From the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives comes another riveting novel of the Schuyler sisters—where the epic story of star-crossed lovers in pre-war Europe collides with a woman on the run in the swinging '60s...
In the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler's problems are in a class of their own. To find a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries—the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician—she fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction.
But the car's new owner, the glamorous Annabelle Dommerich, has her own secrets: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle's life before the Second World War stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts.
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In Williams's fifth novel, devotees of her Schuyler sisters can follow the fate of renegade Pepper Schuyler and the aftermath of her affair with a married politician in the fall of 1966. Similar to the author's other page-turners, there is a parallel story here about another young woman, in this case Annabelle Dommerich, a Christian Frenchwoman whose life in 1935 is upended when her Jewish lover disappears and she ends up marrying a high-ranking German officer. How Annabelle and Pepper cross paths in 1966 is rather contrived Annabelle purchases the vintage 1936 Mercedes Special Roadster that Pepper has restored, and the car turns out to be the very one that Annabelle and her German husband drove to flee Germany and come to America before World War II began. Unfortunately, the travails faced by Pepper, pregnant with the married politician's child and on the run from his goons, pale in comparison to Annabelle's heartbreaking love story and subsequent rebound marriage against the backdrop of Hitler's rise to power and the horrifying consequences of his regime. Though Williams tries to give both narratives nearly equal weight, Annabelle's distinctive character and story are far stronger than Pepper's. Nonetheless, the happy ending will surely satisfy the bestselling author's many fans.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Along The Infinite Sea
Author Beatriz Williams has an amazing imagination full of suspense and riveting details up to the last page! Loved this book!
two stories were a tad uneven
As I found in A Hundred Summers this book was a little slow to start for me, and combined two stories from two differing timelines and places. It is in the interweaving of these two stories, and the common elements in each story that have the two timeframes working to tell the tale.
In 1966, we meet Pepper as she is introduced, in a roundabout way to the other focus of this story, Annabelle. From there, the storylines intersect and divide, taking off into a tale of life in pre-war 1930’s Europe as we move to the nearer dates of mid-60’s America.
These two stories were a tad uneven, Annabelle’s character and her life in Europe were richly detailed and emotionally available, through threats, romance, struggles and heartbreak before immigrating to the US, Annabelle had experiences that clearly related to her present behaviors and attitudes, so many years on.
Pepper was, for me, the less intriguing or engaging of the two: abrasive, headstrong and more than a tad self-centered, she was difficult to empathize with and engendered little sympathy. Not quite detestable, but just filler for me, only relevant in the moments where she and Annabelle interacted or her character moved the story forward. Of course there is a mystery to solve, some drama to overcome and romance, some good some could have been left aside to concentrate on balancing the two stories.
With some over used phrases, a bit more tell than show and some gaps in the choices made in pre-war Germany, all presented but few explained. For me, the story would have been richer for that information and perhaps a few fewer romantic themed moments, as many felt forced. A story that is bordering on beach-side read, notable for the moments that sparkle, but not enough of those moments appear to truly rocket this read into a keeper shelf.
I received an eBook copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.