5 out of 5 stars
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If you want to experience an extravagant lifestyle vicariously, this is the book for you. Annie, the protagonist in Beyond the Sea, has no money worries. Supported by her wealthy grandparents and two rich suitors, she travels the world on private jets, luxury sailboats, and fancy sports cars. She stays in luxurious accommodations, drinks expensive wines, and enjoys haute cuisine.
Being financially secure does not mean she is worry-free, however. Annie faces many personal conflicts such as her father's disappearance, a boating accident that seriously injures her best friend, and questionable romantic encounters. Annie is supported during each crisis by a network of friends and family. The author, Nina Purtee, has a degree in philosophy, and that is demonstrated through the advice meted out to Annie during her troubled times.
Readers who enjoy travelogs will appreciate the diverse settings of the story. I was originally drawn to the book because I saw that one of the settings was Marbella. I fell in love with that beach town on my trip to Spain. One of my favorite parts of the book was reliving my train ride from Madrid to Malaga on the same high-speed train that Annie took. Annie also vividly describes her trips to places such as Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, Portugal, and Thailand.
Although I enjoyed reading this 286-page novel, at times the unreality of how everything always turned out perfectly felt too much like a fairy tale. This aspect was not enough to deduct a star. My rating is five out of five. There are some love scenes, and readers who might be offended by the vivid sexual descriptions might want to skip this book.
This is the first book about the 26-year-old, bold traveler. The author has given hints about where Annie's adventures will take her next. If I can't make it to South America and Bali myself, I will enjoy seeing it through Annie's eyes.
Beyond the Sea
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