“A Bridge Across the Ocean” by Susan Meissner

Pub. Date:   March 7, 2017ocean

Publishers:  Berkley Publishing Group

I enjoyed the author’s previous novel Secrets of a Charmed Life which is also a historical novel focusing on World War II, so I was surprised, and disappointed that I didn’t care for Susan Meissner’s latest novel, A Bridge Across the Ocean, which is another novel about World War II.  But, for me, this book seems more of a ghost story than historical fiction.

In Ocean, WWII has just ended. The story is not linear, told in the past as well as the present.  In the past, European war brides are to be reunited with their American husbands via the illustrious ocean liner the RMS Queen Mary.  In the present, a reluctant psychic is trying to solve a ghost mystery surrounding the ship.

Once I finished this book I “googled” to learn that the Queen Mary has a history of being considered haunted, but I didn’t read anything about war brides.  I wish Meissner would have concentrated more on the history part of her story.  I enjoyed reading about the French Resistance, and Germans hiding Germans from the Nazis as well as the difficulties the war brides had in entering America.  If she didn’t mix the genres, I would have found her tale a much more interesting read.

Open link to purchase on Amazon.

Find all my reviews at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4793025-martie-nees-record?shelf=read

 

“Arrowood” by Laura McHugh

Publisher:  Random House

Publication Date:  August 9, 2016

I am always a sucker for an old-fashioned Gothic tale, which is how I would describe this novel.  The story takes place in present times.   Toddler twin sisters disappear and are believed to have been kidnapped.  Their older sister, who is now a young woman, has never stopped looking for them since the bodies of the twins were never found.

Arrowood is the name of their home, really a mansion, which has been in the family for centuries.  Her parents moved out a year after the disappearance for the memories there were too hard to bear.  Two decades go by and our protagonist, the elder sister, inherits her childhood home that may or may not be haunted (think Wuthering Heights.)

Once she returns to Arrowood, as expected there are many twists including a love affair.   After all, what would Jane Eyre be without Mr. Rochester?  The author never reaches the Bronte sisters heart stomping Gothic yarns, but all in all this is a good summer read.