CapRadio Reads

CapRadio Reads is a book club and online reading community, hosted by Capital Public Radio. Moderator Vicki Lorini and host Donna Apidone encourage you to participate in person or on the website.

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At The Water's Edge

April 2016 book selection

At The Water's Edge

by Sara Gruen

April 6, 2016

I’ve been reading a lot of books, reading about books, and reading about the people who write books. But the people who are most on my mind are the people who read books and discuss books.

CapRadioReads has been around for more than three years. We have enjoyed countless, wonderful interviews with authors who visit to talk with Donna Apidone. Those evenings are interesting and fun, but they are just one component of our group.

Back to basics: We are a book club. We thrive on getting together to talk to each other about books. What makes our gatherings special? Curiosity. People who come to CapRadioReads are curious about authors and why they write. We want to know how authors develop a plot, how they research their topics and what they think of the results of their efforts. More than that, we are genuinely curious to hear the opinions of others in the group. Some of the faces change from month to month and, in general, it is a warm and welcoming bunch of avid readers.

If you’ve been thinking about visiting CapRadioReads, this is the perfect time. We still have space at the table for our two meetings – 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12th. We will discuss Sara Gruen’s latest book At The Water’s Edge.

I'm curious about what you think, so join us.

March 30, 2016

Sara Gruen, the author of our April selection, At The Water's Edge, is an animal lover. In fact, she says her goat is the world's fussiest pet (anyone who loves goats is alright in my book). She is also a bit of a Loch Ness Monster expert. She has done lots of research into the history and validity of sightings. Apparently, alleged visions increased with the construction of a fairly major road near the Loch. Gruen tells a story of a woman in the 1940's, in the same era as this book, who claimed to see the monster crossing the road with a sheep in its mouth. Really?

Do you believe it's real? Join in our conversation about the book and Nessie. We have two meetings scheduled for Tuesday, the 12th.

March 23, 2016

Imagine a stay in a quaint Scottish pub, with home cooking and a caring host, and a heathery, foggy landscape. It may seem a dream of a vacation, but for Maggie, her husband and his friend, Hank, it's not all it's cracked up to be. 

At The Water's Edge is our pick for CapRadio Reads in April, and the book’s idyllic setting turns very troubling and dark. It is, however, a place for Maddie's metamorphosis. Her transformation is one of the redeeming aspects of this tale, and what happens around Maddie has as much influence on her as what happens to her. 

I hope you enjoyed this selection. I chose it because sometimes an imperfect book is more interesting than a perfect one. This book’s imperfection is likely to inspire quite a discussion at our meetings on April 12th. Sign up for a place at the table at 2 p.m. or at 6 p.m. 

March 16, 2016

Although Sara Gruen's book, At The Water's Edge, has real-life escapades on the sea during World War II, the story itself could have been something a young Dominick Dunne would have written for Vanity Fair. 

We start out in Philadelphia with a group of family and friends who are too privileged, too rich and, possibly, not too bright. Despicable is a word that comes to mind to describe them, but even despicable people have hard luck. It is just this luck that sets Maddie and her husband, Ellis, on a path toward Scotland and Loch Ness.

It's a good story, but are these people too unlikeable? Can we be sympathetic to their traumas? Should we be? As our group meets to discuss this novel, I wonder whether we will be able to separate our feelings for the characters from our feelings for the book itself.

Come join the conversation. We need a good debate here. Come to either session on Tuesday, April 12th, and tell us what you think. Let's show everyone we can have civil discourse about our books. See you there.

March 8, 2016

Sara Gruen, author of Like Water for Elephants, has chosen a remarkable creature to feature in her new novel, At the Water's Edge, our selection for our April face-to-face meetings. 

Nessie, the nickname for the elusive Loch Ness Monster, makes a cameo appearance in this tale that starts out as a lark on the part of some entitled friends, and turns into a quest that becomes quite frightening. The story, which takes place during World War II, is a drama - a love story and a lesson in history - woven into the tartan of the Scottish highlands.

We will meet Maddie, whose tragic history propelled her to join friends on a journey from Philadelphia and across the Atlantic Ocean in the midst of submarine warfare, to seek the monster, perhaps a metaphor for Hitler. She and her friends deal with all sorts of montsers in this elegantly written book.

Join us on Tuesday, April 12 at one of our two face-to-face meetings. You will enjoy the conversation as much as the book, I'm sure.