A WAR bride, Australian-born Sarah, and her granddaughter Hannah are on a cruise from San Diego to Sydney.
Sarah has not returned since 1946 when she left on the 'bride ship', the USS Mariposa, to start life with her new American serviceman husband after the war.
Now the same age as Sarah when she made her first journey, Hannah listens avidly to her grandmother's life story, seeing her for the first time as a woman and a person with a past.
It's when they arrive at their destination that Hannah realises the immensity of Sarah's life and what she has given up. She gains a new perspective on the stories she has always told herself: that she will never be content with the way she looks, that the desire she feels is ugly and that she doesn't deserve happiness.
The Passengers is about the journeys we undertake in the name of love; the sacrifices we make and the heartache we sometimes suffer. It is about how we most long for what have left behind. And it is about the past - how close it can still feel, even after long passages of time and when so much has changed.
Eleanor Limprecht's The Passengers is a luminous novel about love by an acclaimed rising star of Australian literature. She is the author of What Was Left and Long Bay. Raised in the US, she now lives in Sydney.
Published by Allen & Unwin, The Passengers is available in book stores from this month. RRP $29.99
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