Title: Beyond The Moon
Author: Catherine Taylor
Publisher: The Cameo Press LTD
Publishing Date: June 25, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Romance, Contemporary
“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 2019”
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.
The setting is 2017, Louisa just lost the person most dear to her, the only one who stuck by her, and supported her – her grandmother. She finds herself on the top of a hill, passes out intoxicated from alcohol and grief, passes out and falls down the ravine, and wakes up in a mental facility. She protests that she is not trying to commit suicide, she was simply sitting on the hill and fell because she was drunk. Her concerns go unheard and she was admitted in Coldbrook Hall Psychiatric Hospital.
In 1916, Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a young, gifted artist, and a man on the forefront of a war. He becomes wounded in the front lines of World War I, and is shell shocked, and is suffering from hysterical blindness. He is then admitted to Coldbrook Hall Military Convalescent Hospital in Sussex, England. He is deeply upset that he can no longer see, paint, and go back to the front lines of the war.
Louisa, still in the psychiatric hospital, explores one of the closed halls that was to be demolished soon. She was simply wandering the corridors, admiring the ruins of the building, and comes across a man who was calling out for help. Louisa finds herself in and out of the man’s life each time she stumbles into the forbidden halls, and realizes that the man is Lieutenant Robert Lovett.
I am a sucker for good war stories, and Beyond The Moon by Catherine Taylor did not disappoint. This kept me intrigued and interested because of the premise and the characters. I really enjoyed how Catherine Taylor introduced and established Louisa and Robert, how they existed outside of each other and eventually how their lives collided.
Catherine Taylor also did a great job in weaving the two timelines and stories into one. Every moment in each individual life and experience was very important to establish the motivations of each character to propel the plot forward. Aside from that, the writing was well researched and the author’s writing style really brought out plenty of feelings with the description of the spoils of World War I.
The romance was also great in my opinion. I honestly looked forward to each moment Louisa was going to come across the Lieutenant. And how their relationship and affection unfolded for each other. And to be very frank, when they were separated, I felt really sad and the motivation to read came from waiting for the moment they would meet again. And the moments in between was so so so good! It showed how each character matured and their motivations and priorities changed, but the love for each other never really left.
If you are looking for a great Historical Fiction that will keep you turning pages, make you fall in love and believe in true love, then I highly recommend Beyond The Moon. It had me believe that a strong and beautiful love can live through tough, trying, and hard times.
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on this blog tour as well as Catherine Taylor for a digital copy of the book!
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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.
Rachel’s Random Resources, in partnership with Catherine Taylor, is giving away five (5) copies of Beyond The Moon, open internationally!
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.