Shoshana's Reviews > Overseas

Overseas by Beatriz Williams
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Aug 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, grown-up, historical-fiction, favorites
Read from August 10 to 11, 2012

Edit: In light that I have re-read this book about three times since the original reading and review, I'm bumping it up to a four star. I've found this to be a singularly comforting read, particularly in the lack of contrived character drama and forced misunderstandings. While there is, of course, a DRAMATIC CLIMAX stretch, it doesn't involve people being needlessly angry at each other, or betrayed, or what the fuck ever, so I appreciate that. Thank you.

To review "Overseas" is an unexpected challenge. On one hand, I very much enjoyed it: the plot twists were twisty, Prince Charming was appropriately charming, the heroine did not make me want to gag, and on the whole the reading experience felt an appropriately indulgent wallow.

On the other hand, if I see the word "darling" one more time, someone's getting a fork in the eye.

They were all little things, the things that made this book kind of middling, but they stood out in fantastic glory. The syrupy language, for instance, which is fun but - just like most syrup - gets cloying fast. Julian's speech patterns in general - I liked what Williams was doing, using them to distinguish his origins, but at a certain point it was like, "Really? Right-ho? AND NO ONE HAS REALIZED YOU ARE A TIME TRAVELER?"

And the fights. Williams, oh Williams. You have created this surprisingly original plot (I'm not going to lie, I loved the ring message), and it all fits together very nicely, and somehow you have managed to avoid most of the pitfalls of stock romance even though your Price Charming plays the stocks, and then... the fights. The fights that could have been pulled from every annoying romance to ever annoy. I AM INDEPENDENT WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR! LAVISH ME NOT WITH JEWELS AND RICHES! But, honey, I love you! Money is a piddley thing against my love for you! ROAR! ...BUT I WILL ACCEPT THESE GIFTS UNDER DURESS BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT TEN PAGES, UPON WHICH WE WILL HAVE THIS SAME ARGUMENT. Darling!

...Yeah.

That said, I still liked it.
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