A sweeping, tenderhearted love story, Beyond That, the Sea by Laura Spence-Ash tells the story of two families living through World War II on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and the shy, irresistible young woman who will call them both her own.
As German bombs fall over London in 1940, working-class parents Millie and Reginald Thompson make an impossible choice: they decide to send their eleven-year-old daughter, Beatrix, to America. There, she’ll live with another family for the duration of the war, where they hope she’ll stay safe.
Scared and angry, feeling lonely and displaced, Bea arrives in Boston to meet the Gregorys. Mr. and Mrs. G, and their sons William and Gerald, fold Bea seamlessly into their world. She becomes part of this lively family, learning their ways and their stories, adjusting to their affluent lifestyle. Bea grows close to both boys, one older and one younger, and fills in the gap between them. Before long, before she even realizes it, life with the Gregorys feels more natural to her than the quiet, spare life with her own parents back in England.
As Bea comes into herself and relaxes into her new life—summers on the coast in Maine, new friends clamoring to hear about life across the sea—the girl she had been begins to fade away, until, abruptly, she is called home to London when the war ends.
Desperate as she is not to leave this life behind, Bea dutifully retraces her trip across the Atlantic back to her new, old world. As she returns to post-war London, the memory of her American family stays with her, never fully letting her go, and always pulling on her heart as she tries to move on and pursue love and a life of her own.
As we follow Bea over time, navigating between her two worlds, Beyond That, the Sea emerges as a beautifully written, absorbing novel, full of grace and heartache, forgiveness and understanding, loss and love.
Bea is only 11 years old when her parents decide to send her the United States to protect her from the bombs in London. It was one of the hardest things her parents have ever done. But, they feel it is best for Bea. Bea is staying with the Gregorys and their two sons, William and Gerald. The longer she stays the more she loves this family and feels more at home than in London.
I loved every single character, especially Bea and Gerald. As Bea grows into her own, she faces many conflicts and decisions. And when her two worlds collide she realizes she has enough love to forgive and understand.
This is a story you do not want to miss. I think my favorite part is the summer. The time in Maine really resonated with me. The togetherness and the peacefulness made me a bit nostalgic for my summers as a kid.
Need a story which has some of the best characters…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.