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A Bridge Across the Ocean

A Bridge Across the Ocean, March 2017
by Susan Meissner

348 pages
ISBN: 045147600X
EAN: 9780451476005
Kindle: B01EH1EKUI
Trade Size / e-Book
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"Two war brides travel to America, but only one of them will disembark..."

Fresh Fiction Review

A Bridge Across the Ocean
Susan Meissner

Reviewed by Magdalena Johansson
Posted March 30, 2017


A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN by Susan Meissner is a wartime mystery novel about two women who have both gone through much during the war and are going to America on RMS Queen Mary as war brides. Simone Deveraux lost her father and brother who both got shot for being part of the Resistance. She had to stay hidden for fear of the Gestapo who is after her. Annaliese Lange married a brutal Nazi and the voyage to America is her ticket to freedom. On the voyage truths be revealed and only one of them will, in the end, disembark in New York Harbor.

Fast forward to the present, Brette Caslake is visiting the Queen Mary after an old classmate asks for help. Brette has been able to see ghosts since she was a little girl. For most of her life she has tried to ignore them since a relative told her it's better that way. On the Queen Mary she is contacted by a ghost that is trapped on the ship. Brette now has to figure out what really happened all those years ago.

Historical fiction with a dash of the paranormal is something that I love to read and I was thrilled to read a book that offered both a seventy-year-old mystery and a ghost story. This is the first book I have read by Susan Meissner, and I hoped that the story would hook me. And, it did, in a way, but truthfully it also never really gripped me. I enjoyed reading the book, it was never dull in any way, but I felt that some parts were more interesting than other parts. For instance, I found Brette Caslake's storyline quite interesting, but I had wanted to know more about her gift and her family's history. Perhaps even learning more about the past generations of women who had the ability to see ghosts. You do, thankfully, get some explanations in the end. The stories of Annaliese and Simone are interesting, but at the same time, they just didn't grab me. Their tragic stories felt a bit too melodramatic and the truth about the big mystery on the RMS Queen Mary, about why only one of them disembarked, didn't really surprise me when it was revealed.

A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN by Susan Meissner is a book that had potential, but it never lived up it. It was a nice book to read, but truth be told, the ending felt a bit like a fairy tale ending with everyone living happily ever after. There is of course darkness in the story, it is a story about war. But I felt that the story, especially the war parts, felt superficial. In the end, I came to enjoy the present time story more than the one from the past.

Learn more about A Bridge Across the Ocean


Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women—past and present—in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life.

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 Résistance 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.


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