Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson – Reviews and Download


Author(s): Claire GibsonDownload  

Publish: Published April 2nd 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks

ISBN: ISBN 0062853732 (ISBN13: 9780062853738)


Three women are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience. Set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, this is an amazing debut novel.

Duty. Honor. Country. That’s West Point’s motto, and every cadet who passes through its stone gates vows to live it. But on the eve of 9/11, as Dani, Hannah and Avery face four grueling years ahead, they realize they’ll only survive if they do it together.

Everyone knows Dani is going places. With athletic talent and a brilliant mind, she navigates West Point’s predominantly male environment with wit and confidence, breaking stereotypes and embracing new friends.

Hannah’s grandfather, a legendary Army general, offers a stark warning about the dangers that lie ahead, but she moves forward anyway, letting faith guide her path. When she meets her soul mate at West Point, the future looks perfect, just as planned.

Wild child Avery moves fast and doesn’t mind breaking a few rules (and hearts) along the way. But she can’t outpace her self-doubt, and the harder she tries, the further it leads her down a treacherous path.

The world—of business, of love, and of war—awaits Dani, Hannah, and Avery beyond the gates of West Point. These three women know that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But soon, that adage no longer rings true—for their future, or their friendship. As they’re pulled in different directions, will their hard-forged bond prevail or shatter?

Beyond the Point is a heartfelt look at how our closest friends can become our fiercest battle buddies. After all, the greatest battles we fight rarely require a uniform.

Some Reviews: 2,275 ratings 413 reviews in

JamalT rated it      
I’m pretty sure this book made me ugly cry for the last 100 hundred pages, which is a pretty big accomplishment.

This book is fascinating. Coming out right after Captain Marvel released, it made me realize how few stories we have about modern women in the military. And this is such a beautifully told story. Setting the story before, during, and after 9/11 was a great choice, and I love the different ways each of the main characters are tested and broken throughout the book.

Dani, Avery, and Hannah all felt like different people with different struggles–and I related to all of them. The book was good at avoiding being too preachy and really sidesteps addressing the politics of the time, because that’s not the point. The point is to see what life looks like for women in the military this century.

This is such a fascinating look into the military and West Point specifically. I’d also say that the book is a little Nicholas Sparks, and a little like Frozen, just in terms of some plot choices and tone, but I don’t want that to undermine how special this book is.

My only real complaint is that there’s a mom character who moms all the girls–and while I like the character and her scenes, it gets a little repetitive and it would have been nice to have that broken up with other women. With that said, it’s pretty clear that in real life officer’s wives can basically take this mom role for cadets, and learning about that dynamic was interesting and valuable. It’s a pretty minor nitpick in the scheme of things.

Claire Gibson is a fabulous writer. I thought she expertly interwove a lot of difficult topics-war, race, sexism, sexual agency, disability, religion & lack thereof, and made it look so easy. This is a wonderful book, and it really hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. Hopefully it can ride that Captain Marvel hype so more people can read it–and so we can get more stories about female soldiers.

Rachel | mrs.bennett.reads
Rachel | mrs.bennett.reads rated it     
3.5 stars for a unique, interesting story that really kept me turning the pages.

I really enjoyed this debut novel from Gibson about three female cadets who meet West Point around the time of 9/11 and where their lives go after that. The first 1/3 or so of the book was really about the development of these friendships – the middle 1/3 kind of goes off the rails a bit with a ton of others things happening (I felt like this was the weakest part of the book) – but the final portion closes up nicely with the return to the theme of friendship. I feel like this is a unique book in the way that the female friendships really are the central focus of the book, despite the romantic relationships, career choices, family relationships, etc. that also come into the story. I felt like it was a pretty accurate depiction of friendship – it doesn’t show this crazy toxic female friendship that is so stereotypical and largely untrue but it does show how they struggle throughout the years to be good friends to each other. The normal issues are present: time/distance, jealousy, miscommunications, etc. and it’s nice to see how these women work through those issues.

I also appreciated reading this book around Memorial Day as I felt it took a really poignant look at the choice that men and women make to become soldiers, and how that changes absolutely everything about their lives. No spoilers, but there was a portion of this book that really tore at my heartstrings, as it shows the cost of being willing to lay down everything for your country.

My one disclaimer is that while it is not marketed this way, this is 100% Christian fiction. It didn’t bother me but I was surprised by how often these themes came up.

Michelle rated it      
What a fantastic book. Dani, Hannah, and Avery were all wonderful characters in their own rights. None of them was perfect, but they loved each other because of and in spite of that, and that made me love them all even more. Starting the book before they’d each enrolled in West Point gave me a glimpse into their motivations — which were all different and nuanced. Then once they got to West Point, I loved watching their stories unfold and intertwine. It felt really natural and organic, the way they gradually became friends, hanging out together, defending each other, and growing increasingly attached to one another. Then following them into life after graduation felt just as realistic. Not everyone achieves what they’d thought was their dream, and sometimes we take long detours to find the path that’s right for us. The way Dani, Hannah, and Avery supported each other through the trials and tribulations of young adulthood had me thinking of the friends who’d been there for me in the same period of my own life (which, much like Dani, included a significant, though not as well-paid, detour). The last few chapters of the book had me in tears, thanks to the richness of all of the characters in this story.
Patricia rated it      
Super Girls. Wonder Women. West Point Women. All performing supremely at academics, sports, strength and endurance. And something else that defies definition. This original story follows Dani, Hannah, and Avery from their high school years to West Point Military Academy and a bit beyond. As members of the women’s basketball team they bond and form a friendship that withstands many trials and tribulations.

Throughout history women have been soldiers, but not enough is written about them to do them credit. Until now. BEYOND THE POINT creates a spell of awe and respect that keeps the reader turning pages. The characters are well-developed and believable. The plot is captivating and realistic. The writing style is seamless and enjoyable. This book is a winner! I hope that author CLAIRE GIBSON will give us more novels about military women. Her characters are an inspiration to others, military and civilian, to summon the fortitude to face life’s challenges.

I am indebted to Harper Collins for the opportunity to read a galley and give my opinion.


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