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Along the Infinite Sea Paperback – August 9, 2016
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Praise for Along the Infinite Sea
“A story about star-crossed lovers told in flashbacks. You’ll be as hooked as the first time you watched The Bourne Identity, and you’ll cry as much as the first time you watched The Notebook.”—theSkimm
“Riveting historical fiction that illuminates love so strong that it transcends decades.”—The Boston Globe
“A world filled with elegance, charm, and bygone manners...No one does it better than Beatriz.”—Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author
“Passionate and starry-eyed, Williams's latest romance is a beautiful escape from everyday life.”—Shelf Awareness
“A frothy trip to a more romantic era we like to believe existed, a place filled with yacht affairs and racing Mercedes. In a world packed with traffic and Twitter, it’s a welcome retreat.”—Bustle
“With the killer charm of a Rodgers and Hammerstein score and a touch of du Maurier intrigue, Williams' latest sexy and enthralling period drama...draws readers into the parallel, luxe worlds of two sparky women in the post-Camelot 1960s.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“With spunky characters full of grace and grit...The swift pacing and emotional twists and turns of the plot will leave readers guessing up to the final pages. Recommended for readers who enjoyed the atmosphere and characters of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins.”—Library Journal
About the Author
Beatriz Williams lives with her husband and children in Connecticut. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Along the Infinite Sea, Tiny Little Thing, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and Overseas. She also writes under the pseudonym Juliana Gray.
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Top customer reviews
"Along the Infinite Sea" makes up for its lackluster and cliché title within the first few sentences of chapter one, and you'll forget what the book is called because it could have been called "Beatriz Williams Writes Some Stuff" and you should still line up at midnight to be the first to buy it at the bookstore because it's that good. So is this where I give you a short synopsis of the plot? No, I think I won't. I knew not-a-thing about it when I first opened it and am so glad I didn't. Apparently (I learned afterwards) it's a partial continuation of some family that Williams wrote about before… and I don't care. They exist in THIS book in a way they cannot possibly in any other and I'm happy to have met them here and nowhere else. Plus, their family is really not the heart of the story so I doubly don't care that they're in other books (I cheated and looked at other reviews real quick, or I wouldn't know this at all).
I did read a rough rough rough draft given to me by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review, and the fact that nothing was properly indented or paragraphed etc, especially during characters' conversations, made reading this a labor of love since I had to slow down and really figure out who was speaking… and I didn't care. I relished their conversations all the more. I found two horrifying instances where Williams uses the name Florian instead of Stefan (they're both characters and the wrong one rolled off her typing fingertips, methinks) but I have all the faith that the good proofreader at whatever trad publisher is field-goaling this forth will find it. (If not, for godssake Bea, ask me so I can tell you which sentences they are before it's too late.)
Criticism? I wish Annabelle weren't compared to Audrey Hepburn, and several times. The author could have – and did – evoke Audrey in this character without having to hammer the comparison home so. Trust us the readers please – I saw Annabelle just fine without that. I see her now. She'll walk with me these next few days. Ditto referring to Stefan and Johann as "Valjean and Javert" – Williams doesn't need to rely on another author's characters to make hers have a similar enemyship. (Enemyship – think I just made that word up.) I hope that was edited out, because I hope her editor sees how strong her writing is without stooping to using someone else's, as I see. I also wish there wasn't a strange nod to Pepper being related to Nick, which tied her to the other main family in the book, but that link wasn't explored (maybe it is in the companion books?). It was unnecessarily head-scratchy since it led to nothing.
Is that my only criticism? Umm… yup. And none of those criticisms matter at the end of the day. At the end of the book. At the end of each chapter, or even sentence. They don't matter. This book was magnificent. A triumph. Read it next to Julie Orringer's "The Invisible Bridge," Anita Shreve's "Resistance," and Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief," and oh hell, "The Diary of Anne Frank" while you're at it, and weep that this was, and is, our world, and that these authors exist in it to tell the story. I will tell you nothing else about it. Go read it. It'll make your week.
WARNING SEMI-SPOILERS AHEAD DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE OTHER BOOKS AND/OR WILL BE UPSET ABOUT THE SPOILERS
The biggest weakness in the book to me is that the narrative structure and plot feel way too similar to the other books. While the sisters in this and the Secret Life of Violet Grant are very different, the plots are almost identical - Nazis, desperate flights across Europe, even the historic love triangles between the young woman, older man, and younger rebel (although the outcome of the triangle is, of course, different). And, while I know that love triangles and star-crossed lovers do have some appeal, maybe not having *all* the books have them in one form or the other? The difference in the personalities of the characters went a long way to making the stories seem fresh, but even so, there were parts when I could have sworn I was reading one of the first three books. I'm normally a binge series reader, but I had to space these out several months apart or else it was just too much of the same thing.
Mecedes that she has sold to Annabelle. More than that, Annabelle sees her chance to help Pepper see her way. The story of Annabelle is deeper and more interesting. Yet Pepper's own life and her "peppery" personality compliments Annabelle's story.