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BEYOND THE POINT by Claire Gibson

Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson was recently described by Anne Bogel on the Readerly Report podcast as “the military meets women’s fiction”, and I think that’s pretty accurate. It’s about three women – Avery, Hannah and Dani – who meet as freshmen at West Point where they are have each been recruited to play basketball. They make it through four years of college together, bonding over their awful coach, grueling summer trainings and relationships with men (or the lack thereof). When they graduate, they go their separate ways – one to be deployed overseas, one to civilian life, and one remaining on base in the U.S. – and start to grow apart the way friendships often do after college. But when tragedy strikes one of them, they are brought back together and the strength of their friendship is put to the test.

Beyond The Point is definitely women’s fiction, but with a bit of heft. It’s more about relationships and friendship than it is about the military, but the Army definitely plays a prominent role. If you’ve ever been intrigued by military schools like West Point, Beyond The Point provides a little insight, and even better, from the female perspective. I definitely felt invested in these three women and was intrigued to see what happened to them.

Some Goodreads reviews complained that there was too much God and religion in Beyond The Point. That’s something I am usually pretty sensitive to, but it didn’t bother me here. There are some cliched characters who talked a lot about faith, but they were pretty minor.

Beyond The Point is a pretty light read, but its chapters set in Afghanistan and within the Academy elevate it a bit. A good summer choice.