A Bridge Across the Ocean

Written by Susan Meissner

A Bridge Across the Ocean


The beginning of this book was chillingly scary.  I’m not a scary story person, so it may not affect you in the same way.  But I read on well past my bedtime in hopes that I would not have nightmares.  It was a delicious beginning, and I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.

This book tells two stories.  The first is that of a modern woman who can sense and speak to ghosts.  The second is of a group of war brides traveling across the ocean on the Queen Mary.  And as the book jacket dramatically proclaims, one of those brides does not make it to the United States.

The Good

The characters in this book were relatable and engaging. A person who speaks to ghosts should require a suspension of disbelief, but somehow this book make her seem “normal”.

I also really enjoyed the realism of the stories of the women during World War II.  I really felt like I was there, and, even more than that, I felt like they were new stories.  If you follow this blog, you know that I read a lot about World War II, so this was a delightful treat for me.  The descriptions of their homes and the description of the Queen Mary were very well done.

The Not-So-Good

This book was written in a variety of perspectives.  One was modern.  One was the story of Annaliese in Belgium.  One was the story of Simone in France.  One was the story of Annaliese and Simone on the Queen Mary.  And one was told by a ghost.  It made the story very jumpy and convoluted.  There were times that I had to page back to figure out what the heck just happened.

Final Thoughts

This was a decent book, but Meissner tried too hard to be clever about it.  It was overly complicated.    The base story was good and held my interest.  But overall it was more of a chore to finish than I thought it would be.

That said, Meissner formed her characters well, and inserted them into a delicious ghost story.  It’s worth reading, though not one that I will readily recommend to friends.