Sunday 1 May 2016

Along The Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams *** GUEST REVIEW ***

1966, Florida
Pepper Schuyler is the kind of woman society loves and loves to talk about - a dazzling being who men watch across crowded, smoky rooms, and women keep their husbands away from. Yet the legend of Pepper is far from the truth.
1935, Cote d'Azur
Nineteen-year-old ingenue Annabelle de Creouville leaves her father's crumbling chateau to help a handsome German Jew fleeing from the Nazi regime - and from the other man with whom Annabelle's future is inextricably entangled. Falling headlong in love as is only possible for the first time, Annabelle follows her heart from Antibes, to Paris, to pre-war Berlin, torn between two very different men, and two very different endings. 

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams was published by Harper on 5 November 2015.

A warm welcome to Helen Parris who has guest reviewed a couple of times on Random Things in the past. Helen recently read Along The Infinite Sea, here is her review:

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams - a review by Helen Parris

I have not read either of the author's two previous books about the three Schuyler sisters - The Secret Life of Violent Grant and Tiny Little Thing. However, this did not detract from my enjoyment of this novel.

The plot of Along the Infinite Sea starts in Florida in 1966 with a 1936 Mercedes Benz Special Roadster, which has been restored by pregnant Pepper Schuyler, in order to sell to the highest bidder. Pepper hopes to use the money from the sale of the car to take care of her baby without any involvement from the father. The buyer of the car, Annabelle Dommerich, proves to be a mysterious woman and both the car and Pepper have a special meaning for her.

The story moves adroitly between Florida in 1966 and the friendship between Pepper and Annabelle, and Europe from 1935, where the love triangle between Stephan, a wealthy Jewish resistance fighter, Johann a high ranking German official, and Annabelle begins.

The character of Annabelle and her story of life in pre-second world war Europe was fascinating and engaging. I felt this was the main story of the book and was gripped by the contrast between Stephan and Johann. Who would Annabelle choose?

I would have enjoyed more in-depth coverage of life in Germany in 1938, but this would probably been superfluous to the plot.

I enjoyed the book and found it an engrossing, speedy read.

With thanks to the publisher who sent the copy for review.

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a corporate and communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons.

She now lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore where she divides her time between writing and laundry.

Find out more about Beatriz Williams and her writing at
Follow her on Twitter @bcwilliamsbooks


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