I first saw a blurb about Beatriz Williams’ book Overseas in a women’s magazine and found the premise compelling — a love story involving time travel. I’ve written the opening pages of a time travel story myself, although I have no plot for it yet. The challenges in writing time travel are the methods (machine?), the rules (can history be changed?), the grandfather paradox (if you go back in time, kill your grandfather before your parents are born and therefore are never born yourself, how can you go back in time and kill your grandfather?) and the endless loop that can occur. I was curious to find out how Williams’ dealt with these issues.
I’m a fairly picky reader and if I can’t get into the story ASAP, sometimes it never gets finished. Overseas started a little slow and it took a some time to deal with jumping between present day (2008) and the past (1916). In many places, I felt like the writing meandered, but something would finally happen and I’d be back in the thick of things. The jumping between past and present becomes essential to the story, so I accepted it even though the jump often occurred in a spot in which I wasn’t ready to switch times.
The story involves Kate who works on Wall Street and Julian, a British billionaire hedge fund owner. He can have anyone he wants and with one look he wants Kate. But someone is lurking in the shadows, trying to hinder the romance. As it turns out, Kate and Julian’s story may not have started in 2008, but in 1916, when Kate sought Julian out to warn him of his impending death (or did it? It’s a bit like the chicken and egg). I don’t want to give too much away because part of the fun of the book is discovering the twists and turns and wondering if it will turn out in the end.
There was the mushy love stuff romance readers enjoy, but the intimate parts were very tame. There was very little detail, so readers who like play-by-play sex scenes won’t find that. At the same time, Williams captures the emotions and feelings that go along with intimacy, so readers can still get a thrill.
In some parts, it felt a little like Twilight — the social/moral clash between an old fashioned man and a modern woman — and yet Julian’s prudishness and desire to make an “honest woman” of Kate isn’t just about old-fashion values, which added another twist to the story (you have to read it to find out what that is!).
As a writer, I liked that Williams made up her own rules about how time travel could occur and didn’t dwell too much on the paradox or loop. Overall, I really enjoyed Overseas
and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good romantic story.