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Beyond. Hardcover – 1925

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 499 pages
  • Publisher: C. Scribner (1925)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006DM1Z8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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By Richard Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
This novel is about love, it's joys, passions, jealousies, deceptions and tragedy. It's an emotionally charged and sensitively written study of a young woman's sentimental education, set just before the First World War in England, a period piece with universal relevance.

Gyp's mother died at her birth; she is brought up an only child in comfortable, middle-class surroundings by her beloved father; he remains single and devoted to her. In her early twenties, she becomes enamoured of an Italian violinist, Fiorsen, and they marry. But though her husband loves her after his fashion, and is possessive, she discovers that he's not what he seems and that what she feels isn't love. He soon gives her reasons to despise him, and when he takes a mistress she feels no jealousy, only pity for the woman - she suffers much at his treatment. Gyp eventually feels forced to leave her husband. She is left wondering whether she's capable of love - and then she falls for Bryan, a young barrister. In him she discovers true love; they set up house together and, in the face of social disapproval - Fiorsen won't grant her a divorce - they live as man and wife. Gyp at last is happy and fulfilled... However, after a few years, she has reason to doubt his fidelity, and it all ends in grief and tragedy. Her father, as always, is there to pick up the pieces.

The message seems to be that even as love intensifies life it makes you vulnerable; when you are most committed and at risk, it's often treacherous; that men in love are more likely to cheat on their partners, are more morally flawed. This may feel sexist to us now but in terms of the period and the novel its persuasive.

The story is told entirely from Gyp's point of view. She is a living, breathing, creation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is set in the 1920's. Gyp, the daughter of ex-Major Charles Claire Winterson, at the age of 23 marries Fiorsen, a Swedish violin virtuoso. Her mother, the wife of another man, has been Clinton's mistress; she had died when Gyp was born. A highly sensitive child, Gyp has grown up in isolated surroundings with a kind, but very British, father.

As she gets older her father tries to introduce her into society. An attack of gout takes him to Wiesbaden for a cure and, as he never goes anywhere without her, she accompanies him. There she is mesmerised by Fiorsen and his playing. Intensely musical herself and inexperienced, she's flattered by the homage of the violinist although her father soon sees through him. She also sees he is talented but unstable, ignorant, vain, hypersensitive, with an air of romance – a typical virtuoso.

Gyp realises that she may well have made a mistake in marrying Fiorsen. The book follows what happens to her thereafter.

This is a much neglected book which certainly does not deserve to be. Above all, Galsworthy writes beautifully and the book is achingly true about the nature of true love and how all-consuming it can be.
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By Mary D on 28 July 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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