Today I finished "At the Water's Edge". Sara Gruen, the author, also wrote "Water for Elephants", which I read not too long ago.
In this novel, set in early 1945, the main character is an American woman visiting Scotland with her husband and his best friend. Back in Philadelphia, they are socialites with more money than direction or purpose, and their trip to Scotland in the middle of World War II is more of a frolic than anything else.
They are after a sighting -- and hopefully photographic proof -- of the Loch Ness monster. This fact, coupled with their truly awe-inspiring rudeness toward everyday, working-class people, alienates the sympathy of the local populace with surprising speed.
Mild hijinks ensue and our heroine, frequently abandoned at the inn while the men go adventuring for days at a time, winds up interested in, attracted to, and understanding of the hardworking locals.
I have to admit, here, that I didn't feel captivated by this book. The conflicts seemed overly contrived, and because the villain spent so much time off-stage, I didn't feel very invested in or concerned about the threat to our heroine. I never really believed she was in any danger -- certainly none that a bit of stiff upper lip couldn't prevent.
With all its faults I preferred "Water for Elephants" to this one. Still - I'm glad I read it and it was a nice way to pass a few hours over the last week or so.
Up next -- Kazuo Ishiguro does it again!