A Bridge Across the Ocean
This is a complex novel that alternates between past and present, with slight elements of the paranormal. In 1946, World War II has just ended, and three very different European women board the Queen Mary, which will take them across the Atlantic to be reunited with their American husbands. Annalise, a Belgian ballerina, is on the run from her German Nazi husband and masquerading as her dead friend, Katrine. On board, she meets Simone, a Frenchwoman with a terrible secret, and Phoebe, an Englishwoman journeying with her young son. Through flashbacks, readers learn the histories of the women, their secrets, and their dreams.
In present times, modern girl Brette has always been able to see and hear ghosts. At the request of an old friend, Brette visits the famously haunted Queen Mary and is drawn immediately to an urgent apparition whispering for help. Brette is soon drawn into the mysteries and tragedies of the war brides, and tackles a historical puzzle that takes her on an incredible journey. Brette must discover who the voice is, what happened to her, and why. Along the way, she comes to understand more about her gift, and its power.
In this story told from multiple points of view, readers gain a sense of the struggles women in WWII faced, both tragedies and successes. Brette’s story is less intriguing and feels a bit underdeveloped, but the mystery she unravels is surprising and engrossing. All in all, this is a fascinating read that will keep you up well into the night.