Catherine Taylor comes to the blog with her debut offering, a time-travel romance described by NetGalley as a story to please fans of Outlander
Beyond the Moon
Narrated in two voices from two very different times, the story follows Louisa Carson in the present day: heartbroken after her grandmother’s death, she’s fallen down a cliff face and the doctors fear she is suicidal. An admission to Coldbrook Hall, a psychiatric facility follows, and we see the chaos, the cruelty and the hopelessness of the patients / residents where control is not their own and staff ranges from wanting to be helpful to simply wanting a peaceful shift. Not truly suicidal or with a tentative grasp on her own emotions, Louisa spends much of her time exploring the old manor house, particularly the abandoned wings. Here she meets Robert – a blind young man, wounded in a World War I battle. Robert has been bereft and struggling with the loss of sight and all that will mean to him on his return to home and family. But the intriguing moments with Louisa are some he can’t forget, and she’s worried if perhaps, they weren’t right to commit her. Through multiple visits Louisa and Robert develop a bond, one that could mean danger for them both.
So- initially the premise is what got me intrigued after a note from NetGalley suggesting the title. And it has made the shortlist for a write your own love story competition. But, while Louisa and Robert were both solidly drawn and engaging characters, and the moments where he was speaking of his war experience were both honest and gruesome, the connection – the HOW she slid into the past, and just how she’d be able to slip away and visit so frequently, and get so involved in his story just missed me.
The author has a solid way with prose, and she’s created a lovely premise – but the story didn’t reach up to meet the premise in ways that I was hoping for – and a solid creation of the how the travel happened (there were no stones), and the backstories were alternating between too detailed to rough sketches of moments that needed more, It was a story that I put down frequently and needed to hop back a few pages to ‘refresh’ my memory of the events before I moved onto reading it again. An interesting and promising debut, while not perfect, it held enough interest in the solidly presented parts to keep me reading on.
Title: Beyond the Moon
Author: Catherine Taylor
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dual Timeline, Historic Elements, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, Time Travel / Alternate Universe, World War I
Published by: The Cameo Press Ltd.
Published on: 25 June, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository
*Shortlisted for the Eharmony/Orion Write Your Own Love Story Prize
A haunting and beautiful debut novel about love, the Great War, time travel – and choosing the impossible
In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded in the First World War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems hopeless.
A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall - now a psychiatric hospital -, an unfriendly and chaotic place.
Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying in an old iron-framed bed in the dark, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…
As the days go by Louisa is increasingly drawn back to the curious room and its enigmatic occupant - and things become stranger and stranger, to the extent that she begins to wonder if she in fact belongs in a psychiatric hospital more than anyone. Meanwhile Robert also finds himself increasingly entranced by the fascinating girl he cannot see, but who’s become the light in his darkness.
Dark clouds are gathering, however. Difficult questions are stacking up, and meanwhile Louisa is keeping an explosive secret. Then the truth comes out. And to save her future with Robert, Louisa must somehow find a way back to the past. A past where the dangers of WW1 threaten to engulf them both.
Perfect for fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley, Paullina Simons, Ken Follett and Barbara Erskine.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: