Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: By The Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Amelia Gladstone’s mind is filled with promise as she gazes at the marvelous new ship, ready for its maiden voyage. The Titanic holds the promise of a reunited family. . .and of possible love waiting on American shores. Nothing could mar Amelia’s joy, until she sees a ragged stowaway being escorted down the gangplank.
Down-and-out after squandering his fortune, Quentin Walpole thought his voyage to America ended on the Southampton pier. Then a sweet lady—his angel of mercy named Amelia—secured his passage with a spare ticket. Now he’s headed to America, eager for a second chance.
But once the voyage begins, the past confronts Quentin when he discovers that his wealthy railroad tycoon father and older brother Damien are also on board. As Amelia tries to bring about reconciliation between father and son, she suddenly finds herself the center of both brothers’ attention with a choice to make: Who can she trust with her heart?
Then the fateful night arrives, and one brother faces a greater choice.
Will Amelia’s fate ultimately be one of love or loss?

My Thoughts:
Amelia is a likeable character and is easy to cheer for; when she and her aunt board the Titanic in search of a fresh start in America it's easy to hope things turn out well for them. The story immediately starts out interesting when Amelia's soft heart causes her to spontaneously give a spare ticket for passage on the Titanic to a homeless man, Quentin. He is estranged from his brother and millionaire father, who coincidentally are also on board the Titanic. This situation of course causes a bit of drama, but it keeps things interesting! I enjoyed watching Amelia and Quentin get to know one another over the course of their voyage.

With almost the entire book taking place on board the Titanic the number of places and settings the characters can visit is rather limited, however it was handled very well. Amelia is a second class passenger, yet we also get some looks into first class and a couple glimpses into third class as well. The general feeling of awe over the design of the ship is continually felt, from first class down to third, and even in the actions and comments of the stewards and maids.

Unfortunately, the looming tragedy didn't allow the story to be completely enjoyable for me. It's definitely well written and well researched, but the entire time I had the question "when is it going to happen?" lingering in the back of my mind. I did enjoy the stories of Amelia and her acquaintances, but at the same time I felt sad knowing the fate that awaited them. They all felt completely safe on the "unsinkable" Titanic; crew members and passengers alike often praised the opulence and design of the ship. I imagine these types of comments actually were very common... yet I couldn't help but feel sad every time someone expressed their trust in the doomed vessel.

From what I know of the Titanic, everything seemed very realistic and I actually learned some things, too. It's hard to imagine living through such an event, but with the aid of fictional characters this book does give a glimpse of what it must have been like. It's hard to use words conveying enjoyment of a book that covers such an event, but if you have any interest in Titanic, I definitely would recommend this book. It's not particularly graphic, but I think it gives a good picture of the events as seen through the eyes of Amelia and her friends.

My Rating: 4 stars
Thanks to the publisher (Barbour Books) for providing me with an e-galley via NetGalley for review.

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