Friday, June 1, 2012
Author: Beatriz Williams
Publication Date: May 2012
Publisher: Putnam Books
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
Overseas is the story of Kate and Julian from France in 1916 to New York in 2007. How is such a romance possible? Well, there is time travel involved. I'm not usually a romance reader unless it sneaks in to some of my urban fantasy or paranormal fiction so it was the time travel aspect of the story that initially drew me to Overseas. What kept me reading, however, was the characters. Kate is a fantastically modern woman with a strong independent streak and a temper that flares quickly when she feels coddled. Julian is a traditional British gentleman with impeccable manners and a protective nature. Together they are a dynamic pair, drawn to each other more strongly than either can understand. Their connection may be inevitable but that doesn't mean they don't have the usual relationship problems along the way. They also face a larger threat to their happiness, although neither realizes the source.
I loved how the modern story of Kate and Julian was initially established by alternating the modern chapters with flashback chapters to France in 1916. This was a great set up to the story because it made it clear that the Kate of the past knows more than she shares initially and the same for the modern Julian. I felt a bit disoriented at first but I think that is because I wanted to rush the revealing of all the information instead of letting the story unfold naturally until everything comes together. Once I settled into the story, letting it unfold at the pace it was meant to, I was able to fall into the world of Kate and Julian and enjoy the development of their relationship.
As I neared the end of the book, I began to fear that the mystery of how the time travel happened wouldn't be revealed and I would just have to believe it to be possible. I think that would have ruined the ending a bit for me. Without giving anything I away I will say that I was thankful this was not the case and the time travel was explained to a degree. The ending chapters once again tie the modern story to the past in a way that brings everything full circle and wraps up all the lingering questions.
Overseas is the first novel from Beatriz Williams and I'm sure it won't be the last. The writing is excellent with great descriptions, well-developed characters, and a fantastic storyline. With the new baby, it has been taking me a lot longer to read books this year than usual but I was enjoying Overseas so much that I made more time to read and finished it faster than I've finished much shorter books. This really tells you how much Williams captured my attention and drew me into Kate and Julian's world.
For another review of Overseas, check out this one at Jenn's Bookshelves.
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