Author : Susan Meissner
Title : A Bridge Across The Ocean
Pages : 368
Publisher : Berkley
Publication date : March 14, 2017
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 Resistance 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.
I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few books by Susan Meissner over the years and so I was very excited to finally get my hands on a copy of A Bridge Across The Ocean and settle down for a lovely trip into the past.
However, all in all, I must say I was left a little disappointed and didn’t quite enjoy this one as some of her other books. There’s a certain angle in this story that’s not mentioned in the book description so I won’t either, but it completely threw me off.
I preferred the chapters set in the past, with war brides going off to their new lives in America on the great ship RMS Queen Mary. I could quite happily have read an entire book based on those stories alone and found it quite absorbing. Unfortunately, the present day chapters and the characters, despite the mystery that needs solving, didn’t work as well for me and I had to fight the urge to skim the pages.
In truth though, apart from era preference and that angle I can’t mention, I find it quite hard to pin-point why this novel didn’t work for me as well as I expected it to. It’s beautifully written, wonderfully atmospheric and overall it has everything you’d expect from a Susan Meissner novel. It definitely won’t stop me picking up a book by her again in future.