Review of “The Glass Ocean” by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

Williams, Beatriz, et. al. The Glass Ocean. New York: William Morrow, 2018. 

Hardcover | $26.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062642455 | 408 pages | Historical Fiction

4.5 stars

The second Willig, White, and Williams collaboration, The Glass Ocean, once again shows the writing talents of all three authors, as well as their remarkable ability to write a novel that flows well together in a seamless manner, just as they did with their previous effort. And once again, I was delighted with the characters and the twists and turns the interweaving narratives brought along the way.

My investment with the past storyline on the Lusitania evolved over time. At first, when I thought this was going to be a love triangle story where one of the participants was also married, and the husband is not a part of the triangle (perhaps it’s a love square instead?) I was skeptical. And while that is a plot point, I enjoyed that it panned out in a way I didn’t expect, especially given the fact that, while Caroline does have passionate feelings for Robert from their long acquaintance, she also does love her husband. And despite Robert’s lingering feelings for Caroline, he does establish a relationship with Tess as well, although for some reason, I still did not expect things to turn out the way it did. I am happy with the somewhat unconventional happy ending, however.

The present day storyline with Sarah and John, was fun, although I enjoyed it more for the aspect of connecting the dots of what eventually happened with Robert Langford and the others than most of the plot elements of that arc itself. But that’s not to say these elements weren’t worth reading at times. I did like the early scene where Sarah discovers she’s visiting a book club who pirated her book, as it’s something a lot of authors can relate to, and more readers should be aware of its impact on authors, not to mention the difference between a legitimate library that paid for the book and a pirate site.

I was also once again mystified as to who wrote what, as initially, the setup for Sarah’s arc felt reminiscent of Willig’s Pink Carnation series. Will they ever reveal who wrote what for either of their books, especially since some of the readers more well-versed in their backlists may have figured it out? I have a few of my own educated guesses, based on what I’ve read from all three of them, although I’d still love to know sometime down the road.

Regardless, it is a wonderful collaboration, and I think fans of any of their books, or fans of multi-timeline historical fiction will love it.

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