Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Beyond the Moon by @cathtaylornovel #Book #Review


Synopsis:
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.


My Review:
It's 2016 and Louisa Casson, suspected of attempting suicide, is suddenly thrust into a rundown sanitarium.    Her only solice is exploring the old building where she finds a beautiful old wing that is unused and rumored to be torn down.  Little did she know that going to aid someone she heard behind the old door would take her back in time to 1916 and WWI.

This was a well written novel and quite detailed.  I love time-travel novels, it makes a plausibility  that there's really a thing such as soulmates.  Robert and Louisa's love for each other was amazing and that kind of love is very rare.  If you enjoy time travel romance novels, this will be right up your alley.
👍👍👍👍


About the Author:
I was born and grew up on the small island of Guernsey, one of the British Channel Islands in the English Channel.

My mother was a professional landscape artist, who spent her life painting the beautiful beaches and countryside of Guernsey. And so I grew up in an environment where it was a very normal thing to want to make a living from your art. Which is just as well, because I’m someone who always knew she wanted to be a writer, and if I’d had parents who’d harboured hopes of me becoming a tax accountant or a corporate lawyer, they’d have been sorely disappointed.

I’ve been obsessed with words and books since the day I first learned to read, and grew up on classic children’s authors like Enid Blyton and Edith Nesbit. As I got older I began to gravitate towards love stories with gripping plots, devouring novels like Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Katharine, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice, about clever, independent-minded women caught up in passionate affairs with complex, Byronic men. And equally I loved sweeping epics like The Thorn Birds and Gone With The Wind. I have always been a hopeless romantic, and my favourite novels are beautiful, intelligent love stories that combine a gripping plot with gorgeous prose and wonderful historical detail to lose yourself in.

I was also a keen writer myself from an early age, penning copious stories and poems – as well as plays to be performed in the field behind our house, with parts for me and my younger brother and sister, but always with myself in the starring role (of course!).

My love of language developed into an interest in foreign languages, and I went on to study French and German at university, then to live and study in Germany for several years after that. Most recently I worked as a journalist.

Throughout my time at university I studied 1900-1945 European history and culture – a period that continues to fascinate me. I always knew that when I eventually wrote my first novel it would be a novel of historical fiction set during the first half of the twentieth century. And that it would be first and foremost a love story.

Mental health is a subject that has always hugely interested me, and from the very start I knew that Beyond The Moon would be set partly in a psychiatric hospital. As I began to research people’s experiences in mental hospitals I was shocked to find just how common it is for patients to suffer neglect and abuse in such places. I can understand that modern-day Coldbrook Hall might seem far-fetched to some readers, but I assure you, you don’t have to look far on the internet to find some appalling stories. Just recently the following articles appeared in UK newspapers: ‘Firms cash in on psychiatric care crisis’ in The Times, and ‘Care Quality Commission [the UK regulator] places two Priory Group hospitals in special measures’ in The Guardian. If I, in my very small way through Beyond The Moon, can help shine a light on this modern-day scandal, then I am very glad.

I hope you enjoy Beyond The Moon as much as I loved writing it. I love to hear from readers, so please do get in touch at catherine@catherinetaylor.net. Also, on my contact details page, you can sign up for my mailing list and receive occasional (I don’t have the time for anything more frequent!) news about Beyond The Moon and future novels.

My Instagram is @catherine_taylor_author

I’m currently working on a second novel set in 1900s Vienna, when the “imperial city” – as it was known – was at the heart of the enormous, cosmopolitan Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s another smart historical love story, and I’m very excited about it.

I now live in London with my husband and children - and two very cheeky and active chinchillas.

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