Historical Fiction

Book Review – A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Opinion:

This was another enjoyable read by Susan Meissner! This is my fourth book by her and I am a fan for life. One of the things I love most about her books is how she builds an intriguing, engaging story around a real event, place, and/or time period. In A Bridge Across the Ocean, World War 2 is over and we learn about the Queen Mary and how it transported war brides to America to meet their husbands. This story is a multi-layered, historical mystery that spans from the 1940’s to the present day where we get to know 3 characters: Simone, Annaliese, and Brette.

We first meet Simone in 1944 in Venelles, France. She lives with her father and brother, who are a part of the resistance, until life takes a tragic turn and she finds herself on the run. Thanks to the kindness of others she finds safety and hope that she will be able to rebuild her life again.

In 1946, we meet Annaliese in England. As a child she saw Swan Lake and from that moment on she wanted nothing more than to become a dancer. But all of that is in the past. Now nothing is more important to her than escaping her past and boarding a ship that will transport hundreds of war brides sailing to America to meet their husbands.

Brette lives in the present day and has the sight, a.k.a. she sees the paranormal, which she refers to as the drifters because they float in and out. As a child her Aunt Helen advised her to ignore the sight because it only caused heartache for the women in her family who had it. She heeds her aunt’s advice for years, with just a couple of exceptions, until an old friend needs her help and she can no longer ignore it.

I love how Susan Meissner intertwines the lives of these 3 women, alternating the chapters between them to tell their story. There were a few surprise twists along the way which is always enjoyable.

Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.

My Rating: 4/5

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: None

Publisher: Berkley Books

Publication Date: 3/14/2017 (US)

Pages: 384 (eBook)

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Happy Reading!


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