I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for hauntingly beautiful debut timeslip novel Beyond The Moon by Catherine Taylor. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey and The Cameo Press Ltd for giving me the opportunity to read and review this lovely book.
Look out for details of how to win a copy of Beyond The Moon by Catherine Taylor at the end of my post!
About the book:
“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
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.
About the author:
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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Beyond The Moon by Catherine Taylor captured my imagination from the very first word and didn’t let go until the final page had been turned. A timeslip novel such as this one is never easy to get right. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is an excellent example of a timeslip storyline done well, whereas there are many others where it just hasn’t worked, leading me to give up on it almost as soon as I’ve started it. Thankfully, Beyond The Moon has managed to marry a beautiful piece of historical fiction together with going backwards and forwards in time exceptionally well.
I was drawn into the story from the outset, which begins in 1916 at Coldbrook Military hospital where we first meet injured soldier Robert Lovett, a gifted artist who has been wounded fighting in the Great War.
A century later, in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother, the last living member of her family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part way down. Doctors fear Louisa has attempted suicide and she finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall, which is now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.
This is where things start to get complicated. One day Louisa hears a voice calling for help and comes across a wounded soldier, who tells her he was hurt in the Battle of the Somme in World War One, which for Louisa happened a hundred years ago.
This is a story that is so beautifully written I still get goosebumps every time I think about this first meeting between Robert and Louisa. What follows is a hauntingly beautiful story that moves between the dual time periods seamlessly, as we slowly begin to learn more about what has happened in the lives of these two damaged souls and why they are so drawn to one another.
Beyond The Moon handles the issues of grief and loss incredibly well, taking us on an unforgettable journey through time that is part historical novel, part timeslip love story. This is a book that sweeps you up in a tsunami of emotion, touching on the devastating themes of war and mental illness and examining exactly what it is that makes us who we are.
I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this book is. I was captivated from beginning to end and would recommend Beyond The Moon to anyone who enjoys their historical fiction with the added bonus of a timeslip love story.
Catherine Taylor has written an impressive debut that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to see what this promising new author comes up with next.
Beyond The Moon by Catherine Taylor is available to buy now.
Giveaway to Win 5 x PB Copies of Beyond The Moon (Open INT):
*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.
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