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Seven Days in May

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,406 ratings  ·  201 reviews
For readers of Kate Williams, Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson, a captivating novel of love and resilience during the Great War, inspired by the author’s family history.

As the First World War rages in continental Europe, two New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-
Paperback, 356 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published April 25th 2017)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Always Pouting
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
World War I is raging through out Europe and after an unfortunate experience at her previous employment Isabel gets a second chance in room 40 helping decipher coded German messages to help the war effort. Meanwhile in New York Sydney Sinclair continues to cause scandal with her political opinions and marching for the right for women to vote. Her sister Brooke has recently become engaged to an English man with a title who is in need of money. The two are set to journey on the Lusitania with Broo ...more
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

If you’re one of those who can’t stand negative reviews, quit while you’re ahead and stop reading now. I don’t mean to be rude, but I didn’t enjoy the time I spent with Kim Izzo’s Seven Days in May and I’ve no intention of mincing my words to appease everyone who thinks negative commentary a waste of both time and energy.

The sinking of the Lusitania boasts an overwhelming degree of intrigue, but Izzo’s illustration of the sh
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This historical novel is set in 1915 and is based around the RMS Lusitania. The book, thankfully, avoids the tired, and clichéd, dual time line – although it does have a dual storyline. Part of the book is set around the story of two American heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, while the other section is set in London, where the storyline centres on Isabel Nelson who volunteers for war work at the Admiralty.

Brooke Sinclair is engaged to be married to Edward Thorpe-Tracey, who arrives in New Y
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Apr 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2017
Erin Davis review pretty much sums up my feelings for this book. But I guess that I have put down some thoughts I have on the book and not just refer to her splendid review. This is not a book that I liked so it's a pretty negative review...

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo appealed to me as I'm interested in reading about WW1 and the suffragette movement. I was looking forward to seeing how the author would combine the storyline on the ship and that of the codebreaker Isabel in London. I'm sad
Deanne Patterson
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is the first book I've read about the sinking of the Lusitania that took place as the First World War rages in continental Europe. The author obviously did her research as the details are not something that could be made up. The devastation is terrifying and as I read it I felt as if I were there too experiencing it. The raw survival mode these passengers went into as they grabbed any scrap of the wreckage to stay afloat is simply heartbreaking. There was romance as well but the shipwreck i ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Thanks to Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read an Advance Reader's Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

"Seven Days in May" follows two story lines.

The first is the story of New York heiresses Sydney and Brooke Sinclair. Sydney considers herself a modern woman. She is drawn to the Suffrage movement, as well as Margaret Sanger's birth control efforts. Brooke, on the other hand, envisions herself to be an American Princess, and would like to also be a part of the Britis
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
I'll be honest, it took me a few chapters to get into this book. I really thought I would have to move on to a different book. Then somehow I found myself invested in the story. We follow Sidney, who's a suffragette, who finds herself to be the black sheep of her wealthy family. Then you have her older sister, Brooke, who follows the rules and expects herself to find a husband that is an English aristocrat. Which she does and his name is Edward. Together, all three of them, they board the doomed ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thank you Netgalley for an advanced copy.

I wanted to love this. It promised to be a novel with a little romance (the Brooke, Sydney and Edward storyline); a little espionage (Isabel's story) with a backdrop of the Lusitania's final voyage across the Atlantic.

What I liked:
The ending. Having read the Author's note at the end you realize that one of the characters (Walter) is based on her own great-grandfather's experience on the Lusitania. This fact explains why her descriptions of that fateful d
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was able to read this novel courtesy of netgallery
A strong 4 stars

This novel using the voyage and the eventual sinking of the ship the Lusitania as its focus, was a well done historical fiction novel that not only included the Lusitania's tragedy, but it also gave the reader a love story to follow as well.

The characters of Edward, Brooke, and Sydney were fine representation of the people of their time. The sisters, Brooke and Sydney, were extremely wealthy socialites. Brooke, was surely one w
Karen KK
I received this ARC from in exchange for a review.

New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-Tracey, the future Lord Northbrook. Sydney is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister. In London, Isabel Nelson is working for the British Admiralty deciphering code and learns of the German plot to sink the Lusitania.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
OK so I really wanted to like this book and two chapters in I thought I had a winner. However, from then on I just got seriously bogged down. I think what didn't help was the fact none of the characters were likable and Isabel in the English side of it was down right unpleasant. Also she wasn't very realistic. She went from working as a house maid to a typist in a top secret code room and then practically taking over there. She seemed to think she knew better than Churchill!!
It was the Suffraget
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book does exactly what really great historical fiction is supposed to do, it transports the reader back in time and right on the great ship. You can feel the sea air, see the wake as the giant luxury liner cuts through the Atlantic and hear the bang as the torpedo hits the ship. This is the Lusitania after all and although it starts out as a pleasant cruise it definitely doesn't end that way. I was woefully ignorant about a lot of WWI in general and about the Lusitania in particular. The si ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very entertaining story told in two parts. One part is about the passengers aboard the ship, Lusitania and the other part is about the men and women (mostly Isabel) working in Room 40 where all messages intercepted go to be decoded. It's war time and thoughts are strained, tension everywhere. Brooke, Sydney's sister, and the reason they are on board the Lusitania, is getting married to an impoverished aristocrat. Wow, is she a witch with a "b". She is definitely cray, cray and certain ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A light read but nevertheless enjoyable. 3.5 stars.

Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
***** http://greatreadsandtealeaves.blogspo...

This book was such an unexpected surprise - I was enthralled from cover to cover. It incorporated so much and so well, that I found each and every aspect engaging - and there are many. This is what historical fiction is all about - transporting you to another time and place, and on this occasion, from war torn London to the deck of a ship doomed for tragedy.

‘... received anonymous telegrams warning them not to sail on the Lusitania because “she was
Saturday's Child
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction is a genre that I find pleasure in reading and this latest find certainly offered me another great read. The story of the Lusitania’s fatal voyage has long been of interest to me so I could not wait to read this novel. I was not aware of the mysterious Room 40 at the British Admiralty so I really enjoyed the way in which the author combined the two stories.
#SavvyReadathon reading

Fascinating insights to the WWI era on both sides of the Atlantic, England and NY featuring in the sailing of the Lusitania. Characters, each well developed within their past and present settings as relevant. Unique aspects of the war are explored with varying degrees of personal and political impact .
Exceptionally well written, tension saturates the atmosphere as this well paced drama unfolds ...
Cleopatra  Pullen
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The title Seven Days in May refers to the time that Brooke, Sydney and Edward spent on their fated journey from New York to Liverpool aboard the Lusitania, before it was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915.

Even before we step aboard the luxury line we have a high society wedding in the offing. Edward Thorpe-Tracey, an impoverished owner of a fine estate is to marry Brooke Sinclair who has inherited a fortune from her father. Edward is hoping that the marriage will save the estate and provide
Suze Lavender
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Isabel works in Room 40 for the British Admiralty during the First World War. What's being done there is top secret. She hopes nobody will find out about her past and her code breaking skills are giving her the second chance she needs. While trying to find out what the Germans are planning, Isabel discovers that war isn't fair at all. Some things never have a right outcome, no matter which side you choose to approach it from, it's a hard lesson that will leave a lasting impression.

Sydney's sist
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Boarding the Lusitania for a journey to England to be wed are Brooke Sinclair and her fiancé Edward Thorpe-Tracy, along with Brooke's sister, Sidney. While Brooke is effervescent, Sidney is ambivalent.

Their story is interspersed with the activities in Room 40, the British Intelligence Agency which deals with codes and ciphers. This group, especially Isabel Nelson, is drawn into the maneuverings of the German U-Boat, U-20. As information continues to come to Room 40, the code breakers become mor
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this story about the Lusitania's final voyage. There are two perspectives driving the narrative. The main story is from the perspective of a young American heiress who is involved in women's issues, to the horror of her sister, who is engaged to be married to a British nobleman, a calculated union based on an exchange of money and title. The other point of view is also from a young woman, this time a British servant woman who manages to secure a clerical job at a code breaki ...more
Debra Belmudes
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent ... a fictional historical account of the sinking of the Lusitania told from two alternating points of view: the first by passengers of the Lusitania and the other by the staff of Room 40, an early version of Bletchley Park.

For an historical account of the Lusitania, I highly recommend Dead Wake by Erik Larson. He does a wonderful job of writing history in a highly entertaining, narrative manner.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
As England fights the Germans, Room 40 is established to decode messages from the Germans. Isabel begins working in Room 40, continuing to receive messages tracking a German submarine near Ireland. At the same time, Brooke and Sydney Sinclair board the Lusitania, with Edward, Brooke's fiancee. I really liked both Isabel and Sydney, strong female characters fighting for their place in a time period not friendly towards ambitious and outspoken women. Knowing what happens to the Lusitania doesn't l ...more
I wanted to like this more than I did. The story of the Lusitania is interesting enough, but it's all just a backdrop to the soapy stories of the main characters. (view spoiler) ...more
Reading is my Escape
Seven Days in May Audience: Adult
Format: Paperback/Owned

It was half past nine in the morning when Sydney stepped out of the taxi wearing her most drab topcoat.
- first sentence

This is a romantic historical fiction novel that follows two sets of people during the first World War. The plot involving Sydney & Brooke (New York heiresses) and Brooke's fiancee Edward (a future lord who happens to be in significant debt) is all unlikely romantic triangle.  They are traveling across the Atlantic on the
Cheryl Arnold
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book! Was on page 23 yesterday morning and the book was so intriguing that I could not put it down till I finished. Two different stories told by three different people, one in London, one in New York & then on the doomed Lusitania itself.

This is Historical fiction at its best. So many of the events that happened on May 7th 1915 in this book are true events from survivor accounts, others are theory's & conjecture. But whatever the truth is; this is great reading about the sinking of t
Meredyth Young
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This ambitious tale on the high seas beautifully embraces the romance of love and the tenacity of conviction. It also pays homage to women who fought a different war in the days of the Lusitania. Through Kim's periscope of a one week, we are taken on a journey that provokes, embraces and reminds us that the human condition is a shared one. All with fabulous style. Compelling, heartbreaking and ultimately a rewarding read.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Note: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Seven Days In May takes place during World War I, and addresses both home front issues as well as the threat of attack by ocean. In London, Isabel has come to the city for a fresh start, and is given the opportunity to work with Room 40, deciphering coded German messages for the war effort. In New York, Sydney Sinclair is a feminist, marching and getting arrested while fighting for women’s rights. Her activism cau
Nicola Smith
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh this is such a wonderful book. I couldn't have imagined how much I would end up enjoying it. It has that mix of fact and fiction that I love but it can hinder an author sometimes as they can end up sacrificing elements of a good story by trying to stick to facts. Not so here. Oh there's no doubt that Kim Izzo has researched the story of the Lusitania meticulously but she has also weaved the most fantastic storyline around it.

That storyline is one of three incredibly strong women. Sydney and B
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Seven Days In May was an absolutely stunning historical fiction novel that centered around the final sailing of the Lusitania. This author is a phenomenal writer, and crafted vivid characters that were able to tell varying aspects of the controversy surrounding the German attack on a civilian vessel.

There were three main characters who narrated the novel. They were each given backgrounds that were detailed and acted with such passion it was hard not love all of them! Isabel felt compelled to joi
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Kim Izzo is an author, screenwriter and journalist. She is the 2016 winner of the prestigious HUMANITAS Prize: New Voices and the 2016 Telefilm Canada New Voices Award. Izzo is the author of two romantic comedy novels, the best-selling The Jane Austen Marriage Manual, which has been optioned for film, and My Life in Black and White. She is also the co-author of two etiquette books, the internation ...more

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