After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son's inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend Hank decide that the only way to regain the Colonel's favour is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed - by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster - Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
The trio find themselves amid the devastation of World War II, in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. As the men go out looking for the monster, Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Gradually the friendships she forms open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but to the beauty and surprising possibilities of life.
'If I needed a reminder why I am such a fan of Sara Gruen's books, her latest novel provides plenty. Unique in its setting and scope, this impeccably researched historical fiction is full of the gorgeous prose I've come to expect from this author. And even after the final page, its message still resonates with me: The monsters we seek may be right in front of us. In fact, the only fault I can find with this book is that I've already finished it.' - Jodi Picoult, New York Timesbestselling author of Leaving Time
'I devoured this book. Once again Sara Gruen has proven herself to be one of America's most compelling storytellers. You might be tempted to rush to get to the answers at the end -but don't, or you'll miss the delectable journey that is Gruen's prose.' - Kathryn Stockett, New York Times bestselling author of The Help