Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bestie Beatriz Binge // Five Reasons To Read Beatriz Williams

Once in a while, somebody special comes along that makes you forget all the times you've been hurt. That helps you remember love. For the second time in the past year I found that person.

I am very clearly talking about authors and books right now so don't get your romantic panties in a twist. I'm talking about Beatriz Williams. When I visited Hannah in Atlanta a few months ago she told me about a historical fiction author she met at a signing and how she loved the book she read by her. I read the synopses and was pretty intrigued. A few weeks later when my TBR was basically zero I decided to get them from the library (and subsequently bought all of them after reading).

Hannah and I decided to read all of Beatriz Williams books together after my incessant text messaging to her while I was reading my first book. I read 80% of her entire collected works in about a week and a half. I'm seriously smitten. Utterly obsessed. I wanted to read nothing else and re-read until my hearts content. Hannah was also so obsessed--see what I did there?--and we had the best time reading them together and then discussing. We had a standing phone call date the morning after every book we finished. They're that good. And what better way to share our overwhelming love than with a book event all this week showcasing what we love about Beatriz William. We give you...the Bestie Beatriz Binge! First up in our week of love is my Top Five Reasons You Should Read Beatriz Williams...

My first Beatriz Williams book was Overseas. I started with this because the premise is a love that transcends centuries and I am SUCH a sucker for soulmates and ancestor memories and time travel and finding each other in different lives, I am such a pathetic sap but I digress. I am almost instantly intrigued by any of the above and Overseas had this in plenty. I started it on a Saturday afternoon and before I knew it I was 150 pages in. I couldn't stop. They are so engaging and easy to get into that once I stared, I couldn't stop. Their readability is so high that it is almost impossible not to be engaged and charmed by her characters and their lives.

While every book has at least one fantastic romance that you're rooting for and swooning over, A Hundred Summers might be my favorite. Dual timeline takes us back in time when Nick and Lily first meet while attending different colleges. Nick Greenwald is the epitome of an old-fashioned heart throb. If I could have put on an itchy sweater and pointed brassiere to travel back in time to find him, I would have. He was just the most. Tiny Little Things also had an incredible sigh-inducing romance that I was salivating over. Caspian is the kind of man you hope falls for you from afar and I think there is a little--or a lot--of Tiny in all of us. Along the Infinite Sea had the most complex romances that I was just dying while reading. Her combination of romance and historical moments is the bee's knees.

Prior to reading these books I was on a WWI and WWII spy binge thanks to The Alice Network and while these books are not focused on spies, the wars are definitely a major component in a lot of them. The intensity of the situations Williams puts her characters in are taut with tension. The end of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Along the Infinite Sea were nail-biting. I was leaning so far into the book and turning the pages so fast it was comical. If ever my life had an intervention moment, it was then. I was in so deep and I had so many emotions I found myself crying like a baby at the end of one of them. (I won't tell you which, you'll just have to read.) And if the war isn't going on, we have bootleggers and prohibition raids and scandalous affairs. I cannot even TELL you how intense these books are. Indescribable.

The main cast of characters in all her books come from a wealthy background and with that comes the problems of rich people. Secret scandals that need to be covered up, black sheep family members nobody wants to talk about, unfortunate consequences to bad decisions, blackmail. It's all there. I ate this shit up with a spoon. While my usual cup of tea is of the low-angst variety, Williams puts just the right amount of drama and emotion into her stories that make you keep telling yourself, 'one more chapter.' I couldn't get enough of the Schuyler family and all their counterparts. And just when you think Williams cannot outdo herself, you leave the Schuyler sisters and meet the scandalous cast of characters from A Certain Age and The Wicked City and Cocoa Beach where the stakes are even higher with prohibition in full swing. While it may sound over the top when describing the plot to somebody who hasn't read them, I can tell you that while reading it is all believable and organic and scandalous as all hell.

I want to cross post this as a Travel By Page because I felt so transported by her books. From the coast of France to the trenches of WWI, the streets of pre-WWII Paris to Hitler's Germany, 1960s New York to 2007 New York, 1920s aristocracy and 1920s underground Jazz clubs, almost every moment felt like I was somewhere else. There is something truly magical about having this quality in your writing and I know that I will anticipate every new book from Williams for a long time to come...and re-read all the ones I've already fell in love with.

I think I could talk about her books for hours. I am so charmed by her characters and her writing that I fell down the rabbit whole for almost 2 whole weeks and binged on everything and anything Beatriz Williams. I have a problem but it is the best kind of problem to have. I LOVE discovering new authors with an incredible backlist that just speak to me.

Have I convinced you yet?!
Don't forget to check out Hannah's post today!


  1. I totally agree with all of these! Beatriz Williams is one of my favorite authors. I love the romance between Nick and Lily. The way Williams sets a scene is incredible. I always feel like I'm right there with the characters.

  2. I've been eyeing A Hundred Summers now for years and all of the gushing you just did about all of Beatriz's books have gotten me pretty excited to check them out! I feel so drawn to her covers and I love the historical aspect!

  3. I am already planning on checking out her books because of your instagram posts. I requested Cocoa Beach from the library, but wasn't sure if that would be the best one to start with?

  4. Have you read her books as Juliana Gray? I really liked A Most Extraordinary Pursuit. I'm still working on her books among everything else I want to read. She's quite prolific.

  5. I found it interesting how your notes only focus on website..

  6. All five of the reasons that you gave for why Beatriz's books are awesome are seriously right up my alley! How have I never read a book by her? I'll need to fix that at some point and you (+ Hannah) will be the first to know.


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