A Bridge Across the Ocean: A Novel. Susan Meissner. Penguin Publishing Group. March 2017. 384 pp. ISBN #: 9780451476005.
Brette has a gift she fears greatly. She sees ghosts. It’s a skill that passes randomly through generations and she worries she could pass it on to her own daughter. She has learned that if she looks away, she doesn’t have to communicate with each appearance. But she’s also been warned that there are evil spirits as well as benevolent ones, therefore she should avoid getting involved in any way because it might turn disastrous. Easier said than done! She winds up communicating with one, finding out about a 70 year-old tragedy on the Queen Mary and deciding to investigate. This makes for a wild adventure where she also meets other women who have the same skill or curse, depending on one’s point of view.
Simone Deveraux sees her father and brother murdered during WWII and escapes only to suffer a grievous wrong. She escapes anew and winds up free and falling in love with a very unlikely man.
Annaliese Lange marries a brutal Nazi soldier. She however escapes to live with a childhood friend, Katrine. They suffer a terrible wartime event and Annaliese escapes, taking the name of Katrine who had married an American soldier. Annaliese wonders how much she will have to pay for the false act she has committed.
These three women are now on the Queen Mary, a ship used both for wartime troops and the brides of American soldiers traveling to America while their spouses are away fighting the war. Their stories now converge as Brette leads the investigation of the mystery she promised to explore.
WWII in the 1930s was a period time fraught with disaster and love affairs, mostly the former. It brought out all that is good and all that is ugly in millions of characters. A Bridge Across the Ocean unites these three women who are decent at heart but have learned about the motives of those who in a flash of a moment act with and without any integrity.
Sue Meissner writes a fine mystery full of adventure and dynamic characters. The ghosts are sometimes benign, sometimes horrifyingly malicious! Enjoy the read! Nicely done, Ms. Meissner!