the Year Nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & ThrillerNational Bestseller"At the Water's Edge is a compelling, enthralling read, a novel which captivates and rewards, paying off in a series of emotional and narrative twists. . . . We have all seen this sort of story before; there is something especially powerful about seeing it so deftly embraced and heedlessly executed. At the Water's Edge is comfort reading of the highest order." ―The Globe and Mail"Set in World War II-era Scotland . . . it is here, in this cold, foggy land of lochs and faeries, deprived of the comforts of home and torn from her usual social context, that privileged Maddie will finally become an adult, opening her mind and heart to learn about the cruelties, dangers and privations of war, the arbitrariness of social class barriers and the true meaning of love and friendship. . . . Gruen does a good job of hooking the reader from the first page." ―Toronto Star"If Water for Elephants proved anything, it's that Gruen is a master at the period piece—and her latest novel is just another stunning example of that craft. . . . you will soak [it] up hungrily in one sitting." ―Glamour"Take a hunt for the Loch Ness monster, set it during the last, tumultuous year of World War II and add a troubled marriage between an emotionally fragile heiress and a hard-drinking, sexually ambivalent charmer, and you've got the makings of a sensational novel. . . . utterly winning. . . . a satisfying novel, with final chapters full of riveting scenes and poetic justice." ―Miami Herald "I devoured this novel in one night. . . . Researched to a T, with wartime factoids tucked into nearly every scene, this novel is a fairy tale, to be sure, but its richly sewn quilt of monsters lurking, chauvinistic debauchery, unintended self-discovery and hard-won female camaraderie anchor the story." ―Austin Chronicle"Maddie Hyde is a Sara Gruen heroine. She's bold, she's warm, and she's been cast out of Philadelphia polite society." —NPR"Gruen's depiction of life during wartime is powerfully evocative." —USA Today"What an interesting book! . . . This story of love, deception, class and morality weaves elements of Scottish folklore and mysticism into its pages, as well as vividly recreating its period in history. Readers are sure to enjoy the evolution of Maddie Hyde in this well-written and captivating book." ―Vancouver Sun “A page-turner of a novel that rollicks along with crisp historical detail, waves of deep emotions and a dash of Scottish mystical mythology.”―Star-Telegram (Fort Worth) "At the Water’s Edge is an old-school romance. . . . Finding love and lust in the Highlands is quite the thing these days. [And] love among the nettles is still some fun." ―New York Daily NewsFrom the Hardcover edition.