The Glass Ocean

Morrow. Sept. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9780062642455. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062642479. F
The authors behind The Forgotten Room (Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White) return with another multiperiod novel, focusing this time on the fateful voyage of the RMS Lusitania. Tensions are high in 1915 as the ship prepares to embark from New York to Liverpool, England, with Britain and Germany already at war. Caroline Hochstetter would rather stay home, but husband Gilbert, distracted with business, insists on the trip. Caroline is therefore delighted and conflicted to find her old friend Robert Langford among the passengers. Also on board are the Schaff sisters, a pair of grifters working on a big score that younger sibling Tess wants to make her last. Fast-forward to 2013, with American historian and writer Sarah Blake in England to discover the connection between Robert and her great-grandfather Patrick, a steward who died in the disaster. Her only hope is to enlist the aid of John Langford, a now disgraced MP.
VERDICT Admired in historical and women's fiction circles, these best-selling authors create an absorbing tale interlaced with espionage, secrets, romance, and historic detail. Both witty and urbane despite the ultimate tragedy, this is a beautifully rendered retrospective. For all historical fiction devotees. [See Prepub Alert, 4/9/18.]

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