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Laura Spence-Ash

Forfatter af Beyond That, the Sea

3 Værker 303 Medlemmer 25 Anmeldelser

Værker af Laura Spence-Ash

Beyond That, the Sea (2023) 301 eksemplarer, 25 anmeldelser
In de verte, de zee (2023) 1 eksemplar

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Disclaimer: I received an ARC.

I really enjoyed this book, I found it to be very atmospheric and I really enjoyed the feel. Laura Spence-Ash did a great job portraying warm, happy, nostalgic summers. And on the flip side, she did a good job showing the feelings and setting of war and fear. I got really caught up in nostalgia for a time I never lived, and I think that really speaks for the author. If you're a feeling kind of person, the nostalgia is strong, and I might reread the book just to relive that.

There's not much plot. I mean, there is a story going on, but events don't happen to move the story along, it's more like snapshots and stories about lives intersecting.

I gave this book 3 stars though, because of really one thing. *spoilers* Essentially, after the war ends, Beatrix goes back overseas and is now an adult. Will (the older brother) stops to see her, and despite the fact that he is now engaged to someone else and has a baby on the way, sleeps with her. And the next day, instead of saying it was a mistake or being at all embarrassed that he cheated, or any notion of regret, he is upset that she won't hold his hand in public because he wants everyone to see them together. And she doesn't have a problem with it. And, even when they're sober and it's the middle of the day, he's talking about sleeping together. And they *both* know he's engaged and has a baby on the way. It felt a little bit like Laura Spence-Ash wanted to write a romance novel but couldn't so she had to include this to make up for that. And it's never really addressed. Like everyone that knows kinda just moves on? I feel like something like this should either be the point of the book or should be a plot point at least. But it felt more like it meant to describe the characters, even though it happens about 2/3rds of the way through, so you already know about the characters. And it doesn't make the reader feel good about the characters or feel connected to them, so it doesn't seem to serve any purpose but to add to the word count.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book, it was really just one part that made me bothered. I would recommend people read this, one word description: nostalgia.

Feel free to give your opinion or ask questions, I'm happy to talk about it!
… (mere)
_missnomer_ | 24 andre anmeldelser | Nov 25, 2023 |
astonishinglight | 24 andre anmeldelser | Nov 19, 2023 |
Although the war plays a crucial role in this book, this is not a book about the war. It is a character driven story. And every chapter is told from the perspective of a different character. (Always in the third person.) I like how this gives you an insight into the minds of all of the characters and how you get to see the same event from different angles. You get to see both sides of every coin. You get to sympathize with the characters in a way that makes it almost impossible to choose sides in any conflict. The characters are well written, and you feel their emotion through all the turmoil, joy and fear of their lives. This one decision, to send their daughter to America, changed everyone's life forever and as the book spans many years you can see the repercussions of it as they grow and change. It's a beautiful. if not always happy, story. I found myself wanting to get back to the book so I could find out what happened to these people. I was completely engaged from beginning to end.… (mere)
bedda | 24 andre anmeldelser | Nov 2, 2023 |

In 1940 as WWII rages on, London-based Reginald and Millie Thompson decide to send their daughter, eleven-year-old Beatrix to the United States, where she is placed under the care of Ethan and Nancy Gregory , a lovely couple who welcome her into their home and their hearts. She spends her time divided between Gregory home in Boston and their vacation home in Maine with their two school-going sons, William and Gerald, both of whom befriend Beatrix. Beatrix’s parents miss her dearly only deriving comfort from the fact that she is out of harm’s way. Millie , in particular fears that the geographical distance and her daughter’s growing emotional attachment to the Gregory family and the comfortable lifestyle in the US (as is shared through letters to her mother) will widen the chasm between her and her family in London. Five years later, the war is over and Beatrix returns to London, torn between her love for the Gregory family and the home calling her back, albeit with the shadow of her father’s demise and mother’s remarriage looming large. The five years with the Gregory family leave a profound impact on Beatrix (as does Beatrix’s presence in the lives of all of the members of the Gregory family)and the choices she makes throughout her life. The first segment of the narrative is the only one part written with the backdrop of WWII and the London Blitz - primarily its impact on the Thomson family, rather than the War itself. In the following segments, spanning 1945 to 1977, the narrative follows Beatrix and the Gregorys over the next three decades, through the ups and downs in their lives and the emotional connection that never ebbs despite the geographical distance.

With its beautiful prose and well-thought-out characters Beyond That, The Sea by Laura Spence-Ash is a moving story, that touches upon themes of kindness, family, home and relationships. The pace is on the slower side but that suits the story and the narrative structure well. The author describes human emotions both in their simplicity and their complexity in a very balanced tone. Though the story is predominantly an emotional, character-driven story, the author does not revert to an overly melodramatic representation of the characters or their relationships. However, I did feel that the multiple perspectives detracted from the fluidity of the narrative. While I did enjoy the story, I did not quite agree with a crucial decision Beatrix makes towards the end of the story. I found her behavior slightly contradictory to her personality as is revealed to us throughout the narrative. But then, human emotions are complicated and the author does well in giving us a glimpse into Beatrix’s thoughts as she ponders over certain decisions.

Overall, I did enjoy this heartbreaking yet uplifting story and would be eager to read more from this author in the future.

“We love people for all sorts of different reasons and in all sorts of different ways, she says. Remember that.”

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… (mere)
srms.reads | 24 andre anmeldelser | Sep 4, 2023 |




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