Book Review: At the Water’s Edge


veronica | I am a huge fan of Water for Elephants and had high hopes for Sara Gruen’s new novel, At the Water’s Edge, set in Scotland with the Loch Ness Monster. I can’t say I’m impressed.

My main complaint is and always will be characters. I can understand having to write a villain (or two) into your novels but not only were Ellis and Hank so unlikable, they had zero redeeming qualities. While it took me at least 80 pages before I could even see Maddie as anything but a spoiled princess, I eventually grew to like her despite some bad moral choices.

Whereas Meg, Anna and Angus were great characters, I felt they should’ve had a stronger voice. As with all of Gruen’s novels, there’s always the romance interwoven but unfortunately I don’t think she really succeeded in At The Water’s Edge. Maddie had very little interaction with Angus until the deed was done.

What I found more interesting was the mention of the Coanaig, which is an omen of death. I wanted to know more of that and how she came to be known as the Coanaig but other than being mentioned twice, we read no more of her. I was also disappointed in how little the Loch Ness Monster was mentioned.

While the ending wrapped things up nicely, including the end of WWII, I felt the story to be rushed and unsatisfactory, but perhaps that’s my problem because I was expecting Water for Elephants.



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March 31, 2015

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