Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Engrossing Titanic Novel Brings Something New to the Table

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As Titanic sinks into the inky deep, chaos reigns.  Her luckiest passengers hunch in the few available lifeboats, others cling to floating debris trying to keep their heads above water, while still others are trapped inside the drowning ocean liner with no chance of escape.  From Lifeboat 21, three women watch the horrific scene, terrified for loved ones left behind and for themselves, adrift on the open sea in the middle of a ghastly nightmare.  They begin the journey as strangers, but their shared terror brings them together, binding them for the rest of their lives.  

Each of the women harbors her own secrets and fears.  Charlotte Digby, a beautiful 21-year-old pickpocket, lied her way onto Titanic in the hopes of starting a new life in America with the man she loves.  In the aftermath of the disaster, she has the chance to reinvent herself completely—as long as no one discovers her real identity.  Cavorting with her lover on Titanic has made Esme Harper, a bored housewife, happier than she's ever been.  As desperately as she wants to get to land, she dreads returning to her staid life.  Before the night is through, Anna Halversson—a Swedish farm girl—is in a position to get everything she's ever wanted.  But how can she enjoy the victory if she's plagued with guilt over what she did to gain it?

When a sudden death reunites Charlotte, Esme, and Anna two decades later, each will have to come to terms with the choices they've made, the consequences they've reaped, and the secrets they've kept for twenty long years ...

Although I love books about Titanic, it's difficult to find one that brings something new to the table.  By focusing more on the characters' pre- and post- Titanic lives than their onboard experience, On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell does just that.  Her story people can carry the tale because they're all complex, flawed, and intriguing.  Which isn't to say the plot isn't interesting; it is.  Blackwell's solid, engaging prose also makes this novel stand out.  Because of all these elements, I very much enjoyed this engrossing story about regret and redemption, choice and accountability, agony and authenticity.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor and The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of On a Cold Dark Sea from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, this one does sound good. But it makes me wonder just how many books have been written with the Titanic for a setting. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TONS! That's why it's so hard to find one that's different from all of the others.

      Delete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin