Notes from a Reading Journal: “The Glass Ocean,” by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

“Oh, for Christ’s sake! You bloody Americans and your conspiracy theories. What are you trying to imply, Miss Blake? That my great-grandfather was some kind of secret agent? Maybe had something to do with the sinking of the ship.” — P. 48

Sarah Blake needs an idea for her next book. When she stumbles across an old chest belonging to her great-grandfather who died while working as a steward on board the Lusitania, inspiration strikes. She leaves New York for London, in hopes of engaging the help of John Langford, descendant of Robert Langford. Robert Langford gave her grandfather an engraved watch and Sarah is sure there is a story there about the events leading up to the sinking of the ship.

The historical mystery is told from three perspectives: Sarah (modern tale); Tess; and Caroline (set in 1915 with events leading up to the boarding of Lusitania; their crossing; and after). There are love stories; tales of espionage and double-agents; and of course, historical tidbits about the sinking of Lusitania. It is all wrapped up nicely in the end too, with no guessing needed.

P.S. The story in the beginning about a book club hosting an author when they pirated online copies of her book is real. Yikes! Buy the book or download from the library, y’all!