Title: Beyond the Horizon
Author: Jesseca Wheaton
My Rating: ★★★★★
Summary from Goodreads:
Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.
Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.
But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.
As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?
Beyond the Horizon was a sweet tale which I thoroughly enjoyed!
First of all, it had such an unique premise! Cinderella retellings? They’ve been done. But a WWII Cinderella CHRISTMAS retelling? Can it really get any better?!
Not only that, but the story came through on every aspect. I thought everything was developed down to the tiniest detail, retaining a strong Cinderella feel while still being unique and distinct. It was so, so, so cleverly done, and came through amazingly. I loved the ways it stayed so close to the original tale while still being completely its own!
The author’s talent is amazing. Beautifully painted characters on gorgeous backdrops provided for a great storyline. It was decently paced, not too slow but not too fast either. I thought it was a perfect story for a novella, as it went into detail without becoming dragged out. I finished it in one sitting, it was so captivating and enjoyable. I love finding unique stories, and this one truly fit that mold!
My one downside, strangely, would be the Christian aspect. Don’t get me wrong; I love Christian-themes and aspects in books! And while I would say the Christian elements in this case were well worked into the story, unfortunately, to me, it just seemed a little too cheesy. SPOILER.. I will never argue against the gospel being an important message, but I found myself unhappily cringing a few times when reading this, such as when Elly finds the Bible, accepts Jesus instantly, and starts telling everyone she sees. A great concept? Without a doubt, yes! But not all books need to have a direct gospel presentation and characters getting saved to be a Christian book with Christian messages. I thought the author could have easily communicated some strong Christian themes in this story in a more creative way, and it would have been just as impactful of a story. But then again, I could totally be missing something here.
All this put aside, I thought it was a fabulous read, a work accomplished through amazing writing skills, some awesome characters and a strong plot. Would recommend to any looking for a good, but unique, fairy-tale story!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.