Saturday, June 8, 2019

Book Review: The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, & Karen White

The Glass Ocean
Author: Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, & Karen White
Publication: William Morrow (September 4, 2018)

Description: The lives and loves of three remarkable women—two in the past, one in the present—and the tragic final voyage of the HMS Lusitania.

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: I loved THE GLASS OCEAN. It beautifully wove the stories of three women and two time periods into a compelling and intriguing story.

In 2013, Sarah Blake is desperately searching for an idea for her next book. Her first was a best seller and made her a literary sensation. It also made her a bunch of money. But, with a mother with early-onset Alzheimer's and in need of expensive care, she needs a new idea fast. She decides to break a promise to her mother and open a chest that has been locked since her great-grandparents' time. In it, she finds the effects of her great-grandfather who died on the Lusitania when it was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. Some of the things she finds, including a watch with an interesting inscription, sends her to England to try to get into the archives of the Langford family.

The owner of the archive is John Langford who happens to be a disgraced politician who was forced to resign because of a scandal caused by his late wife. He isn't interested in sharing potential family secrets with Sarah as he sees her as someone else who wants to exploit him. When the paparazzi catch the two of them together, he decides that sharing his archives with her will have the benefit of getting them both out of London.

The other part of the story takes place in April and May of 1915 and follows two very different women who are passengers on the Lusitania on its final voyage. Caroline Hochstetter is a former Southern belle who married an older, wealthy man who made his money in the iron and steel business. She deeply loves him but their marriage is in trouble because Gilbert has become pre-occupied with business and who tries to treat her like a pretty doll. She's hoping the voyage will give them a chance to rekindle their marriage. She's surprised when old friend Robert Langford is also on the trip. She has known him since her debut and considers him a good friend and companion. However, Robert fell in love with her when the first met and he's been pining for her ever since.

Tess Fairweather is also on the trip. She and her sister have a long history of con games and various swindles. Tess wants to leave the life and start anew in England. She is an excellent, though untaught, artist and is the team's forger. Her sister wants her to make a copy of a Strauss waltz that is in the Hochstetter's safe. Gilbert gave Caroline the unpublished and priceless waltz as a gift but now has convinced her that they have to sell it in England. Tess keeps running into Robert as she tries to get access to the waltz and she falls in love with him.

This book has secrets and spies and romance and heartbreak and happy endings. It was a great story.

Favorite Quote:
"You should let me know when I'm walking too fast," he said reprovingly.

"You should notice when you're walking to fast," I said, "or else you're going to have to turn in your English Gentleman certification card."

"I apologize. I was counting on your shrill American voice to keep me in check."

He hadn't stopped, but he'd shortened his stride, and as I caught up and glanced at the side of his face, I saw he was grinning. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I have loved the books these authors have written! Glad this was a winner for you!!


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