I’d had to learn everything from pounds, shillings, and pence to the proper technique for securing a hat with a single long pin; I’d borne all of it under the bruising weight of an impossibly profound grief. And my brain was at last getting used to it all–to the foreignness, of course, but also the unexpected fact that it was so…ordinary. Strange, without all the modern machines and clothes and conveniences, and yet familiar. Bread tasted like bread. Rain fell as wetly as ever.
Julian was still Julian.
(from Overseas, page 19)
I’m not a big fan of romances, but after reading Mrs. Q’s review of Overseas, I knew I had to get my hands on this book, and I immediately put it on hold at the library. Beatriz William’s story of a timeless love and time travel set in Amiens, France, on the Western Front of World War I in 1916 and on Wall Street in 2008 hooked me from the first page, and thankfully I had no plans this past Sunday because I spent the entire day just eating up this book.
Overseas is narrated by 25-year-old investment banker Kate Wilson, who has worked hard to land a position in the Capital Markets department of Sterling Bates and sworn off men in the process. She keeps her cool in an atmosphere of butt-kissing and back-stabbing, but she’s caught off guard when Julian Laurence, the billionaire head of a hedge fund, shows an interest in her, then just as suddenly disappears from her life. Their paths cross a few months later, and there’s no denying that the attraction between them is still there.
Julian is very gentlemanly and old fashioned, a man who longs to take care of the woman he loves, but Kate is a modern, independent woman. When a scandal erupts at Sterling Bates, it pains Kate to have to seek shelter with Julian, who senses a danger that he can’t possibly explain to Kate. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect her and take care of her needs, even insisting that all of his money and possessions also are hers, but Kate finds it all a bit stifling.
At the same time that Williams takes readers through all the ups and downs of Julian and Kate’s relationship, she also transports them back to the Great War, telling the story of Captain Ashford, a famous war poet, and the woman who loves him so much she’ll do anything to prevent him from going back to the front. The way in which Williams merges the two stories kept me on the edge of my seat, and just when I thought I had it all figured out, she’d surprise me again.
Overseas is one of those books that requires readers to just go with the flow, to not think too much about the why and the how. Even when the professions of undying devotion got to be a bit too much, even when I felt that the secondary characters could have been better developed, I was still captivated by this story and had to know how it would all play out. Williams made me care about Kate and Julian and made me believe their story, no matter how unbelievable it really was. I honestly was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book; it definitely has its flaws, but it offered some mindless fun for a lazy afternoon.
© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.