Sarah Blake is a best selling author who needs a new idea for a book. Her finances are in dire need after spending the money from her first book on care for her mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer's. Sarah decides to look into her own family history for inspiration, a chest of belongings from her great-grandfather, Patrick Houlihan a porter aboard the Lusitania. Patrick's effect lead to another passenger, Robert Langford and a conspiracy that might change history. Sarah sets off to find Robert's great-grandson, John Langford. Finding John is an easy task since he is currently a disgraced politician being hounded by the press. Sarah tries her luck with asking John about his family and finds more than she bargained for with John and his family.
In 1915, aboard the Lusitania with Patrick and Robert are Mr. and Mrs. Hochstetter. Caroline Hochstetter is the owner of an unknown Strauss Waltz that her husband, Gilbert has found a buyer for. Caroline is reluctant to sell the beautiful piece of music, but trusts her husband, even though he is being secretive and distant lately. Also aboard, are Ginny and Tess, sisters and con-artists who are there to make a copy of the Waltz and sell it abroad. Tess wants out of the con game and decides to trust Robert with her secret. Upon doing so, Tess and Caroline find out that nobody is truly who she thought and everyone is hiding something. Before anyone can confront anyone else, the Lusitania sinks and the secrets are taken into the ocean.
The Glass Ocean is an exciting and intriguing historical mystery that pulled me in with interesting characters, an intense plot and fascinating setting. Written by three authors and told from three different points of view, this dual-time story meshes together perfectly. I am a huge fan of dual time stories, so The Glass Ocean really hit the spot for me. Caroline, Tess and Sarah are all wonderfully developed characters who possess different strengths of character and are all attempting to find the best way to use those strengths. I was very pleased that the connection between Caroline and Tess in 1915 and Sarah in 2013 was more about a shared struggle than blood relation. Usually in dual time stories, I find myself being pulled more into the historical side of the story, I was pleasantly surprised that I cared equally about both the past and present sides of this story. I loved learning more about the Lusitania and the many conspiracies her voyage played a part in during World War I. Through Tessa and Caroline I was able to envision the many decks, staterooms and conditions for passengers as well as the many different dishes they were served at various mealtimes. Most impressively done was complex plot of the Strauss Waltz, the hidden formulas and the spy espionage aboard the ship. With masterful writing, The Glass Ocean is one of my favorite reads this year. I hope that these three authors continue to create together.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.