Wednesday, January 25, 2017


A group of folks from Ireland set out for a better life in America—on the Titanic.  Seventeen-year-old Maggie seems to be the only one not really excited about going, and that’s because she’s leaving behind the man she loves.  Now that her mother has died, though, she must accompany her aunt back to the U.S.  We know that Maggie survives, because 70-odd years later, she is the great-grandmother of Grace, who has given up college to take care of her ill and grieving mother.  Grace, too, left a boyfriend behind, as well as an opportunity to submit a feature story to the Chicago Tribune.    Maggie encourages Grace to resume her college career, reconnect with her boyfriend, and write Maggie’s story.  I sort of liked this novel, but I found it hard to separate it from the movie.  I was glad, though, that the book did not dwell on the disaster itself, because certainly I saw enough of that in the movie.  I also did not feel that this novel tugged at my heartstrings, as the victims are not very robust characters.  An unexpected twist at the end was gratifying, and the prose is smooth but not noteworthy.  I discovered at the end that true events, besides just the sinking of the ship, inspired this book.  I think this novel works as a tribute but not necessarily as an absorbing read.

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