Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Review: The Deep

The Deep

The Deep
By Alma Katsu
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780525537908, March 10, 2020, 432pp.

The Short of It:

The lure of the Titanic on that fateful night is what fascinated me and pulled me in. Add some ghosts and a sister ship and you’ve got me.

The Rest of It:

Annie is a survivor of the Titanic. On that fateful night, she dove into the frigid waters to save a baby from a drowning woman’s arms. Recovering from that incident, she spends her days at a hospital. A hospital normally reserved for the mentally ill but she doesn’t exhibit any characteristics of such an illness. She is, however, without anyone to speak for her. Or so they think.

One day she receives a letter from a friend who also survived the Titanic’s sinking, inviting her to become a nurse on its sister ship, the Britannic. The war has been hard and there are many injured young men to tend to. Would she be interested?

As the story unfolds, we spend time on both ships. The before, the after, and how the events of the Britannic play into this story. There is a supernatural element to this tale. I think Katsu is known for this although I’ve never read her work before. You are asked many times to suspend your disbelief. I’m not sure I did, but I did enjoy how the two stories came together.

You may or may not be surprised of the love story contained within these pages. It’s a love triangle of sorts so there’s a little drama there. Enough to hold your interest. Overall, an enjoyable read but nothing that will wow you. The pace was a little slow in the beginning but picked up mid-way through. I can’t compare this book to her other works but I can say that based on this one, I would read her work again.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Visible Empire

Visible Empire

Visible Empire
By Hannah Pittard
Houghton Mifflin, 9780544748064, June 2018, 288pp.

The Short of It:

A plane crash leaves in its wake a host of people struggling to make sense of the tragedy.

The Rest of It:

Visible Empire is a novel based on true events. In 1962 an Air France flight carrying Atlanta’s elite, crashed shortly after takeoff and left an entire community struggling to process the loss of so many well-known people from the art world. The book opens with the crash itself. The reader is briefly introduced to some of the passengers before the plane plunges back to the runway only to become a horribly burned and twisted mass of steel.

And then, the story really starts.

Everyone left behind has a story of course. A man’s mistress was killed on the plane while his wife at home is about to deliver their first child. A young man, denied admission to an integrated school finds himself driving two white men, in the middle of the night when racial tension is so high. Others, just keep repeating the events of the day never really to come to any conclusion or peace as to what has happened to their community.

Visible Empire started off strong but then petered out about half way through. These characters did not interest me enough for me to want to know more about them, or to care what happened to them once the initial shock of the crash wore off. I think for me, the lack of empathy on my end greatly affected my overall impression of the book.

Have you read it? If so, what did you think of it?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.