A Bridge Across the Ocean
“I was utterly spellbound, beguiled, swept up in this ghostly mystery.”–Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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.
CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED
Advance Galley Reviews
The author's technique in writing multiple story lines kept me so intrigued that I wished each story had its own book. Even more appealing was how each story line eventually connected and intertwined with each other flawlessly. There is no confusion between the story lines but at the same time, nothing is 'expected' or predictable. If there were individual books on each character, those books would definitely belong on my next-to-read list. This is the first I have read from Susan Meissner, but it definitely won't be the last.
The historical references and background give the book and characters a life that readers could romanticize and imagine actually occurring. Although being a historical fiction with touches of the afterlife / talk of spirits and sights, there are things about the book that put the reader right there with the characters.
I enjoyed this one. The historical timelines are heartbreaking and written pretty well (alternate POVs). It did take longer for me to fully appreciate the contemporary story, especially since it did not flow as effortlessly as the WWII arc, but it pulls in the reader eventually too. There's a supernatural element and the ending did surprise me. If you like historical women's novels, this book might be up your alley.
Penguin First to Read Galley
I have been reading a lot of historical fiction lately and A Bridge Across The Ocean is by far the best that I have read. All I wanted to do was read this book. My Kindle went everywhere with me. Several times I thought I had the 'mystery' solved only to find out that I did not. I truly love stories that give an idea about what it might have been like for other countries during WWII. It was nice that this book was wtitten about France and Belgium. My father served in the army and landed on the beaches of Normandy. I will definitely recommend this wonderful book and others written by Susan Meissner to all of my book reading friends and relatives.
This is the first book of Susan Meissner that I have read. Historical fiction is a genre that I enjoy to ready, I'm not sure if this falls squarely in that category. That being said, I did enjoy the book and was drawn into the mystery of the woman on the Queen Mary. There were times when I thought I had the mystery solved, but was happy to discover that I was wrong. I was slightly disappointed that there was not more of a direct connection between the present and the past, but I did enjoy the stories told of the woman and their lives. I did find it interesting to have a story center solely on the woman of WWII and the impact on their lives. After reading this book I will definitely be looking into reading more from Susan Meissner.
Definitely a very enjoyable read! I will get past my main frustration first- there were two distinct stories in the novel and the author did not (in my opinion) do a satisfactory job of uniting them at the end. Since I had been expecting some great, artful connection, I felt disappointed when the two narratives finally converged.
That being said, both of the distinct narratives were fascinating and artfully crafted.The writing was average, but the stories that Meissner created were enthralling. It is difficult to say more without giving away too many spoilers, but this is a novel that lovers of history and magical realism will enjoy.
I don't think I would classify this as historical fiction. It is mostly paranormal fiction with a small mention of storming the beaches at Normandy. I think that the story is lacking in critical historical research that could bring the time period and Queen Mary to life for readers. I'm sorry to say I found this story to be too flat for my taste.
It is a wonderful experience to have what feels like a personal relationship with the characters in the book I am reading. From beginning to what I think is a perfect end, everything in this story becomes alive and blends together so well....the past, the present ,the story line, and the interesting personalities.
This book has great stories to tell of four women and their lives. It was interesting to be reminded of the history around the RMS Queen Mary and the ways she had been used.
I appreciated the idea of the ship having a soul and truly believe that wood and steel may be able to absorb some of the many emotions of its many travelers, especially during and after the War. The supernatural seemed an ideal way to connect all the stores from the past and present.
Susan Meissner did a great job with this book! I think I have read some of her others, but I will certainly be on the outlook for her in the future.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and just a good read.
I have read all of Susan Meissner's books and loved them all. This one was no different! It was amazing from the start. I loved the characters and each of their stories. I also enjoyed the paranormal aspects of the book. Great read!!
This was a lovely well written mystery and ghost story. I liked how Meissner used the theme of the war brides as the main theme of the story. I don't want to say anymore because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone.
I loved this book. I don't want to spoil the mystery by saying too much, but this is a story that really draws you in and keeps you guessing. It does require some suspension of disbelief, as paranormal and supernatural elements are pretty integral to the plot, but if you enjoy books with mystery and you like ghost stories, this is definitely one to pick up. The multiple viewpoints takes a bit of getting used to at the start, and it was a little hard to follow when it kept jumping around in the beginning, but stick with it. This is a wonderful, moving story that I would highly recommend.