By: Susan Meissner
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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.
Apparently, I’m a sucker for covers that have women in period dress looking pretty? I really like the cover of this book and it definitely made me want to read the summary. When I finally did read, what this was about I was curious and accepted the chance to review this book. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might’ve picked up on the fact that I enjoy books set in WW2 so it should come as no surprise that this book piqued my interest.
What I thought
The summary for this book is so wrong. While it didn’t bother me, I feel like it could blind side a lot of people and therefore make them dislike this book for no other reason than the fact that they feel like they were tricked.
The Bridge Across the Ocean follows three different women; Simone, Annalise and Brette. Annalise and Simone’s story lines take place in the mid-1940s in Germany and France respectively. Brette’s storyline takes place in the present in California. Brette’s family has had the gift of Sight, which means that she can see ghosts. However, she has always fought this ability and his it from all but her parents and her husband. The stories jump around from character to character and are seemingly unconnected, but they do make sense over time.
While I am not crazy about ghost stories, it is one of the paranormal subjects that I can handle. Meissner does a great job making Brette’s ability seem believable. I appreciated that while she has the Sight, she is not something that she uses. This is not a story about a woman who is searching for a ghost to help. She kind of stumbles into that situation, but it’s not even the core of the story. I do think it is important to know that there is a ghost storyline though because I know that that will influence a lot of readers, either for the good or the bad.
While I did enjoy Brette’s storyline, it wasn’t my favorite. I really enjoyed reading about Simone and Annalise. I loved being able to see two different perspectives from right around the same time. They are both so different yet every time one of their chapters came up I was immediately immersed.
I also felt that the mystery of the story was well done. While it was, obviously, the center for the story to revolve around, it never seemed as though I was just reading about Brette trying to figure out what happened. In between Brette solving the mystery the reader gets to learn about the two character who the mystery revolves around. I haven’t read a lot of books in this format and I found it enjoyable. I also was taken by surprise with the ending.
By: Susan Meissner