Along the Infi­nite Sea

Beat­riz Willams
  • Review
By – December 23, 2015

Along the Infi­nite Sea by Beat­riz Williams is a his­tor­i­cal romance — with more empha­sis on the his­to­ry. In the set­ting of ear­ly Nazi Ger­many, the book delves into how someone’s fame, for­tune, and for­bid­den pas­sion can influ­ence rela­tion­ships. The sto­ry alter­nates between the late 1930s and mid 1960s, flash­ing back to reveal a mys­tery of regret and intrigue, keep­ing read­ers guess­ing at what hap­pened until the very end of the book.

Along the Infi­nite Sea is alter­nate­ly nar­rat­ed by two women, Pep­per in the 1960s and Annabelle in the 1930s. The nov­el begins as Pep­per is sell­ing a restored Mer­cedes she found in her sister’s in-laws’ Cape Cod shed as a means of pro­vid­ing for her impend­ing life as a sin­gle moth­er. The buy­er turns out to be the car’s orig­i­nal own­er, Annabelle, who used the Road­ster to escape Nazi Ger­many with her lover, hus­band, and chil­dren. Because she sees a lot of her­self in Pep­per, Annabelle takes her under her wing and teach­es her to sur­vive. Both are strong, beau­ti­ful women whose lives are full of secrets.

Read­ers will be swept away with the all-too-real events, issues, and char­ac­ters. Two of the main char­ac­ters voice the view­points of those liv­ing under the aus­pices of the Nazi Par­ty that cul­mi­nat­ed in Kristall­nacht, an orga­nized gov­ern­ment pogrom against the Jews: appre­hend­ing the anti­se­mit­ic vio­lence soon to erupt, Ste­fan Sil­ver­man express­es ambiva­lence about putting pub­lic duty ahead of his own desires; his soul mate, Annabelle de’Creouville, rec­og­nizes the big­otry of the Ger­mans — evi­denced by her move back to Paris — but is naïve regard­ing the bru­tal­i­ty. You do not under­stand a thing, Annabelle,” Ste­fan argues. The Ger­mans want to destroy us. I mean oblit­er­ate. I mean they want us blis­tered from the face of the earth.” Their dis­agree­ments speak to the con­flict­ing per­spec­tives of Ger­man Jews as the Nazis gained power. 

But the most com­pelling and engag­ing sto­ry­line is the back­sto­ry of Annabelle dur­ing the 1930s, in a world that is rapid­ly falling apart. She is faced with threats, strug­gles, and heart­break in hav­ing to choose between the love of her life, Ste­fan, and the man she even­tu­al­ly mar­ries for secu­ri­ty, Gen­er­al Von Kleist. The nov­el empha­sizes how peo­ple are pre­sent­ed with choic­es in their life. Ste­fan must chose between pub­lic duty and his own incli­na­tions towards Annabelle; she must choose between loy­al­ty to her hus­band and chil­dren against her own inno­cence, the desire of a per­fect world in which she and Ste­fan could live hap­pi­ly ever after; the Gen­er­al must chose between his loy­al­ty to his coun­try and his loy­al­ty to his wife and chil­dren; and Pep­per must make the choice of keep­ing her unborn baby or giv­ing it up for adoption.

Along the Infi­nite Sea is one of those spe­cial books where read­ers will not want the sto­ry to end. Human rela­tion­ships are inte­grat­ed into a riv­et­ing sto­ry that plays out in the back­drop of his­tor­i­cal dra­ma, as Beat­riz Williams adept­ly devel­ops both the char­ac­ters and the dual time­lines set between Paris, Ger­many, and America.

Relat­ed Content:

Elise Coop­er lives in Los Ange­les and has writ­ten numer­ous nation­al secu­ri­ty arti­cles sup­port­ing Israel. She writes book reviews and Q and A’s for many dif­fer­ent out­lets includ­ing the Mil­i­tary Press. She has had the plea­sure to inter­view best­selling authors from many dif­fer­ent genres.

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