This is more like it! Much like ‘Star’, this historical drama/romance was a pleasure to read. Again, because I liked the characters, and the plot was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing and my nose firmly attatched to the spine.
I don’t know if its that the books being set ‘in the past’ somehow makes the typical aspirational romance more acceptable to my cynical modern feminist lefty “you don’t just love for no reason, if you just fancy someone, that’s lust” eyes, but I again really really enjoyed this book, even though it transcribes to the same ideals as the others (being single is awful and makes you some sort of freak etc etc).
The book opens with the introduction of the Winfield family: mum, dad, grown up daughter Edwina, her fiancee Charles and five randomly assorted children. The family from San Francisco (of course, no one comes from anywhere bur San Fran, NY or Hollywood in SteelWorld), where Daddy Winfield owns a newspaper, are travelling back from England on the Titanic. I don’t want to ruin the book for you, but let’s just say things don’t work out that well in the end.
This book, apart from brilliantly exploring the sinking of the Titanic and the affect this had on teh people on board, and their families, also covers America’s involevement in the First World War and the beginning of Hollywood expansion in the 1920s. Edwina, the heroine, ‘sacrifices’ her whole life (ie. doesn’t marry or breed) to raise her brother’s and sisters after loosing both her parents and her fiancee on the Titanic. The relationship between her siblings is lovely to read, again Stell does children very well, though I instantly wanted to kill her middle sister Alexis, the ‘golden child’ who later becomes a Hollywood starlette.
Issues I had with the book mainly are the ending, of course Edwina ends up riding off into the sunset with requisit Older Man (resulting in me suddenly looking at men in their 40s in a whole new light, I think she might be on to something her you know). Edwina was happy single, and it would have been really cool of Steel to make a break from the norm and show an Independent Woman who is happy, and doesn’t have her lovers die on her or her family hate her. I also wish that we had seen a little more of the family newspaper, but then again the rest of the book appeared so well researched I didn’t mind so much. The Titanic is such an iconic event in history, and as a Child Of the Nineties will always be an incredibly romantic setting (still sob at the though of Kate and Leo, even 13 years later. Was an even sadder child than am grown up)and I personally think with this book, Steel did justice to it. Either that or I was so bloody greatful to enjoy the book after the utter nonsense of the last one and was therefore blind to all its failings. Recommened, to the same who would enjoy ‘Star’.
Only eight to go! Nearly half way there!