Beyond the Point
By: Claire Gibson
Published: April 2, 2019
From the Cover:
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.
Do you ever start a book and immediately think that maybe the author’s writing style isn’t for you? This is how I felt when I started this book. I was skeptical, but I pushed forward because the plot hooked me. I’m glad I did.
After I acclimated to the author’s voice (sometimes that’s all it takes), I was pulled in to the plot. If you are a Millennial, you were–like me–raised on the adventures of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants saga. Growing up, I was envious of the bond between those 4 girls and the adventures they shared, the way they stuck together even thousands of miles apart, the way they supported each other, and most importantly the way they all somehow fit in the coolest pair of pants ever owned. I mean, come on. What girl didn’t wish she was part of that sisterhood?
Claire Gibson writes of a similar sisterhood, although this one centers around the lives of three young women cadets at West Point. They are on the same varsity basketball team and they are inseparable. This book details the providential events that bring them together–and keep them together–from the time they start at West Point to years after graduation. It chronicles the unique relationship that is friendship between women: a relationship characterized by love, jealousy, support, joy, anger, frustration, miscommunication, sacrifice, and nurturing. It details the tenuous moments that characterize young women’s growth into adulthood, and the successes and failures that come with the journey.
This book felt acutely personal to me as I am the descendant to a line of service members. The military runs in my blood; the values instilled to its service members were the same ones on which I was raised. I cried during the entire final 100 pages of this book. It’s hard to not. You know something bad is going to happen right from the prologue, but even that foreshadowing could not prepare me for the way I would react. All I’m going to say is you should have a box of tissues ready.
I loved this book because it felt like a meditation on the essence of the female friendship. It was honest and raw, and exposed aspects that are present in many female friendships that we may be ashamed to admit to. Despite this, the picture Claire Gibson paints is a largely redeeming one. Our friendships are malleable and ever-evolving; we make mistakes but we will always be there to support each other when the time comes. The sisterhood will endure.