Now Available, Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams is a literary woman’s fiction title that intertwines the 1930’s Europe with the 1960’s United States.
As I found in A Hundred Summers this book was a little slow to start for me, and combined two stories from two differing timelines and places. It is in the interweaving of these two stories, and the common elements in each story that have the two timeframes working to tell the tale.
In 1966, we meet Pepper as she is introduced, in a roundabout way to the other focus of this story, Annabelle. From there, the storylines intersect and divide, taking off into a tale of life in pre-war 1930’s Europe as we move to the nearer dates of mid-60’s America.
These two stories were a tad uneven, Annabelle’s character and her life in Europe were richly detailed and emotionally available, through threats, romance, struggles and heartbreak before immigrating to the US, Annabelle had experiences that clearly related to her present behaviors and attitudes, so many years on.
Pepper was, for me, the less intriguing or engaging of the two: abrasive, headstrong and more than a tad self-centered, she was difficult to empathize with and engendered little sympathy. Not quite detestable, but just filler for me, only relevant in the moments where she and Annabelle interacted or her character moved the story forward. Of course there is a mystery to solve, some drama to overcome and romance, some good some could have been left aside to concentrate on balancing the two stories.
With some over used phrases, a bit more tell than show and some gaps in the choices made in pre-war Germany, all presented but few explained. For me, the story would have been richer for that information and perhaps a few fewer romantic themed moments, as many felt forced. A story that is bordering on beach-side read, notable for the moments that sparkle, but not enough of those moments appear to truly rocket this read into a keeper shelf.
Title: Along the Infinite Sea
Author: Beatriz Williams
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Published on: 3 November 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 13 Hours (approx)
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Each of the three Schuyler sisters has her own world-class problems, but in the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler's problems are in a class of their own. When Pepper fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction, she thinks she's finally found a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries, the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician.
But the car's new owner turns out to have secrets of her own, and as the glamorous and mysterious Annabelle Dommerich takes pregnant Pepper under her wing, the startling provenance of this car comes to light: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle's life from World War II stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts.
Indomitable heroines, a dazzling world of secrets, champagne at the Paris Ritz, and a sweeping love story for the ages, in New York Times bestselling author Beatriz William's final book about the Schuyler sisters.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.