Title: The Titanic Sisters
Author: Patricia Falvey
Pub Date: 2019
No. Of pages: 372
Where I got it: Readers First
Time to read: 6 days
One sentence review: It doesn’t dwell on the events of Titanic too much. It’s more focussed on the aftermath.
Who’d enjoy it: Lovers of historical fiction and human interest stories around real life events
Stars: 3.5 / 5
The Titanic Sisters is the story of Nora and Delia Sweeney from Donegal, Ireland.
The story begins with the arrival of a letter from America. There’s an opportunity for one of the girls to go to America to become Governess to Lily, the daughter of a distant, recently widowed family member. Oh, and let’s just chuck in money for a first class ticket aboard the Titanic. Yes. I know. Impending sense of doom kicks in right about now.
It’s clear from the off that Nora is far more favoured by their mother and she definitely wears the shoes in the household, so she chooses Nora, over Delia to go on this opportunity (ahem) of a lifetime.
Well as you can imagine, Delia is devastated. But Dad steps in. Because he prefers Delia to Nora. He manages to secure her a job as a maid and much to the despair of Nora, insists that the money is spent on two tickets in steerage instead. (Basically where Leo’s digs were. Let’s be honest. Him and Kate had way more fun down there anyway).
So off the girls go, oblivious to the disaster that awaits. Now as luck would have it, they both survive (not a spoiler – there would literally be no book if they didn’t). However, neither knows whether the other did.
Nora never makes it to her expected destination, but Delia does. And she never corrects a misunderstanding that she is not her sister.
What I loved
This is not my usual choice of genre at all, but I’m finding myself more and more interested in historical fiction. I had zero interest in history at school, but add a human interest story where I can empathize with what life was like for people and “BAM”. You got me.
The book is written, alternating in point of view of the two sisters. It’s obvious how different they are and the different tones of the two of them were easily differentiated.
I loved the development and growth of both sisters in this book. They more or less have complete personality transplants and they grow into wonderful human beings. The relationship between Delia and Lily is beautiful too and just so heartwarming.
The ending left me feeling warm and fuzzy too, which is a nice change from to thrillers I usually insist on reading.
What I didn’t love
This is hard to articulate. Because there wasn’t really anything I didn’t love apart from some pretty long chapters. Yet it’s not more than 3.5 star book for me.
This is a great book if you’re interested in historical fiction. If you’re obsessed with Titanic and that’s your only reason for picking it up, it’s probably not for you. This book is less interested in the events and more about “what happened next?”
I would definitely say it’s worth a read though and would recommend it.