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

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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?