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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

I have been singularly successful in getting books from Netgalley. At the beginning I found it rather disconcerting when I was turned down for various reasons - geographical, to not having enough followers etc but I have found that very recently books are being released to me and for this I am very grateful. English print books in this part of the world are exorbitant and hard to find and getting new releases albeit impossible. 

This was another spectacular find. I haven't read anything of this author for the reasons given above and getting this was very lucky.

Told during the period of almost the end of WWII we have Maddie and Ellis and his friend Hank, privileged and crass setting forth for a remote village in Scotland looking for the fabled Loch Ness monster. Ellis's father supposedly found the monster years before but was finally discovered to be a forgery of photographs and is in disgrace in this village who felt that he let everyone down.

Maddie is naïve, silly and you want to shake her up. You wonder where in the world she has been living all this time and her being young is no excuse. Ellis on the surface like Hank seems good natured but condescending, full of pride of being who they are and very demeaning in their attitude towards others. Maddie however as time goes on is able to judge for herself not just the frightening situation she is in, but also the character and nature of her husband and Hank and knows that extricating herself from this mess of a marriage is going to be very tough. Especially at a time when a husband was able to not just control his wife, but dictate to her what she should and shouldn't do, control her money, and even incapacitate her by admitting her to an asylum which he always has, as his trump card.

The story of these three characters set against WWII, the difficulties and scarcities faced by the villagers during this period and how they overcome it as best as they could, keeping a stiff upper lip, managing with zero resources and somehow surviving are beautifully and descriptively told.

I was very glad though that the story ended happily though it seemed a bit too neat! glad nevertheless!!!!

The book sent to me via Netgalley - Random House Publishing Group. Thank you.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I've enjoyed everything I've read by this author, so it's nice to read that you enjoyed this one as well.

Unknown said...

I loved Water for Elephants, but wasn't a fan of Ape House. I have a copy of this one and it is good to see that you enjoyed it. Hopefully I will too!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

Oh, this one sounds wonderful! I'm so glad you're getting access to books through NteGalley now. :-)

Blodeuedd said...

The more books you get, the more books you get ;)

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

I like the sounds of this book. I've not read any of Gruen's previous novels, but I think I'm going to try this.

Thanks for posting your review.

Kaye said...

I really liked Water for Elephants and wondered what this one was about. It sounds very interesting and something that I would like.

Glad Netgalley is giving you some good books to read. You always write a very nice review and don't give away the whole plot. I like that!

Literary Feline said...

This will likely be my first by the author and I am looking forward to reading it.

Kathryn T said...

I am glad to hear you are getting more books from NetGalley - publishers must realise you are trustworthy and really in the internet age readers read a blog from all over the world.
Books here in New Zealand are expensive too, I get mine from the Book Depository in UK often. No charge for postage and cheap. They post to Sri Lanka too I see.