Three talented writers, Beatrice Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White, recently teamed up to write the book, The Glass Ocean. Their first book, The Forgotten Room, was about an old house and the secrets hidden there. Each author took one of the three storylines and wrote it.
The result was a masterful novel, with the chapters alternating between the three stories. Of course, these story lines all weave together in the end in a satisfying way.
The second novel these authors collaborated on, The Glass Ocean, follows the same format and is just as magical.
One of the three plot-lines in The Glass Ocean book takes place in 2013 and follows Sarah Blake, a struggling writer trying to write her next bestseller.
She finds herself drawn to the story of the RMS Lusitania shipwreck, a passenger liner sunk by a German U-boat in 1915.
Sarah’s family has a direct connection to the wreck, as her great-grandfather died when the ship sank. With the help of a cranky but attractive descendant of one of the survivors, Sarah finds the story of a lifetime. If she’s lucky, she might also find love.
The other two plots follow two women on the Lusitania on that fateful voyage, Caroline Telfair Hochstetter and Tess Fairweather. They are very different women.
Caroline is a former socialite traveling first class with her husband, while Tess is a thief traveling second class, looking to turn her life around. On the voyage, they both find themselves drawn into circumstances beyond their control.
Spies, theft, love, and secrets from the past all follow Caroline and Tess on the Lusitania.
These three authors, Willig, White, and Williams, all work well together and each has their own unique writing style. It’s clear they brainstorm as a trio as the chapters flow together seamlessly.
When reading a story told through multiple perspectives, it can be hard to tell each character apart sometimes. Having three authors, one per character, makes that clearer. This makes each character stand out from the others a bit more and helps me keep them apart.
Genre-wise, The Glass Ocean book is a mystery. There’s something mysterious happening on the Lusitania as she heads across the Atlantic, and it’s somehow tied to a piece of music.
There are also German spies and the fear of an attack from a German U-boat. Someone on board is working with the Germans, and it could be anyone.
Woven among the mystery is the question of love. First, The Glass Ocean looks at the love between sisters, and how, no matter what, sisters will do what they can to protect each other.
The book also looks at blossoming love, love interrupted by a misunderstanding, childhood love, and long-term love grown apart. Some of the love stories will have readers rooting for the couple, while others will make readers cringe. There’s a Byronic Hero and a Friends to Lovers plot, and I love it.
The Glass Ocean novel is a story of three deeply flawed women at an important point in their lives. The level of research from the three authors shows in the well-organized and historically interesting novel.
Overall, it’s a rich, layered, tragic, and beautiful historical fiction novel. I can’t wait to read the next collaboration from this talented group of women!
If you have enjoyed any of the previous works by Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams, or Karen White, or their previous collaboration, you might enjoy The Glass Ocean. If you like mysteries, romances, stories about writers, or stories set on ships, you should check out The Glass Ocean.
I would love to see the book, The Glass Ocean adapted to film. It could be a wonderful Holes style film with the flashbacks, as long as it was also allowed to be epic. I don’t have any actors in mind for the cast, but I imagine this could be a wonderful film with the involvement of the writers.
Content Note: There are some adult situations and mentions of horrible historical events, but nothing graphic.
*The hardcover and Kindle edition are now on sale and the paperback edition goes on sale September 10, 2019.
Have you read The Glass Ocean novel by Williams, Willig, and White? Which story-line did you prefer? Let me know in the comments!