Book Title and Author: The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
Publication Date and Publisher: September 4, 2018, by William Morrow
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adult Fiction
Pages: 416 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read:August 14, 2018 (e-arc)
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.
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. . . .
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.
I have to admit that this is the first time that I’ve read a book authored by either Beatriz Williams or Lauren Willig, but I’ve been a long-time reader and fan of Karen White’s books so when I saw that she had co-authored The Glass Ocean, I just knew I had to get my hands on this book!
My desire to read it was certainly rewarded as this is a fabulously written historical novel that kept me enthralled for the day it took me to read it! Plus, I found two new authors to love in Williams and Willig and already have several of their books waiting to (very soon) be read on my bookshelf…I love it when that happens, don’t you?
The story is told from the perspective of three different women, all strong, resilient, vivid, yet very distinct personalities. It is hard to say which one of the three that I loved the most because I just loved all three!
Two of the women are traveling to London in 1915 on the RMS Lusitania even though there is a threat of German U-boats: there is the beautiful, wealthy, Caroline Telfair Hochstetter, who is traveling with her very distant husband Gilbert in first-class. She’s desperately trying to hold onto his attention while trying to ignore feelings that are be stirred by an old beau.
Then there is very clever Tessa Fairweather, or should I say, Tennessee Schaff, a young forger and con artist who desperately wants to start a new, crime-free life in London if she can pull off one last big heist, a heist that puts her squarely in the path of Caroline in ways that neither would ever foresee when they boarded the majestic ship.
In the present day, there is Sarah Blake, a young author, struggling to pay for the care of her Alzheimer’s ridden mother. She’s just discovered her next book idea after reading the trunkful of papers belonging to her great-grandfather, who was a porter aboard the Lusitania when he died. She needs answers to the mystery that she’s discovered, so she makes her way to England and enlists the help of John Langford, great-grandson of Robert Langdon, who knew her grandfather when he was also aboard the ship when it met its tragic fate.
Although at times I could tell White’s distinctive writing voice throughout the novel, what I thought made this novel so enchanting was how flawlessly all three of the writer’s voices combined into storytelling perfection. The writing is just beautiful, the research is meticulous, and each chapter seamlessly blends into the next one as you read with bated breath this novel of mystery, adventure, espionage, and romance. A masterful read!
If you love historical fiction, then you definitely need to pick up The Glass Ocean! Or if you are a fan of any of these authors, then you will enjoy this one! I know that I can’t wait to read another novel by these three fabulous collaborators!
**Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.**