New in paperback- The Glass Ocean by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig
The Glass Ocean by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig
Published by William Morrow ISBN 9780062642462
Trade paperback, $16.99, 432 pages
Three writers — Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig — teamed up a few years ago to write a terrific novel, The Forgotten Room, and liked the experience so much they got together again to write another. One of the more interesting aspects of that book was how the writers wove familiar characters from their individual series of novels into one story.
The Glass Ocean features three female protagonists telling their stories. Two of the women are sailing on the Lusitania ship from New York to England in 1915, and one woman in 2013 has gone to England to find out if her great-grandfather who worked on the Lusitania had any connection to its sinking. The novel starts out strong in New York City 2013, where author Sarah Blake is on her way to talk with a book club about her successful first novel. It doesn't go well, and we learn about the pirate websites, where unscrupulous people illegally upload books for people to read for free, and how that adversely affects authors. Sarah is broke, and decides to tell her great grandfather's story about being on the Lusitania.
In 1915, Caroline is traveling on the Lusitania with her wealthy husband, who is carrying a valuable piece of historical sheet music by Strauss that he sold to someone in England. Her husband seems very distracted on the boat, which concerns her.
Robert, a man from Caroline’s past, is also on the boat. Robert has very strong feelings for Caroline. She is torn between her love for her husband and her attraction to Robert.
A young woman named Tess is also on board the Lusitania. Tess and her sister have been paid to steal the sheet music and make a copy of it. Tess keeps bumping into Robert on the ship, and they form a bond, one that may endanger Tess’ task at hand.
The tension builds with the ship moving closer to England, as the reader knows that historically the Lusitania will be sunk by the Germans off the coast of Ireland. There are rumors that there are German spies on board the ship who are signaling the Germans with their location in order to sink the ship.
The Glass Ocean is filled with terrific period details, and the trio of writers clearly did a great deal of research to bring the reader right onto the massive ship. The mystery is masterfully plotted as well, and you will find yourself searching for clues to what is really happening on that ship before it is sunk. I highly recommend it.
You can follow Team W on Facebook here. Their third collaboration, All The Ways We Never Said Goodbye, publishes in January and I can't wait.