Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Audio Book Review: The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Harper Audio
Source: Library
Other Books By Authors: All the Ways We Said Goodbye
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says,  "From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania. May 2013 Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . . April 1915 Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . . Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . . As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself."


It's 1915 and the Lusitania plans to leave New York to head to England.  The problem is Britain and Germany are already at war, so even thought the Lusitania is a passenger ship, making its way to England during this time is risky.  Caroline is one of the main characters in The Glass Ocean and she is the quintessential Southern belle   Her husband, Gilbert, is obsessed with his  business and in turn wants to take this trip to England at all costs.   It can't be that bad aboard the opulent Lusitania and just maybe Caroline can put the spark back into their marriage? Much to her surprise, Robert Langford, her old friend, is also on this trip. He no doubt catches her eye.  Also on the Lusitania are the Schaff sisters and they are traveling in second-class. Essentially, Tess Schaff is a grifter, but she vows that this will be the last time she cheats people. Her partner has other ideas!  The other chapters are narrated by Sarah Blake in the year of 2013.  She is a historian and writer who discovers a connection between Robert Langford and her great-grandfather, Patrick Blake, who was also aboard the Lusitania.  To put all the pieces of the puzzle together, she needs help from John Langford, but this proves to be extremely difficult.  The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White doesn't disappoint.  Historical fiction fans will love this captivating and memorable audio book.

Right away I was sucked into Sarah Blake's story in The Glass Ocean. Her love of history and figuring out her great-grandfather's story was really captivating to me.  Plus, the fact that she is an author made it even more interesting as she is hoping to write a novel based on this information.  On the other hand, there's Caroline, the epitome of a Southern bell.  Her part of the story was probably the part I was the most interested in.  I think Team W really nailed a Southern belle, but also showed that she has many layers.  Lastly, there's Tess's story line, which I thought was just ok.  I enjoyed it more once it became entangled with Caroline's. Tess wants this to be her last "job" as she knows what she is doing isn't good in the least; however, things aren't going as planned and there's something wrong with the whole thing.

Fans of history already know the fate of the Lusitania and even though I have read a book about this topic before, it was still agonizing to say the least.  Team W did a great job bringing it to life and showing how it impacted the people on board.

The audio book of The Glass Ocean was outstanding. Different narrators were employed for each character's chapter and I thought the narrators were spot on, especially the narrator for Caroline. Her Southern drawl was absolute perfection.

If you are looking for a historical audio book, look no further. The Glass Ocean is fantastic and has everything you could want in a moving historical tale.  Team W hasn't disappointed me yet!



  1. I absolutely loved this one - Team W is so fantastic!

    1. Right? This audio book got me out of a reading slump a few weeks ago. I'm glad you loved it too. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. Love Team W and I loved this book!

    1. Me too! I am always so impressed with their stories. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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