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The Captain's Daughter

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,144 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
The secrets in a woman's heart are deeper than the ocean...For May Smith, travelling with her husband and baby girl Ellen, stepping foot on the Titanic marks the start of an incredible journey, one which is destined to take her from the back streets of Bolton to the land of opportunity: the United States. But when the 'unsinkable' Titanic hits an iceberg one cold dark nigh ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published December 31st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,359)
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Dale Harcombe
Feb 23, 2014 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it
Four a half stars.
I loved this book and was emotionally involved from the start. At varying times I was angry, outraged, exasperated and in tears. The scenes from the Titanic had far more impact on me than when I watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie that left me unmoved and bored.
Despite being from different classes Celeste and May due to circumstances brought about by the ship’s sinking and their rescue forge a firm friendship. There is also another story, that of Angelo who is waiting for his
I loved this! I'm giving it 4.5 stars. It was a good read from the start, tugging at the heartstrings and with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. Some of the turns the story took I could see coming, but others surprised me.

One of the things which surprised me was the time-frame this took place over - I knew it started with the sinking if the Titanic, but didn't realised it followed people through their lives into the 1950's. I do like it when books do this - I like seeing characters
Francesca Nield
Jul 18, 2012 Francesca Nield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An epic novel spanning three generations and two continents, Leah Fleming's "The Captain's Daughter" has been meticulously researched and is beautifully written. Its unpretentious but lyrical style make it a joy to read. The storyline is plausible, where it could have been hackneyed, and despite it covering such a large time span the plot never loses momentum. Each character is carefully crafted and developed and the dialogue is realistic. It is a novel which could be enjoyed in one sitting. I r ...more
Rachael McDiarmid
Jan 18, 2012 Rachael McDiarmid rated it really liked it
I had an advanced copy of this book and really enjoyed it. Didn't care for the title of the book though - as it didn't represent the story. All the copy for the book mentions something along the lines of "Captain Smith swims to the lifeboat and hands May a baby swaddled in blankets." The Captain and his grown-up daughter are minor, minor, MINOR figures. To name the book referencing the captain does not work for me. Once May has a baby in her arms, and meets the ballsy Celeste, I lovely friendshi ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Chloe rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A fantastic book. I am so interested in anything "Titanic" related, so I practically devoured this story. It follows the lives of a handful of people directly involved in the Titanic: Celeste and May, who, although from different classes, they end up on the same lifeboat (May is pulled out of the water) and form a firm friendship that spans their lifetimes. And also Angelo who is devastated over the loss of his wife and baby daughter in the tragedy, convinced his daughter is still ali ...more
May 23, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
This is a big story. By that I mean it starts in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic and finishes in 1959. Spanning three generations, the reader is taken to New York, the historic English cathedral town of Litchfield and the hills of Tuscany. It has a fast pace, short chapters and, while it will keep you on the edge of your seat in parts you might also be moved to tears. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The characters are many and varied starting with Celeste Parkes and May Smith, two people fro
Full review to come .... A lovely, albeit slow at times, story ... Had a lot of potential but fell a bit short for me ... Still a good read

Review time.....

The story follows the lives of three people who were affected by the Titanic - a tragedy that would forever bind them. For May and Joe Smith and their baby Ellen sailing on the 'unsinkable' ship meant a new live and a new start in America. For Celestine Parkes, it was a trip home to her son and husband - following the loss of her mother. And
An excellent book, set around the myth that Captain Smith rescued a baby or a young child from the water after the Titanic sank. The book starts off with the Titanic and finishes in 1959, and although there are a couple of slow moments, it flies through the decades and with very short chapters, it's a fast read, even at nearly 600 pages long.

I found a lot of similarities between this and my other favourite Titanic fictional book, No Greater Love, by Danielle Steel. Both books deal with the Tita
Valerie Jaafari
Feb 18, 2012 Valerie Jaafari rated it it was amazing
This story starts with the disaster of the Titanic where lots of people died .
May was a third class traveler with her husband Joe and their child Eillen .
Celeste was a first class traveler and she was coming back from burring her mother in England .She was on her way back to the USA in Akron where lives her husband Grover and her son Roddy (Roderick )
Celeste has been the first on the lifeboat and then they rescued May .Celeste tries to help May as much as she could to help her survive ..Sudden
Jul 05, 2013 Giulia rated it it was amazing
When British middle class woman May steps on the Titanic with her beloved husband and their 1 year old baby girl Ellen, she doesn't know that her life as she knows it, is going to change forever.
Celestine is an American upper class woman, who is going back to his rich heartless bully husband and to her 5 years old boy, Roddy.
Their lives couldn't be more different but when the tragedy of the Titanic brings them together, they discover that social status is not what defines people. And they find i
Jo Barton
Apr 15, 2012 Jo Barton rated it really liked it
When the unsinkable Titanic is pulled into the cold waters of the Atlantic during the early hours of the 15th April 1912, only 700 passengers have been rescued, and over 1500 souls will perish as the ship goes down.

The Captain's Daughter follows an imagined tale of three of those survivors.
May Smith leaving Lancashire for a new life in America is travelling with her husband,Joe and baby, Ellen.
Celeste Parkes is returning to America, having been to England for her mother's funeral.
And baby Ella,
Apr 25, 2012 Cambala rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. The characters were believable, the story didn't drag on anymore than necessary and the plot was interesting and original. I do not easily give away a 5 star rating but I absolutely adored this whole concept – so original and so well written.

The book begins with the sinking of the Titanic and covers both World Wars. For anyone who loves modern history and romance this is a beautiful story spanning many generations and continents.

Please don’t disregard this book as I almost
Helen Mackay
Jan 18, 2016 Helen Mackay rated it really liked it
A really moving story of families bound together by the titanic
Siew Ee
Feb 05, 2014 Siew Ee rated it really liked it
There are many fictional stories based on the Titanic, and “The Captain’s Daughter” is just one of them, and one that is well-written, dramatically rich in storyline and with more than just historical background on the Titanic itself to ground it and make it believable.

At the beginning of the book, we see May Smith losing a husband whom she loves deeply and Celeste Parkes wishing that her husband would drown instead of being safe at home. Both these women, vastly different in outlook & perso
Jul 14, 2015 Nattie rated it it was ok
Shelves: incomplete
I would have given the book 3 stars if it has been about 200 pages shorter. It was quickly paced at the start. The sinking was written in a manner that I had never come across before, perhaps it was a bit too rushed.

As the book continued, it slowed down considerably. I thought the story would focus more on May raising Ella and their family life, but it was focused on various situations. It wasn't bad, but not what I thought based on the synopsis.
Feb 21, 2015 Margolcia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Książka schematyczna. Fabuła z początku wydawała się być ciekawa, zapowiadała się atrakcyjnie pomimo tak bardzo ogranego tematu. Niestety wyjątkowo przewidywalna, wątki absurdalnie "baśniowe", wszyscy bohaterowie się spotykają, odnajdują, poznają, no i koronkowy bucik za przewodnika po meandrach losu, kiczowaty akcent, tak naprawdę. Zbyt wiele zbiegów okoliczności...

Bardzo brakuje mi tutaj miejsca na wpisanie autora tłumaczenia. Przecież tłumacz jest niesamowicie ważny, od tego czy ma talent, zn
Apr 04, 2015 Nat rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2014 Courtney rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, reviewed
I discovered this book through a goodreads giveaway that I didn't win. But, the Titanic is something I've always found fascinating and I sought this book out at my local library. First off, I read it thinking the Captain's Daughter was a figurative name for Ella - the daughter given to May by the Captain. I didn't think of it as being Mel Smith. And, after reading the book, I still think the author meant Ella. Likewise, I think the figure in red on the cover is May dropping her clothing into the ...more
Feb 08, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
This story took me quite a while to get into, but eventually I found myself pulled more and more into it. The Captain's Daughter follows several characters impacted by the sinking of the Titanic in different ways in first only loosely connected storylines for almost 50 years, from 1912 until 1959. Loved the ending.
Di Castle
Mar 28, 2013 Di Castle rated it really liked it
A lovely book charting the progress of a woman who loses her husband and baby daughter on the Titanic. As she sits in the lifeboat, the Captain brings a baby and puts her in the grieving mother's lap.

This is a pacy read and I cried several times. Can't recommend it enough.
Sep 12, 2014 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was lent to me by a friend as she knew i'd just finished cross stitching the titanic so thought the story would interest me. it follows the fictional lives of two woman who survive the disaster and a young baby who is pulled from the water by captain smith and given to one of the women while in a lifeboat. Everyone on the lifeboat assumes it is her daughter saved from the sea that almost claimed her and took the life of her husband. The story follows the young women and the friendship ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it was a bit chick licky but nevertheless a most enjoyable read and I contemplated saying up late at night to read most of it. I completely understand May wanting the anonymity of having anyone know she was a Titantic survivor especially since she was deathly afraid she would lose Ella if someone claimed her but her dying was a bit of an anti climax for me. She left so many unanswered questions for her daughter. The war years was well written and of course the ev ...more
Due donne che per estrazione sociale non si sarebbero mai incontrate e che la tragedia del Titanic ha unito, un uomo che non si arrende all'evidenza, una bambina e tanti altri personaggi in questo libro che mescola alcuni fatti reali e tanta bravura dell'autrice nel creare una storia che segue la vita dei protagonisti per quasi cinquant'anni senza annoiare.

Celeste e May sono delle sopravvissute e questo segnerà le loro esistenze rendendole donne più forti e capaci di affrontare la vita da sole,
Apr 01, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
There are possibly hundreds of fictional novels based on the sinking of Titanic on her maiden voyage across the atlantic in the early spring of 1912. This is definitely one of the better sort of the genre. The author chose to base her work on the urban legend of Captain Smith rising from the rapidly sinking ship, baby in hand, and passing it to one of the nearby lifeboats. Choosing to forfeit his own life, the captain retreats from the offer of salvation by the commanding lifeboat officers, and ...more
Jun 22, 2012 Bowerbird rated it liked it
May's tale begins as the Titanic sinks. She is rescued but appears to have lost her family. Then Captain Smith hands her a baby she thinks is her own child and is given a reason to go on living.
Celeste wants to escape a difficult marriage. She survives the disaster but
the only motivation for going home is to see her young son.
Angelo in New York awaiting his wife and child who are travelling on the Titanic and cannot believe he has lost them both.
This book has several weaknesses, not least the
Feb 28, 2016 Carole rated it really liked it
When the Titanic went down it changed so many lives forever and this book tells the fictional story of three families for whom the Titanic cast a long shadow throughout the generations.

We first meet May Smith, her husband Joe and baby daughter as they eagerly await the train that will take them away from the cotton mills of Bolton to Southampton to board the Titanic and begin a new life in the United States. They are C class passengers.

Celeste Parkes is in 1st class and has been attending her mo
Oct 24, 2014 Ruth rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
C2012. I suppose it was inevitable that with the centenary of the dreadful disaster someone was going to cash in on it. At the outset, I have to remind myself that I tend to dislike stories that revolve around the Titanic – the outcome is known, the history well documented and the stories told many times. Admittedly, I only have myself to blame because I read all the rave reviews without fully reading the synopsis. Just not my taste at this moment in time and because of that I started to dread p ...more
Richard Christmann
Le livre raconte une histoire d'amitiés entre 2 femmes, May et Céleste, qui ont survécu au naufrage du Titanic. Depuis ce jour May cache un lourd secret, mais le passé finit par vous ratrapper un jour ou l'autre.
Voilà une belle histoire qui montre à travers 3 personnages comment continuer à vivre après un tel drame, chacun essaie de se reconstituer comme il peut. On se rencontre que même si la vie continue, 2 des 3 personnages n'ont fait en fait que survivre, leur Vie s'étant arrêtée le jour du
Sep 24, 2013 Barbara rated it really liked it
The Captain’s Daughter – How History Touches Lives
North of England, April 1912. May Smith, her husband Joe and baby Ellen are waiting for the train to London. They’re poor, simple people, leaving their hometown to try and chase the great dream of life in America. May is skittish, the train is late, Ellen is crying – “Why are we leaving behind everything that is familiar? What are we doing?” she asks herself. But Joe is determined and May keeps her doubts to herself.
Lichfield, April 1912. Celes
Sep 17, 2013 Bücher-Stöberia rated it really liked it
Obwohl das Buch in der deutschen Übersetzung den Titel „Schiff der tausend Träume“ trägt, spielen nur die ersten 50 Seiten des Romans auf der Titanic. Der Leser erfährt dennoch einiges über dieses beeindruckende Schiff und die Beweggründe der Passagiere, an der Jungfernfahrt teilzunehmen. Für manche ist es pure Abenteuerlust, für andere hingegen die letzte Hoffnung, aus ihrem alten Leben zu entfliehen und einen Neuanfang zu wagen. Eindringlich und anschaulich beschreibt Leah Fleming die Klassenu ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 24, 2015 08:52AM  
  • One Night, Markovitch
  • A Step In The Dark
  • Destined
  • The Prisoner of Paradise
  • Titanic Affair
  • Women & Children First
  • In Love and War
  • The Scarlet Kimono
  • Mr Chen's Emporium
  • Le ossa della principessa (Alice Allevi, #3)
  • Hearts That Survive: A Novel of the Titanic
  • The White Pearl
  • The Tea Planter's Daughter (Tyneside Sagas, #1)
  • The English Monster
  • Season of Light
  • Promise Me This
  • Chasing the Light
  • The Painted Bridge
Leah Fleming was born in Lancashire and is married with three sons and a daughter. She writes from an old farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales and an olive grove in Crete.

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