Audiobook Review: A Bridge Across The Ocean

23 Jul

Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women — past and present — in this emotional novel from the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War.
February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Résistance spy.
Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark . . . 
Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides — and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.


Susan Meissner is the USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. Her novels include The Last Year of the War, a Library Reads and Real Simple top pick; As Bright as Heaven, which received a starred review from Library Journal; Secrets of a Charmed Life, a 2015 Goodreads Choice award finalist; and A Fall of Marigolds, named to Booklist’s Top Ten women’s fiction titles for 2014. She is also RITA finalist and Christy Award and Carol Award winner. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University and is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.
Visit Susan at her website: and on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at


My Impressions:

Susan Meissner is one of my must-read authors. Her books are skillfully crafted with complex characters and plots that speak to the heart. Unfortunately, I am woefully behind on reading her books. Determined to do better, I chose A Bridge Across The Ocean to accompany me on my morning walks. I should have known better. Instead of turning off the audiobook to continue my day, it remained on as I looked for chores that would allow me to keep listening. 😉 This novel, which has a dual timeline, would not let me go. If you are looking for an unputdownable read, then this one is for you!

The HMS Queen Mary is the link to the three stories that are presented in A Bridge Across The Ocean. Modern-day Brette sees ghosts or drifters as she calls them. She sees this as more of a curse than a gift and has endeavored to ignore the sight for much of her life. While doing a favor for a friend she is introduced to the tragic story of Anneliese Lange and is determined to discover the truth of the fateful war brides crossing. The reader is introduced to Anneliese, a German, and Simone, a Frenchwoman, long before Brette knows their names. Their stories run parallel during the days of WWII. I was drawn to each woman’s story. Heartbreaking and heroic both describe their experiences. There are also some ghosts we meet along the way. The first person voice of one in particular provided moving insight into the life of the Queen Mary cruise ship. While Meissner has written for the Christian fiction market in the past, A Bridge Across The Ocean is general market fiction. But the reader can definitely find a Christian worldview if she/he looks for it. The spirits Brette encounters are great metaphors for all the lost people we meet along the way — those looking for purpose or direction. Her gift of seeing and communicating with them sheds light on all the giftedness we possess and the ways we choose to utilize or ignore it. If you don’t mind the inclusion of ghosts, you will find a riveting story of grace. Specific to the audiobook: the narrator did an excellent job of portraying the many accents — French, American, Belgian, and German — of the characters.

A Bridge Across The Ocean is now my favorite book by Meissner. Really a hard feat since all her books are excellent. It gets the rare very highly recommended rating from me.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



2 Responses to “Audiobook Review: A Bridge Across The Ocean”

  1. carhicks July 23, 2020 at 6:49 am #

    I’ve only read one book by her, but I really enjoyed it so I can understand how you feel about this one. Great review!

    • rbclibrary July 23, 2020 at 8:28 am #


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