Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams

The cover alone makes you want dive right in, doesn’t it? Along the Infinite Sea shifts between pre­-World War II Europe and 1960’s America, following the stories of two women, Annabelle Dommerich and Pepper Schuyler. Both women are forces to be reckoned, way ahead of their time, but as the story unfolds, past secrets and sacrifices reveal how these two women’s lives are connected.

Young Annabelle is an opinionated youth recently out of convent school and living in the French Riviera with her father, Prince Edouard de Créouville, while he entertains celebrities and royalty. She manages to find her solitude away from the crowd­­ who is interested only in drinking, smoking, and rather indiscreet relations ­­and she meets two men in one night that change her life forever.

Johann von Kleist is a military officer in the German army and Stefan is an injured Jewish man she nurses back to life. As young Annabelle falls for Stefan, the intensity of their feelings radiate from the pages. As they tumble through their complicated relationships, life in Germany is becoming a very dangerous place, making her life a constant struggle to choose between honor and love.

Pepper is the youngest of three daughters and doesn’t give a damn about living by society’s rules. She is pregnant, alone, and broke. However, she has a plan. With the help of her brother­-in­-law, she fixes up a vintage Mercedes ­Benz and is determined to raise her baby according to her own set of rules.

These two women come together over a vintage Mercedes­ Benz of all things and come out the other side of the story kindred spirits.

The thing that really made me love this book was the way the author gave such life to the characters and a rich sense of place. Annabelle is a powerhouse character throughout the book and in my mind, I couldn’t help but picture Katharine Hepburn whenever she appeared on the page. Pepper also has a spunk about her and you can’t help but love her candor. It was refreshing to have a character so out of character​ for that time period yet watch her grow up as the story goes on.

Love is the main theme and takes many forms throughout the book. There is the visceral love between a parent and child, a soul­-deep kind of love between a woman and a man, a love that comes from a place of honor and duty, and a love for freedom and the sacrifices made for the sake of that love.

While events that lead up to World War II loom in the background of this novel like a dark cloud storm approaching, this is a rich character-­driven story that so many readers relate to, whether you are a parent, in an intimate relationship, or someone who is looking to live their truth.

If you enjoyed ​The Secret Keeper​ by Kate Morton, ​The Girl You Left Behind​ by JoJo Moyes, or The Lost Wife​ by Alyson Richman, I highly recommend this book!

 

Hallie Sawyer is a freelance writer/blogger with a passion for history, photography, travel, and books, of course. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids, as well as her goofy Wheaten Terrier. You can find her at her website: www.HallieSawyer.com and on Twitter @Hallie_Sawyer.

 

Have you read Along the Infinite Sea or another of Beatriz Williams’s books? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Link to buy Along the Infinite Sea at your local independent bookstore (we love them!) or at Indiebound by clicking here.

{Full disclosure: though as a rule, all of us at GNB find our books organically and only recommend books we love, I was given a copy of this novel by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I loved it, and wanted to recommend it here, too. All opinions are my own. – Hallie}

 

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