“The sea stretches before me like a shimmering bridge, welcoming me across, inviting me to embrace all that I do not yet know.” – Susan Meissner, A Bridge Across the Ocean
*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
I love historical fiction novels, especially those set in World War II (see last week’s Little Library). I’ve read about many different aspects of the war, and it always thrills me to learn about a new topic. A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner, focused on war brides crossing over to America – something I’ve never read about before. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book so that I could dive into the lives of the women who crossed on the RMS Queen Mary.
The book follows the separate stories of three women until they all converge on the RMS Queen Mary. Two of the stories start during the war, and one is in present day. The characters from the 1940’s are fascinating. One is the reluctant wife of a Nazi who she is running from, and the other is the daughter of a member of the French Resistance. The women meet up aboard the ship on their way to America. The events that unfold for the women in this story had me enthralled.
In the present day, Brette is trying to solve a mystery aboard the RMS Queen Mary. This mystery is linked to the ladies who sailed to America as war brides. This seemed like the perfect plot device to me, until the main character started communicating with ghosts. I don’t know what it is about ghost stories, but I just can’t connect with them. Vampires I can do. Magicians? Bring them on. But ghost stories…..that is where I pump the brakes.
I feel awful because I really did enjoy the writing and the mystery. I loved finding out what actually happened aboard the ship, and the ending genuinely surprised me. The ghost element just didn’t do it for me. Had I realized it was a theme of the story, I would have passed on reading the novel. That being said, there are MILLIONS of people who do love ghost stories. If that is you – then you will love this book.
Has anyone read any good books about the war brides of WWII? Now I’m on a quest to learn more!
*disclosure: this post contains our Amazon affiliate link, if you purchase anything we get a few cents to further indulge our love of reading*
Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women—past and present—in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life.
February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Résistance spy.
Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark...
Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.
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