Title: A Bridge Across the Ocean
Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: March 14, 2017 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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
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
My Two Cents:
"A Bridge Across the Ocean" is the story told in a few different times: during World War II, just after World War II, and in the present day. This is a historical fiction with the present day story line having a healthy dose of paranormal activity for interest. This was an engaging story with a memorable mystery at its center that kept me on my toes. This is a great release from Meissner!
The characters in this book are great. They are all different but at their center, all three of our main characters are just trying to figure themselves out. In the past timeline, Simone is running away from her difficult life in France during the war. She is ready for a fresh start where she can be her own person. Annaliese takes the name and papers of a beloved friend who is now dead in order to buy her freedom on passage to America, far away from her Nazi husband. In the present, Brette is trying to come to terms with the fact that she can see the dead. It is something that she has known since she was little but until she is called on to help a friend, it is something she does not want to admit. These characters were so memorable and the author really makes you feel for each of their plights.
Books told in two (or more as in this case) times are often uneven for me. This one was not! Simone and Annaliese's stories are engrossing on their own because of the implication that historical events had on both of them. Brette's story is totally different because of the paranormal bend to it. I knew nothing about the RMS Queen Mary before reading this book and I loved how the author wove not only the real history of the ship but the rumor of it being haunted (btw, it's much more than a rumor in this book). The ship itself has a really amazing history. It was everything from a ship for the rich and famous, a way to move troops to different theaters of war, to a ship of hope bringing European war brides to the U.S. to reunite with with their husbands.
This is a good story that has a great mix of historical intrigue and paranormal details to make this book more off of the beaten path. This is a good escape!