Friday, May 22, 2015

478 (2015 #35). At the Water's Edge

by Sara Gruen

I had high hopes for this book, since I loved Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, and from its description, this appeared to be historical fiction.  Alas, World War II is only a backdrop, and it's really a (rather bad) romance.

Madeline (Maddie) Hyde, her husband Ellis, and their friend Hank are spoiled, clueless Philadelphia socialites who go to Scotland at the height of World War II to search for the Loch Ness monster.  Ellis' father, Colonel Hyde,  was accused of faking photos of the monster years earlier, and when Ellis makes the mistake of making fun of his father at a party, he is financially cut off.  He and Hank decide to photograph the monster themselves and get back in the Colonel's good graces.

Ellis (especially) and Hank are despicable characters who annoy the locals, especially with their expectations of being waited upon.  Maddie eventually learns to be of some use and even makes friends with the two women, Maggie and Anna, who work at the tavern/inn where they stay.  She's also drawn to the mysterious operator of the inn, Angus.

There's not much history in this book (although some of the details about blackout blinds, bombing shelters, and rationing are interesting), and not much about the Loch Ness monster either (what there is adds some fantasy elements to the book).  While Maddie's character develops a little, I still found her to be wimpish, and the romance was not believable at all.  This book was a disappointment all around.  Pretty cover, though.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[This e-book was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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