The Lives And Loves Of Three Remarkable Women Two In The Past, One In The Present And The Tragic Final Voyage Of The HMS LusitaniaFrom The New York Times Bestselling Authors Of The Forgotten Room Comes A Captivating Historical Mystery, Infused With Romance, That Links The Lives Of Three Women Across A Century Two Deep In The Past, One In The Present To The Doomed Passenger Liner, RMS LusitaniaMay Her Finances Are In Dire Straits And Bestselling Author Sarah Blake Is Struggling To Find A Big Idea For Her Next Book Desperate, She Breaks The One Promise She Made To Her Alzheimer S Stricken Mother And Opens An Old Chest That Belonged To Her Great Grandfather, Who Died When The RMS Lusitania Was Sunk By A German U Boat In What She Discovers There Could Change History Sarah Embarks On An Ambitious Journey To England To Enlist The Help Of John Langford, A Recently Disgraced Member Of Parliament Whose Family Archives Might Contain The Only Key To The Long Ago Catastrophe April Southern Belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter S Marriage Is In Crisis Her Formerly Attentive Industrialist Husband, Gilbert, Has Become Remote, Pre Occupied With Business And Something Else That She Can T Quite Put A Finger On She S Hoping A Trip To London In Lusitania S Lavish First Class Accommodations Will Help Them Reconnect But She Can T Ignore The Spark She Feels For Her Old Friend, Robert Langford, Who Turns Out To Be On The Same Voyage Feeling Restless And Longing For A Different Existence, Caroline Is Determined To Stop Being A Bystander, And Take Charge Of Her Own Life Tessa Fairweather Is Traveling Second Class On The Lusitania, Returning Home To Devon Or At Least, That S Her Story Tessa Has Never Left The United States And Her English Accent Is A Hasty Fake She S Really Tennessee Schaff, The Daughter Of A Roving Con Man, And She Can Steal And Forge Just About Anything But She S Had Enough Her Partner Has Promised That If They Can Pull Off This One Last Heist Aboard The Lusitania, They Ll Finally Leave The Game Behind Tess Desperately Wants To Believe That, But Tess Has The Uneasy Feeling There S Something About This Job That Isn T As It Seems As The Lusitania Steams Toward Its Fate, Three Women Work Against Time To Unravel A Plot That Will Change The Course Of Their Own Lives And History Itself This book was a 2 rounded up to a 3 My review is going to be different from many that I ve read so far This book first had me disliking it, then liking it, then disliking it again It didn t help I guess that I had just watched Titanic with my granddaughter for about the 10th time Here s what I thought.There is such an extensive blurb for this book that I will just give you snippets of what the book is about There are three different narrators, two that will be aboard the Lusitania in the past and one in the present, or at least 2013 Caroline is the wife of a very wealthy industrialist Gilbert Hochstetter, she has felt that lately her husband has been preoccupied and not very attentive to her She is hoping this trip to London will rekindle the marriage fires Gilbert is definitely up to something, but what Tessa Fairweather is traveling second class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon Or at least, that s her story Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake She s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything Her sister Ginny is the one who talked her into this job aboard the Lusitania She was under the impression that she was going to steal and then copy a long lost waltz by Strauss, but when she finds out this is about something much she wants out of the job She isn t even sure of what she found in the safe, what is this extra sheet of paper with numbers, etc Sarah Blake is a best selling author but in 2013 she is struggling to find her next big idea for a book She breaks a promise to her mother and opens a chest that belonged to her great great grandfather She finds references to the sinking of the Lusitania and perhaps something else that might make for a great story She decides to go to England to find John Landford whose family archives etc might hold the secret to what really happened on the Lusitania.Confused yet I certainly was I usually don t mind books that go back and forth in time, in fact I like that writing style, but this book did not flow smoothly for me Add to that there are several romantic triangles, none of which were very convincing as the women kept changing their minds as to whom they loved.I felt that there were many comparisons to the story of the Titanic in the beginning including the description of the opulence aboard the ship, etc Tess also just happened to be a remarkable sketch artist, very, very talented, sound familiar When I researched the sinking of the Lusitania, just through Goggle, it seemed crazy that the ship even sailed when the Germans had warned the US and Britain that they would attack any ships sailing in a war zone According to the book they were supposed to have an escort by the British Navy but there is no history to support that according to what I found.I really wanted to like this book but it ended up being just an o.k read for me and at times really confusing and annoying to sort out I m giving it 3 stars because the premise was a good one and there was some good writing here I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. 4 absorbing stars to The Glass Ocean I m a fan of each of these authors, and when they joined forces previously to co author The Forgotten Room, magic happened multiplied by three My brief gushing review of The Forgotten Room is on Goodreads The Glass Ocean is a historical mystery blending time and place across three narrators, two a century in the past, and one in the present In 1915, Caroline Telfair Hochstetter is a southern belle married to Gilbert, who was once attentive to her but is now distant and overworked She plans a trip for them to London aboard the Lusitania in the lap of luxury and hopes it will be a turning point in their marriage At the same time, an old male friend of hers is also aboard the ship, and Caroline feels a connection to him, while also restless and discontent not exactly how she expected to feel on this alluring vacation Also in 1915, Tessa Fairweather is aboard the Lusitania, and she is returning home to Devon, but that is not exactly the truth Tessa is an American with a fake accent to boot In truth, she s the daughter of a famous con, and is a con in her own right, but she craves an end to that part of her life Her partner has one trick in mind, and then they can move on with life In the present day, Sarah Blake is a bestselling author with troubled finances She finds herself opening a chest she had promised her mother she would not open It belonged to her great grandfather who passed away on the Lusitania in 1915 She discovers a mystery and travels to London for help in solving it Everyone knows what happens to the Lusitania on that fateful day With one chapter ending and the next beginning with one or two words from the previous, the masterfully blended narratives build the tension of the mystery at its heart I loved all three characters They are strong women with secrets to hide and brave stories to tell There s a love triangle and a mystery with a backdrop of the Lusitania steaming forward towards its tragic demise Seamless writing, a sense of adventure, and exceptional storytelling define The Glass Ocean, and I hope these three authors come together again for another spellbinding read Thank you to William Morrow for the complimentary ARC All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com Booking passage on the Lusitania or any ship during WWI would not seem like a good idea to me, but Caroline Hochstetter and Gilbert needed to get closer, and figured this would be a wonderful way to help their relationship Did Gilbert really agree to the reason they were going on the Lusitania or did he have ulterior motives Along with Caroline and Gilbert on a ship in waters that German submarines were prowling, we meet Tess, a female thief, who needed to steal valuable music sheets to pay her bills We also meet Robert Langford, a man who has been in love with Caroline since the first day he saw her many years ago.All of the characters had a reason to be on the Lusitania, and the reasons were all different.Meanwhile the story line moves from the 1915 Lusitania story to present day and introduces the reader to a struggling author, Sarah Blake, who found a trunk containing things of her great grandfather s who perished on the Lusitania This mystery centered around what could these things have to do with Robert Langford and the story.And..what could Sarah, Caroline, and Tess have in common all those years apart We knew why Robert was there even though it actually was a coincidence that he and Caroline were booked on the same ship.THE GLASS OCEAN weaves all of these characters together taking us on a ship that was to be a luxury cruise but leads to intrigue, mystery, death, and secrets.The writing is flawless and beautiful even though I was a bit confused at first about how it all was to fit together Learning the history of the Lusitania, the life style and protocol of the ship s passengers, and having no sea legs along with the passengers kept my interest.THE GLASS OCEAN is another marvelously researched book that smoothly moves from chapter to chapter and gives the reader a marvelous history lesson One chapter ended and the next began with a take off from one or two words that ended the previous chapter.ENJOY when you read the newest gem by these lovely, talented ladies 5 5This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher All opinions are my own. DNFed at 45% this wasn t awful, but the writing is very low quality and the narrative very unengaging It takes an ocean disaster and turns it into a story of a love triangle and a disgraced writer.And how about that love triangle, huh One criminal, one southern belle, and the only dynamic the authors could think to put between these two women was a love triangle Which I found very disappointing And the modern day plotline is downright boring We ve established a conflict between which of these historical women will make it out and which will either die not get the guy, but the modern day character has barely any influence on the plot Not a fan Of course a book can work despite a somewhat tropey and trite plot, but I found myself very uninvested in the characters, despite getting 180 pages into the novel And though I can feel a buildup to revelations I m sure will be interesting enough, I can safely say right now that I won t find this very memorable given my personal tastes. Three different narratives, one sinking ship What is not to love here This story is centered around the sinking of The Lusitania ship and is told in present day from a writer investigating a distant family member who was aboard, and two women, both of whom are hiding something albeit very different things I can say with confidence you will greatly enjoy watching how all three stories converge throughout this beautiful novel.I received an advance copy All opinions are my own. EXCERPT When I wasn t in a hurry, when I was just strolling or even sitting on a bench, eating a hot dog with ketchup and mustard but no onion, I liked to study them, my fellow New Yorkers I liked to pick someone out from the crowd, some man in a suit, loosening his tie, checking his watch I tried to divine his life, his history, the peculiar secrets hidden in his past Mom used to tell this story about the dinner parties they once had, before Dad left, and how I used to peek through the bannister when I was supposed to be sleeping and watch the guests, and how, in the morning, I would bombard her with questions about them, who was married to whom, who did what for a living, who came from where and had how many siblings And I used to think this story of hers was true I used to think I was born for my career Now I wasn t so sure ABOUT THIS BOOK From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century two deep in the past, one in the present to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.May 2013Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer s stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U Boat in 1915 What she discovers there could change history Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long ago catastrophe April 1915Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter s marriage is in crisis Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre occupied with business and something else that she can t quite put a finger on She s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania s lavish first class accommodations will help them reconnect but she can t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life Tessa Fairweather is traveling second class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon Or at least, that s her story Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake She s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything But she s had enough Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they ll finally leave the game behind Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there s something about this job that isn t as it seems As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives and history itself.MY THOUGHTS It always intrigues me when people work together to produce a novel I always wonder who wrote what, or if they all sit around a table and thrash it out Mostly it seems to work, occasionally it doesn t, but The Glass Ocean is definitely a success story Reminiscent of the writing of Fiona Davis, The Glass Ocean flows seamlessly from one character s story to the next, from one time period to the next, and back again The writing is rich in detail The three women at the centre of this story have hidden depths, their strengths brought to the fore in adversity Throw into this mix seduction, subterfuge, Spies, false identities, forgery, romance and infidelity, and you have all the ingredients of a block buster of a novel The three narrators did a wonderful job THE AUTHOR Beatriz Williams is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of The Summer Wives, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, A Certain Age, and several other works of historical fiction A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization Beatriz s books have won numerous awards, have been translated into than a dozen languages, and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world.Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry Taken from the author s website DISCLOSURE I listened to the audiobook of The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White, narrated by Vanessa Johansson, Saskia Maarleveld and Brittany Pressly, published by Harper Audio, via OverDrive All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com 4.5 rounded up to 5 brilliant Stars over the Glass Ocean Several theories are still argued surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 Was she merely a British passenger ship sailing back to England through dangerous waters during their war with Germany Was she also carrying active munitions or just shells as was stated on the ship s manifest What caused the second blast on the opposite side of the ship directly after the torpedo hit Some questions have been answered, some are still left unanswered to this day This version of that maritime tragedy, over 100 years ago, is historical fiction at its best.The three authors, respectfully known, heretofore as W3 Williams, Willig, and White , conceived this story which intertwined two women of completely different, socioeconomic backgrounds boarding the Lusitania in NYC in 1915, and one woman in present day 2013, looking for answers about her relative, an employee aboard the ship First, Caroline Hockstetter, beautiful, refined and married to the very wealthy Gilbert Hockstetter, a new, successful businessman not yet completely welcomed into New York s society elite Next, we have commoners, Tess, primarily, and her sister Ginny, two con women, trained by their father from an early age, preparing to extract a few precious items from the Hockstetter s in a variety of clever ways Third, is Sarah Blake, a best selling author who s investigating documents that were found on the body of her great grandfather, Patrick, the first class steward assigned to the Hockstetter s suites In these documents, is an envelope addressed to Robert Langford, Jr., a charming, wealthy British gentleman, along with a note about, no betrayals Sarah wants to know what they mean The tale is written in the voices of the three women, in the two time periods of 1915 and 2013, later adding secondary characters and a descendant or two Every story line is so well crafted you ll have to be on your toes to stay in the game At times I felt I was reading an Agatha Christie Mystery No one is whom they seem to be, especially aboard the ship Everyone wants to get their hands on the original manuscript of an unfinished Strauss Waltz, owned by the Hockstetter s The value is enormous, but some believe it s than just music, that there s a secret message coded in with the clefs and notes buried in the score.Surely a puzzle to solve amid war time where anything can happen, and anyone is suspect Fact and fiction are well combined in this absorbing novel wrapped around one of the tragic events that eventually led the U.S into WWII.I highly recommend this book. 4.5 starsThere s a soft spot in my heart for stories about naval disasters I read an interesting book specifically about the Lusitania, which was sunk in 1915 by a German U boat, a few years ago The Glass Ocean was a nice compliment to my pre acquired knowledge of this event However, make no mistake, the focus of this book is not so much the sinking of the Lusitania, but rather the complex relationships between several of the passengers on board It is about war, deception and love I won t go into the plot details but this book was full of hidden surprises There is a modern day timeline in which a historian is trying to uncover what really happened aboard the ship The story alternates between two perspectives in 1915 Caroline and Tess I m a huge fan of Beatriz Williams for her flare and glitz in the telling of her historical fiction For readers unfamiliar with this author s genre, be prepared for romance, betrayal and unrequited love This book did not disappoint And although I m not as familiar with the other two authors, I thought the story was seamless and flowed well If you re in the mood for some decadent historical chick lit, look no further If you re hoping for a story focusing on the actual events of the sinking of the Lusitania, look elsewhere. I am speechless No I m not I loved this book so much LOVED it so much I DEVOURED it in one sitting I want to read Erik Larson s Dead Wake like tomorrow Such incredible plot depth It s sexy, suspenseful, suspicious, scintillating and snazzy It s all the s ss and so much Wow Just wow P.S I will now proceed to reading everything ever written by these 3 ladies starting with The Forgotten Room Two timelines the past, 1915 and the present, 2015 Three female characters take the main lead in this historical mystery But actually, if you want to get down to it, the above description gleaned from the book cover is not entirely true There are characters, both male and female, who preside in the story And there are actually three major timelines 1915, 2015 and 2017 Three well known authors have co authored this book and maybe that s why I felt it was pieced together rather than a whole culminated effort I don t know if each of the 3 authors took it upon themselves to write from each of the three female character viewpoints with their own writing voice Because there were some parts I enjoyed reading and it made sense, and then there were other parts that were disjointed and confusing There were some characters I liked, some others were annoying I wouldn t call this an exciting book it s lightly mysterious There s some sexual behavior which in 1915, would be gossiped about and scorned upon, and scandalous to a person and their marriage The espionage portion of the story, while being key, was not built up as strong or exciting as it really could have been It seemed to weakly thread along I m not looking for John Clancy and the likes to join the ranks of this writing team to take it up seven notches, I m just saying if the plan was to spark up the spy thievery bit, the writing did fall short there It took me a while to read this longer than usual, which probably added to the overall disjointedness It was not that kind of a book that I would feel the urge to hurry back to it and pick it up to find out what s happening next But I did forge on and I read it to the end The current day quest by Sarah and John, to search and uncover the truth of the ancestors and their past history was the part I liked reading the best The fact that it panned out to be mildly romantic was an added plus to their part of the story Overall, I give this book 3 stars It could have been better it could have been worse It was just fair.
- 432 pages
- The Glass Ocean
- Beatriz Williams
- 15 July 2019 Beatriz Williams