I read Beyond the Moon, the debut novel by Catherine Taylor, at the invitation of NetGalley and The Cameo Press. It is an engaging love story set against today’s mental health insufficiencies and the horror of World War II.
It is August of 1916, and World War II is in full swing. Lieutenant Robert Lovett finds himself in Coldbrook Hall, a military hospital located in Sussex, England. A talented artist, Robert is now suffering from hysterical blindness brought on by shell shock. Parts of Robert’s story are told in flashbacks as he lies in his hospital bed and thinks back over his life.
In Sussex, it is now April of 2017. Louisa Casson is a medical student who dropped out of classes to care for her beloved grandmother, her last remaining relative – unless you count her father who abandoned her as a young girl. She has just buried her grandmother.
While mourning her grandmother, Louisa wanders onto Sussex Downs on the white chalk cliffs for which the area is famous. After overindulging Granny’s aged cognac, she falls asleep. When she awakens, it is dark. Very near the edge of the cliffs, she cannot find her way to safety. Next, she finds herself in a hospital bed, being treated for attempted suicide. It seems the area where she was found is notorious for suicides and suicide attempts. No one believes her when she denies attempting suicide.
Coldbrook is now a mental health hospital with staff members who are cold, abusive, and uncaring. Privately run, it is not subject to the regulations of the National Health System. Louisa soon wanders into a section of the aging building that is slated for demolition. Stepping through a door, she meets Robert. She assures him his blindness is stress-related, and with time and patience, will resolve itself.
Of course, Robert and Louisa fall in love, and she decides to remain in his time. Ms. Taylor has woven an enchanting tale of time travel and the love of two people who don’t care what century it is, as long as they can be together. Lovers of time travel novels will enjoy Beyond the Moon.
What makes The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
- Confusing French macarons with macaroons.
Aside from that, only the usual things:
- Referring to people as “that” rather than as “who”;
- Beginning sentences with conjunctions;
- Incorrect verb usage: bring vs. take and was vs. were;
- Missing commas.