cover image The Glass Ocean

The Glass Ocean

Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White. Morrow, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-264245-5

Williams, Willig, and White (The Forgotten Room) form a spectacularly winning team for this action- and romance-packed historical novel. The story is seamlessly narrated in alternating chapters by two American women aboard the British luxury liner Lusitania on its fateful final cruise in 1915 and by a 21st-century writer trying to unearth a family secret. “What a story they told,” writes struggling author Sarah, whose great-grandfather was a steward on the doomed passenger ship, while surveying the intriguing belongings returned after the ocean liner was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Convinced the items will lead to a bestseller, Sarah goes to London to enlist the help of John Lanford, the great-grandson of Lusitania survivor and spy novelist Robert, to reconstruct a murky conspiracy aboard the ship; they end up testing the boundaries of love and trust. The other richly drawn narrations are provided from aboard the Lusitania itself by Southern beauty Caroline, who is sailing with her secretive industrialist husband, Gilbert, and by steerage passenger Tess, pressed into a high-risk forgery by her con artist sister, Ginny. The story toggles effortlessly between timelines, building romance and intrigue to a hellish climax at the Lusitania’s sinking—and to the completion of a book Sarah never intended to write 100 years later. The result is an unputdownable thriller. [em](Sept.) [/em]