Hello Everyone! Welcome to my stop today on the Blog Tour for this unique and incredible book, Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor and allowing me to share my review with you! There’s also a fabulous Giveaway of two paperback copies of Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor, so make sure to enter below! First a big thank you to Amy at HF Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to participate and a thank you to Catherine Taylor and the publisher for giving me the privilege to read and review this book. Now to find out more about this book…
Beyond the Moon
Lieutenant Robert Lovett/ Louisa Casson
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Outlander meets Birdsong is this haunting debut timeslip novel, where a strange twist of fate connects a British soldier fighting in the First World War and a young woman living in modern-day England a century later.
*Shortlisted for the Eharmony/Orion Write Your Own Love Story Prize 2018/19
In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. 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 – 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 hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, 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…
Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide – and become one desperate struggle to be together.
Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip love story – 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 through time. An intelligent read, perfect for book clubs.
For fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Beatriz Williams, Kate Quinn, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Paullina Simons.
“A poignant and stirring love story… Taylor’s accomplished, genre-bending book succeeds as a WW1 historical novel and a beguiling, time travel romance… The sharply written narrative deftly moves back and forth between the past and present.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A time travel romance, yet so much more than that. It is also an unflinching portrait of the horrors of war, and a look at the torturous extremes a human soul can endure. It is a sonnet to the transformative power of love, even as it is also a criticism of the futility and pointless destructiveness of war.” — Shaylin Gandhi, author of By The Light of Embers
Beyond the Moon is the debut novel for author Catherine Taylor. Ms. Taylor is a new to me author and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I love reading WWI romances and this one had the unique twist of time travel so I decided to take a chance. All I can say is WOW! I’m in awe that this is a debut novel. It was a fabulous story that I honestly could not put down!
Lieutenant Robert Lovett is in Coldbrook Hall Military Hospital, in the year 1916. An injury from the war has left him with hysterical blindness. A gifted painter, he fears he’ll never see again, let alone paint. When nightmares of the war have him tumbling out of bed, he realizes he’s stuck and desperately calls for help. He’s rather surprised when a female patient named Louisa rescues him.
We first meet Louisa Casson in 2017. She has just buried her grandmother, the woman who raised her and the only family she had left. Feeling all alone, Louisa decides to go up on the cliffs of the South Downs to feel close to her grandmother again and drown her sorrows. When an accidental fall off the cliffs is misconstrued as a suicide attempt, Louisa is forced against her will into Coldbrook Hall Psychiatric Hospital.
I’ll admit going into this book that I was worried I wouldn’t like the time travel aspect as it’s usually not something I read. But I felt Ms. Taylor did a fabulous job of introducing Louisa into Robert’s world and then seamlessly having her slip in and out. I have to admit I was so caught up in this story that I struggled to put it down. As for Louisa and Robert, they were fabulous characters. We see and experience the ravages of war through Robert’s eyes as a soldier and a POW. We also feel Louisa’s turmoil as she comes to grips with her abilities to go back in time, and the things she experiences as a VAD while she’s living in 1917 as Rose Ashby.
This was an extremely emotional, beautifully written story that flowed flawlessly between the two time periods. I was truly impressed with Ms. Taylor’s writing style and the detailed descriptions of the settings. I didn’t feel as if she was telling me a story, I felt like I was seeing and living it. It was a fabulous story, with wonderful characters and a perfect ending. This honestly was one of the best stories I have read all year and I’m still in utter disbelief that this is Ms. Taylor’s debut novel! I definitely will be following this author to see what she has in store for us in the future. I truly can’t recommend this book enough!
Giveaway to Win two paperback copies of Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
⇒⇒ CLICK HERE TO ENTER ⇐⇐
Catherine Taylor was born and grew up on the island of Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. She is a former journalist, most recently for Dow Jones News and The Wall Street Journal in London. Beyond The Moon is her first novel. She lives in Ealing, London with her husband and two children.
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Do check out the other stops on this blog tour!
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, December 9
Review at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 10
Review at @bookishbellee
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Feature at I’m All About Books
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Review & Guest Post at Jackie & Angela’s Book Reviews
Friday, December 13
Review at Reading is My Remedy