Thursday, November 1, 2018

REVIEW of The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig,and Karen White

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by William Morrow

From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.

May 2013
Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .

April 1915
Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . .

Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .

As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself. 

My Thoughts…

A 400-page books seems daunting but The Glass Ocean is an exception.    I couldn’t believe that after just an hour of reading I was already ¼ of the way through the book and was looking for more time to pick up the book and read another chapter or two.      There were times I thought I’d just read a chapter and then found that an hour later I was still reading.  

Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White are all authors that I have read separately and I was intrigued by how they would come together to write one book.      The Glass Ocean has three different timeframes.   2013 is the story of Sarah Blake who is a struggling author looking for information about the Lusitania.    1915 tells the stories of Caroline and Tessa.   Each of these ladies gets their own chapters to tell of their time on the Lusitania.      I was not familiar with the story of the Lusitania but the authors combined to give the history of this amazing ship and the people on it that I am looking forward to reading more from them.    

I loved all three characters.     Sarah’s persistence while researching the Lusitania was perfect.   She knew there was a story to tell and was only willing to tell the entire story.    I loved that she didn’t give up and write half a story, she only wrote what she knew to be true and left some questions unanswered.      Caroline was privileged but she was still respected those who worked for her, those who would be seen as a lower class citizen, and she still had flaws.    It was great to see that she wasn’t perfect and that she had problems just like everyone else.    Tessa had a rough upbringing.   She was always looking for the next scam and lived a tough life.  

Reading how these three ladies stories come together, how their lives intertwine all while taking what was supposed to be a relaxing cruise.    

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