A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

This was one of the spring SheReads book choices. I was provided a copy of the book, but all my opinions are my own.

Published: 2017

Genre: fiction

Length: 368 pages

Setting: California, present day, and Europe, 1944-1946

Summary: We follow several story lines throughout the book. In the present day, we have Brette, who has the ability to see and interact with ghosts, who she calls Drifters. She’s always just ignored any Drifter that she sees, but she’s worried about passing the ability on to any daughters she might have. She investigates a ghost sighting on the Queen Mary to set her mind at rest. We also follow the story of Simone, who lived in Nazi-occupied France. She’s wanted by the Gestapo and hiding in a wine cellar. She nurses an American pilot back to life and they fall in love. In Germany, we’re introduced to Annalise. She’s a dancer with a controlling Nazi husband. She runs away from him and joins a childhood friend in Belgium. Her friend dies and Annalise takes her place on a ship of mostly British war brides heading to the U.S. She shares a room with Simone, and is nearly by the authorities on her way into the U.S.

Final thoughts: I had a hard time getting into this book. There were too many disparate storylines that took too long to come together. It was if there were two stories being told at the beginning. First is Brette’s story about being able to see ghosts, and is it a burden or a blessing. Then there’s a WWII story about the horrible things that happen to women in war, but there’s still a chance for love and redemption. The meeting point of those two stories was the Queen Mary. The ship had enough presence to create a spirit and lead Brette to uncover the story of Simone and Annalise. The stories were interesting enough, but I kept wondering why they were all being told at the same time.

Title comes from: Brette’s aunt also had the ability to see ghosts. Her explanation for the Drifters was they were afraid to cross over into death, which she described as an ocean. The Queen Mary was acting as a bridge and safe haven for ghosts until they were ready to move on.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #39 for the year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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