Parts of this book were really good and others seemed to drag on a bit too long. It read sort of like a whodunnit mystery, but without the red herringParts of this book were really good and others seemed to drag on a bit too long. It read sort of like a whodunnit mystery, but without the red herrings. The many lies and the cover-up testimonies were interesting to read about because the stories kept changing. No one wanted to admit to anything that would make them the cause or contributor to the tragedy and such a great loss of life. I liked reading most of the novel from the point of view of a newspaper reporter. At the same time, I didn't feel like their was enough about the Titanic tragedy itself, as the plot was more focused on the Californian.
Now, technically I understand the intention was to focus on the inaction of the other ship when they saw the rockets, which makes the Titanic's story all the more tragic because the boat was only ten or so miles away and could have saved a good number of passengers had they done something. The feeling I got at the conclusion of this book was more like I'd been reading depositions of the Nazi leaders and their testimonies of their participation in international war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials. So if you find that approach a bit dry, you might not stick with this book until the end.
My favorite part of the story was when the author showed the last hour of the Sage family's life. It was an intriguing perspective of how a large family with nine children might have dealt with the ship's sinking as a unit. Since the eleven member family actually died when the ship disappeared under water, I found it especially intriguing that not one of them survived. They didn't want to be separated even if that meant they could live, and that was an emotional part of the book for me. As a family they fought to stay together despite the hopelessness of their situation. Such a tragic ending.
All in all this was a decent story. Would I rave about it and recommend it to friends? Probably not. But that's just my opinion. What makes a Titanic themed story intriguing is the tragedy and experiencing the events as if you were there as the ship went down. The book did include some of these scenes, but most of the story was about digging up the facts and trying to get to the truth. That's the part that dragged on longer than necessary....more
I have read a number of books by Ms. Gregory and have enjoyed them all. This one didn't grab me as much as others like Lady of the Rivers and The KingI have read a number of books by Ms. Gregory and have enjoyed them all. This one didn't grab me as much as others like Lady of the Rivers and The Kingmaker's Daughters. At any rate, I did enjoy this story. With so little being known about the main character, Margaret Tudor, who became the queen of Scotland at the same time her brother, Henry VIII was king of England, the author had a lot of unknown details where she could use creative license to fill in the blanks. Other than the fact that she married three times, there was a lot of leeway for the author to create a background to explain why she might have married two more times.
The first time resulted in King James of Scotland. The other two were with clansmen, one with noble blood and one without. I found it interesting how she went from loving her sisters (Kathryn of Aragon by marriage and Mary Tudor, her younger sister) to hating or envying them quite a bit. Her attitude changed like the wind and she was full of pride, yet she had a softer side to her. I think the fact that it rarely came out made her less likable, though she was a strong woman. In the beginning she seemed a bit weak because of her human desire to be wanted and loved. Interestingly enough, the three sisters all had something in common. The first time each of them got married it was by contract and planned for political reasons. After being widowed, they each married for love and not for political reasons.
The point of view of Margaret Tudor provided an interesting perspective of how Kathryn of Aragon may have been perceived by many in England. She was loved by the people because of her commitment to the king, her husband King Henry VIII, despite how he treated her toward the end. I found it interesting how Margaret Tudor was granted a divorce from her unfaithful and power- hungry husband of the Douglas clan before her brother King Henry VIII sought his divorce (though they were requested for different reasons) and how that would reflect on the Tudors as well as the perspective of the time - marriage was for life when it came to royalty. And yet they each broke their marriage contracts.
Interesting book with one main character - Margaret Tudor. I always wondered what her life might have been like and Ms. Gregory provided some details that painted a picture, though it is obviously fiction. ...more