“Beyond That, the Sea” is an interesting book about an aspect of WWII that I hadn’t read about before. It’s told from two perspectives: the first is that of a young girl who was separated from her parents and sent from England to America for her protection, and the second is that of the girl’s biological mother who stayed behind in England, struggling not only with the ongoing bombing but with the heartsickness of missing her little girl. Both viewpoints were told, by the older mother and the younger girl, and I really appreciated that. This separation lasted five years, enough time for the girl to become part of a New England family, and the mother’s life to change significantly in London. Then the war ends and the girl is forced to go back to England, being separated a second time from her family (albeit this time, leaving her foster family) to a mother she no longer knows. It’s not fair, but it was also part of life during this time period. I’ve read several books about the children who stayed in Europe during the war, but I never thought about those who were sent away. They knew no one in America, yet crossed the ocean in ships all alone to be housed for years with strangers. Were the families kind to the children? Or did they only take them in for extra work hands/money? It makes sense that both happened. For those children held practically as indentured servants, I’m sure it was a relief to go back to England. But what about those who didn’t want to leave? They were first forced to leave England, then forced again to leave America. It’s so sad and uplifting all at once. “Beyond That, the Sea” was a beautiful book that yes, was a little wordy at times but then what book nowadays isn’t? I really liked the storyline and the language and would recommend it to others.
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