This one fell flat

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I normally love reading stories people’s struggles in the midst of World War II. These stories fiction or not give us just a small glimpse into one of the most crucial periods in world history. It is imperative that we do not forget it. So when I read the premise for Beyond that the sea I was hooked and drawn to the story. Sadly though this one fell flat for me. Two loving but desperate parents Millie and “Reg” make the heartbreaking decision to send their young daughter Beatrix “Bea” overseas. So she will be safe in the midst of the war.

11-year old Bea gets sent to Boston to live with the Gregory’s a close knit but yet complicated family. This is where things began to turn for me and things as I mentioned previously just fell flat. There was this one very creepy instance where Nancy Gregory was talking to her husband Ethan and complaining that Bea was getting two old and she didn’t want her giving her baths anymore. That is first level creepy and just bizarre. The child isn’t yours and it is just so sick you would be sad about that.

The Gregory’s did a wonderful thing by taking her in but that scene was straight up disturbing. Another thing that bothered me very early on in the story is Millie’s Bea’s mother. She just shipped her daughter off to America and kept living her best life having very little direct contact with her. Then later on in the story shows resentment towards the Gregory’s for their warm bond with Bea. She seemed widely self-absorbed always looking for the next best thing. With three subsequent marriages since Reg was killed in battle.

She hardly had any time for her and yet was bitter when Bea pushed her away and wanted to live her own life as an adult. I won’t spoil the ending but biggest issue I had with the book was the characters and their “choices”. It was very obvious that the more you read that William and Bea had developed feelings for each other. Rather than working on their lives and deciding to be together they made excuse after excuse as to why they shouldn’t. Especially William and he led a life of full of regret and couldn’t cope.

I couldn’t stand his complaining about the life decisions he made it was infuriating. Bea for her part was no better. Really keeping her true feelings deeply locked away out of fear. While I won’t ruin the ending although tragic was also truly baffling. I wanted to love this but sadly couldn’t.