by Sara Gruen
Penguin Random House
Buy from Indigo
Description: After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love
The Good Stuff
- The best part of this novel was the friendship between the three very different women
- A gifted storyteller, even when there are holes in the story, you sorta let them go, because she has you hooked with her words
- I know its silly but I enjoyed the paranormal aspects of the story, they were subtly done
- not sure what was that hooked me into the story, but there was something (Don't get me wrong, there were weakness' to the story, but most of the time, I really didn't care
- Author really does her research, she really puts you into the heart and time of the story
- Made me feel like I was in the Scottish highlands
- Excellent beach read (or for a cold winter Calgary night)
- While there was some seriously uneven character development, I did enjoy the development of Maddie. She developed some serious ovaries - impressive for the the time the story is set in
- I'm a total sucker for Scottish settings and I truly wish I lived in this setting. I would totally fit in
- Did like the romance when it did happen (but still think it came out of nowhere)
The Not So Good Stuff
- Uneven character development (would like to go into more, but as always - spoilers)
- Love interest wasn't slowly building - it was just sorta of -- wham - and in your face
- Man Maddie's father was a douche bag
- Great idea, which could have been so much better. I honestly don't think this has anything to do with the authors talent, more the pressure to be published by a certain date
"And risk being ripped limb from limb by roaming packs of thieving girls"
"He'd simply decided I wasn't worth saving, apparently without even taking the time to sleep on it."
"I paused beneath the arched entrance, where the drawbridge had once been, imagining all the people who had passed in and out over the centuries, every one of them carrying a combination of desire, hope, jealousy, despair, grief, love, and every other human emotion; a combination that made each one as unique as a snowflake, yet linked all of them inextricably to every other human being from the dawn of time to the end of it."
"Life. There it was. In all its beautiful, tragic fragility, there was still life, and those of us who'd been lucky enough to survive opened our arms wide and embraced it."
I received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review