What if love could last more than just one lifetime? A haunting and beautiful story of the Great War, time travel - and choosing the impossible.
*Shortlisted for the Eharmony/Orion Write Your Own Love Story Prize
"A poignant and stirring love story... Taylor's accomplished, genre-bending book succeeds as a historical novel and a beguiling, time-travel romance... The sharply written narrative deftly moves back and forth between the past and present." - Kirkus Reviews
In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded in WW1. Shell-shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.
A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother. She drowns her sorrows in alcohol, only to fall accidentally part-way down nearby cliffs. Doctors fear a suicide attempt, and Louisa is involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall, now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly, chaotic place.
Then while secretly exploring the hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned room. Lying inside in an old, iron-framed bed 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…
Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip - and at the same time a meditation on the themes of war, mental illness, identity and art - Beyond The Moon sweeps the reader on an unforgettable journey from twenty-first century England to the battlefields of First World War France. An intelligent historical love story perfect for book clubs.
For fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Beatriz Williams, Kate Quinn, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Paullina Simons.
|Publisher:||Cameo Press Ltd|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor is a lovely romance with a mix of time split/time travel between early 20th Century and the present. The graphic historical details of World War I combat, cultural, medical practices of that era are well written and described. I found the medical/psychiatric care given in 2017 less believable and brutal. The reader is drawn in and shifted between times with this unusual story and characters in original ways. What a pleasure to have been chosen to read and review this exciting new book by Catherine Taylor. I look forward to reading more by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book.
A wonderful historical/time travel novel! Louisa was in Coldbrook, a mental hospital. She finds a portal to 1917 through a condemned wing of the hospital. She meets Robert a soldier in France and becomes Rose, a nurse. They fall in love. Very moving and interesting book. Complex and interesting characters and events. I truly loved this book.
When a tumble down an eroding cliff face in the dark of night lands Louisa in A&E, the doctors determine that she is a danger to herself and admit her to Coldbrook Hall, a psychiatric facility, and put her on suicide watch. Louisa is a former medical student and so hopes that if she can show them that she is not a risk to herself, that there has been some misunderstanding then she will be released. When she realizes that no one is going to believe her and the facility is too understaffed to care about individual patients, she knows that she has to keep her wits about her and her head above water. When she learns there is a way to sneak away and into a closed and condemned ward of the hospital, used during the First World War for recovering British soldiers, she somehow stumbles upon a soldier recovering from his injuries. She is confused and shocked, but no more so than when she tries to show her friend ony for there to be no evidence of him ever having been there. Her days then revolve around getting away and spending time with him. They gradually get closer, but how can they ever be together if she is only ever a visitor in the past, real only to him? What follows is a beautiful and complex love story and an insight into the horrors of the new kind of war that soldiers had to face during World War I. _________ This book, my god. I learned about this book in a recommendation email from NetGalley and I am so glad that I received the email. This is one of the most unique books that I have read for quite a while. This book is told from two seperate first-person narrations, Louisa's and Robert's. Two life stories being told simultaneously and coming together. Sometimes dual narrations can make a story clunky, but it really worked for this book and truly the only way I think this story would have worked. The author has a great voice and did such an amazing job with descriptive detailing that the parts of the story taking place in 1917 felt just as real and tangible to me as the parts of the story taking place in 2017. I'll be completely honest I almost called it quits on this book when Louisa and Robert lost contact at about the midway point because I was worried that the rest of the book was just going to detail the seperate tragic endings for both of them. But I decided to have faith in where the story was taking me and keep reading. I'm so glad I did because the time apart and the journeys they both had to endure made the story so much more powerful. I loved this book more than I can express. I am astounded that this is the first book that Catherine Taylor has published. I am looking forward to more books from this author. I saw some people comparing it to Outlander. And although it does involve a woman capable of traveling forward and backward through time, I found Beyond the Moon and the Outlander series to be quite unique from one another. They are both lovely and have a completely different voice from one another. Many thanks to NetGalley's AuthorBuzz and The Cameo Press Ltd for recommending this book to me via email and sharing an electronic copy with me for reviewing purposes. I voluntarily read this book and this is my honest review.