I loved this book.
It takes a while before the reader gets engaged, but with patience, the story begins to unfold.
Guy Turner is hired in 2004 to document the history of the now dry-docked Queen Mary, using the historical archives on the ship and interviews of former passengers, invited back for one weekend to share their memories. The stories he hears affect him emotionally, but he is mesmerized and scared when he sees an impossible apparition. The story of Guy Turner unfolds, intertwined with the stories of strangers he will never forget.
The novel begins when an emaciated woman and her equally emaciated children enter a shimmering portal on their world that takes them to another world, to Earth, in 1947. The portal empties them onto the Queen Mary, within sight of James and Jessica Bennett, and their new friends, the Schofields. Jim, an American, and Jess, his English war bride, boarded the Queen Mary in England, leaving Jess’s homeland for America. The skeletal children are given by their mother in an emotional, and wordless, scene to Jim and Jess Bennett to raise as their own. Jess gives the woman a nametag with “Bennett” printed on it, and then the alien woman disappears.
Soaring happiness and incredible pain befall the Bennetts. They divorce, and aren’t reunited until that fateful day on the Queen Mary when Guy is to interview them.
Guy hears part of their story onboard the ship, but is aware there’s more that wasn’t said. He is drawn to Jim Bennett to learn more. Mysterious and confusing radio signals are received, and the US government becomes involved in the Queen Mary’s tale, forcing Guy, Jim and Jess to take actions they oppose. Jim and Jess are the keys to Earth’s first documented visit from humanoids from another world.
This is well-written and enjoyable. I felt the emotions expressed by each character. I recommend this book to all who enjoy historical novels and sci-fi/fantasy.
Keith Wayne McCoy also wrote a novella called Castles Burning, which has a horror feel to it. Well written and fast-paced, I recommend that story as well.