A war bride and her granddaughter are on a cruise from San Diego, California to Sydney, Australia. The grandmother, Sarah, was born in Australia and has not returned since she left in 1946, after she married an American serviceman during World War II and travelled to the US after the war on the 'Bride Ship' the USS Mariposa to start life with her new husband. During the journey back to the country of her birth, Sarah tells her granddaughter Hannah the story of her life. Hannah - who is the same age Sarah was when she made her first journey - listens avidly, seeing her grandmother for the first time as a woman and a person with a past. Her grandmother gives Hannah 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. It is when they arrive at their destination that Hannah realises the immensity of Sarah's life and what she has given up. The Passengers is a luminous novel about love: the journeys we undertake in its name, 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.