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Archive: Other Books > At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen 3 stars

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Pope (jenjunum) | 902 comments my first review here, so tell me if I made any mistakes!
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

Maggie, her husband, Ellis, and their friend, Hank are spoiled rich kids living in Philadelphia during WWII. They get totally drunk at a NYE party and embarrass Ellis' father, who foots their party bill and general lavish lifestyle. He cuts them off and they decide to travel in US warships to Scotland in order to get photographic proof of the Loch Ness monster, because, of course!

The first half is rough, these characters are genuinely terrible people. The author is clearly setting them up this way, she reminds the reader of the time period and how crazy the idea to travel to Europe in the middle of the war is and how oblivious the characters are to this.

The second half picks up and it's an interesting reminder of how different the world was for women not very long ago and how things like divorce were so rare. There were sprinklings of magic here and there, which felt a little out of place to me. There's a little love story, a little forbidden romance and lots of class commentary. Overall I just liked it. I enjoyed Water for Elephants so I expected to like this one a lot more.


message 2: by Cora (new)

Cora (corareading) | 1406 comments Great job with your first review.


message 3: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Great job on your review. I also thought it started out rough, and overall was a bit predictable. I enjoyed the secondary characters in Scotland though.


message 4: by Nicole R (last edited Mar 05, 2016 03:12PM) (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments I adored Water for Elephants and this was definitely not up to that level, however, it was better than Ape House that I ranked it higher than you did just by comparison.

Congrats on your first review!


message 5: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments Very nice first review, you did fine!

This book did not compare to Water for Elephants, nowhere near the level of that book.

There were a number of things about this book I didn't like, but in particular I felt it was very misleading in playing up the Loch Ness Monster, which really played a very small part in the book.


message 6: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments Like so many others, I loved Water for Elephants. I went on to read her equestrian novels Riding Lessons and Flying Changes which were decidedly 3 star books.

I'm waiting for her next home run, and it doesn't sound like this book is it.


message 7: by Jennifer (last edited Mar 07, 2016 08:32AM) (new)

Jennifer Pope (jenjunum) | 902 comments Funny, looks like we're all in agreement. I could see where Gruen was going, I just wish she'd gotten there sooner or played up (view spoiler).


message 8: by Olivermagnus (new)

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 2223 comments Good review! I've owned this for quite awhile but it continues to move around on The Leaning Tower of TBR.


message 9: by Marti (new)

Marti (coloreader) | 84 comments Could it be Gruen is a one hit wonder? I love Elephants, but did not care for Ape House at all and have not picked up another of her books.


message 10: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8619 comments I must be one of the few who like Ape House, as well. Not quite as much as Water for Elephants, but I still liked Ape House.


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