#BookBeginnings Perilous Passages


Today I’m featuring a writing friend’s debut novel, Perilous Passages by P.A. Lynck for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



Perilous Passages by P.A. Lynck

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

This historical fiction novel is as grand as its subject, the Queen Mary.

Summary:  In 1939, with the threat of World War II soon to become a reality, the luxury cruise liner the Queen Mary is dramatically transformed into a wartime troop transport ship. Those caught up in the life-changing events include a young Boston doctor Ben Stuart, distraught over a nightclub fire and questioning his future; a British ship captain James Hawthorne who accepts his wartime assignment on the Queen Mary; and his strong-willed daughter Kate, who is passionate about contributing to the war effort and talks her way aboard.

Meanwhile in Lithuania, the Japanese Ambassador, sympathetic to the persecution of the Jews, places himself in harm’s way to help them. A Jewish engineer and his wife in Vilna, Lithuania attempt a harrowing escape from “the pit”, just the beginning of their long and dangerous journey.

These lives are all connected by one voyage of the legendary ship, the Queen Mary. With German U-boats hunting her, a catastrophic collision, a fierce storm and a Nazi bounty of $250,000, this marvelous British ship, the Queen Mary, zig-zags a path through their lives.

First Sentence:

New York, NY
Mid-July 1939

The noise of the colorful crowd clustered on the wooden New York pier, the taxicabs rumbling over it unloading their fares, and the dockworkers calling to each other as they prepared the Queen Mary for her voyage, filled the morning air.


You can feel the excitement and bustling energy as new doctor Ben Stuart and his mother prepare to board the Queen Mary for a well-earned vacation.


The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.


The look on the Captain’s face was troubling and the words he delivered to Ben were dire. “You’re very perceptive, Ben. Yes, a cruise ship has been sunk. Three hundred lives lost.”



In the previous section we learned what passengers experienced aboard the Queen Mary when it was a luxury cruise liner. In contrast, this section shows one of the perils of being on the ship during the war. Danger was always present because German u-boats were likely to attack at any time. The soldiers and sailors took many precautions to avoid attracting the attention of the enemies, such as making sure no litter went into the water and running in complete darkness at night. Even radios were forbidden. It is these historically-accurate details of life aboard the ship that make the story come alive.

What do you think? Do you enjoy historical fiction set in WWII?


  1. Breana M.

    Perilous Passages seems interesting. And I agree with you. The contrast between the two quotes is pretty stark. Enjoy your current read!

    • Roberta

      Breana, thank you. I see you are reading Lord of the Rings. Wish I could read that again for the first time.

  2. Juli @ A Universe in Words

    This sounds like a potentially very intense read but I hardly know anything about the maritime happenings of WWII so this could be a great introduction! Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a lovely start to the weekend and do drop by my Friday post if you have the time! – Juli @ A Universe in Words

    • Roberta

      Juli, It is intense, and the cool thing is that most of the drama comes from real events.
      Starless Sea looks amazing.

  3. Catherine @ Book Club Librarian

    I like WWII fiction. And this story strikes my fancy, having had family members travel from England to the U.S. on board the Queen Mary after the war.

    • Roberta

      Catherine, Great that you have a connection. I will let my friend know.

  4. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Sounds intense! Great excerpts, too. Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

    • Roberta

      I really enjoy reading yours every week, too.

  5. Carrie @The Butterfly Reader

    A dire quote but it sure grabs attention!

    • Roberta

      Carrie, Different period of history from The Duke and I, but historical nonetheless.

  6. Ashley S.

    This sounds like something I’d really enjoy. I love WWII fiction. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  7. Gilion at Rose City Reader

    I would like this book! I’ve been fascinated by the Queen Mary ever since I stayed at the hotel it now is in Long Beach.

  8. Yvonne

    This sounds really good. I love reading books set in that time frame.

  9. Freda Mans-Labianca

    Very intriguing 56!!! Happy weekend!

  10. Cheryl @ I Heart Fictional People

    This one sounds so good! I love books with the WWII setting. They fascinate me! Thanks for sharing!

    • Roberta

      Thank you for visiting!

  11. Anne@HeadFullofBooks

    This sounds like my kind of book. Sorry I am so late to respond. Fridays I watch my grandson and now that he is mobile I don’t have much chance to do anything other than keep an eagle eye on him all day. Exhausting.

    BTW- you may want to update your “contact page” because it takes me to a link for a blog that hasn’t been used since 2020.

    • Roberta

      I fully understand about having other things in your life. I’m amazed how many people can join in every week.
      Sorry if the contact link is confusing. The contact is actually at the bottom of the page. Let me make it a separate page. I appreciate the feedback.

  12. P. A. Lynck

    Thanks for sharing a bit of my novel Perilous Passages. When I began my research I was amazed at the rich history of the Queen Mary and the role she and other cruise liners played in World War II. I’m thrilled by the interest in the book and it’s exciting to learn that someone has relatives who sailed on her after the war. I hope you enjoy reading Perilous Passages as much as I enjoyed writing and researching it!
    My motto: Never Enough Books!

  13. Literary Feline

    This sounds fascinating! I think I would enjoy reading it. I haven’t had a chance to tour the Queen Mary, but I have seen it up close a few times when in the area where it is now docked. I hope you have a great week!

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