Author: Susan Meissner
Genres: Historical, Adult Fiction, World War II
Published: March 14, 2017
Retail Price: $15.00
Rating: 4.75 stars
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 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.
What an unexpected book. For a quick synopsis, A Bridge Across the Ocean is about 3 women who’s lives all end up connecting. We have Simone Deveraux who is a French woman hiding from the Gestapo in 1944, Annaliese Kurtz who is a German woman escaping her marriage to a Nazi official, and Brette Caslake who can see ghosts in the present day. Yes I said it, she can see ghosts.
I personally loved and enjoyed the stories of all 3 of these characters. What they had to go through was a lot and I was aching with them through each step of the way trying to figure out what was going to happen to them next. My favorite character though was probably Simone Deveraux because she was so head strong no matter what was thrown her way.
To be honest, I couldn’t relate to any of the characters since they were of such different time period and life of me. This can also be because it is an adult novel. Nonetheless, the book was very character driven and I loved that about it. We couldn’t have had this story without them.
Let me tell you my favorite part of the book (I promise I’m not gonna spoil but)… It was the gigantic plot twist! For the majority of the novel we go thinking one thing and then BOOM we’re told something completely different. I was shook and am honestly still shaken by it.
Some may be wondering why such a weird rating of 4.75. Like, who does that? Me. Why? Because (please don’t let this affect your reading experience) I didn’t enjoy the last 40 pages as much as I wanted to. I feel like after that big plot twist, I was kind of let down. This, though, may be because as I was finishing the novel I had to leave out of my house unexpectedly and instead of zooming the finish, I had to wait and space out each page while my soon to be sister-in-law tried on dresses for her wedding. I enjoyed the dress try on but it may have affected my reading, and that’s kind of okay because I loved the whole rest of the book.
I recommend this book to anybody, even if you normally read young adult (like me). If you like World War II adventure stories, books with multiple POVs or time periods, this is the novel for you! I enjoyed all of this elements together, they made a great book.
Quotes have not been checked with a finished copy
“her father would carry her in– and she liked being carried in” (14).
“To kill in a time of war is to survive” (247).
“‘Treat a gift like a cure and of course it’s going to make you miserable'” (323).