We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about debut Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor.
Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor is published by The Cameo Press and is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.
A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.
Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…
Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide – and become one desperate struggle to be together.
Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip love story – and at the same time a meditation on the themes of war, mental illness, identity and art – Beyond The Moon sweeps the reader on an unforgettable journey through time. An intelligent read, perfect for book clubs.
Beyond the Moon is a romantic love story with time travel.
Louisa distraught at losing her beloved grandmother drinks too much and accidentally falls partly down a cliff. With her past she is deemed a risk to herself and is admitted to Coldbrook psychiatric hospital. A place which is dark, humiliating and unacceptable for people suffering with mental health.
Louisa discovers an abandoned wing and meets Robert, another patient. Lieutenant Robert Lovett admitted with injuries and hysterical blindness in 1916, during World War I.
Their romance begins but Robert is confused and wary of her associations with the future. Louisa is taken back to the past in France in search of her love.
The author depicts the harsh realities of war with harrowing detail.
I don’t want to give too much away! This is an interesting story with fabulous historical detail. Highly recommended.
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Catherine Taylor was born and grew up on the island of Guernsey in the British Channel Islands.
She is a former journalist, most recently for Dow Jones News and The Wall Street Journal in London.
Beyond The Moon is her first novel.
She lives in Ealing, London with her husband and two children.