cover image Along the Infinite Sea

Along the Infinite Sea

Beatriz Williams. Putnam, $26.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-399-17131-4

In Williams’s fifth novel, devotees of her Schuyler sisters can follow the fate of renegade Pepper Schuyler and the aftermath of her affair with a married politician in the fall of 1966. Similar to the author’s other page-turners, there is a parallel story here about another young woman, in this case Annabelle Dommerich, a Christian Frenchwoman whose life in 1935 is upended when her Jewish lover disappears and she ends up marrying a high-ranking German officer. How Annabelle and Pepper cross paths in 1966 is rather contrived—Annabelle purchases the vintage 1936 Mercedes Special Roadster that Pepper has restored, and the car turns out to be the very one that Annabelle and her German husband drove to flee Germany and come to America before World War II began. Unfortunately, the travails faced by Pepper, pregnant with the married politician’s child and on the run from his goons, pale in comparison to Annabelle’s heartbreaking love story and subsequent rebound marriage against the backdrop of Hitler’s rise to power and the horrifying consequences of his regime. Though Williams tries to give both narratives nearly equal weight, Annabelle’s distinctive character and story are far stronger than Pepper’s. Nonetheless, the happy ending will surely satisfy the bestselling author’s many fans. (Nov.)