Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book Review: The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf

April 15th, 1912. The night was calm; the sea was smooth as glass. Little did the passengers and crew know what was in store on that fateful evening.

The Watch that Ends the Night is the tale of that fateful voyage, told from the perspective of 23 different people aboard the Titanic:

- Captain E.J. Smith, who believes he is on his last sea voyage as captain before his retirement.

- John Jacob Astor who is returning home from Egypt with his new eighteen year old bride.

- Jock Hume, the violinist, who is using his journey on the Titanic to decide which instrument will be responsible for playing his life's song.

- Jamila Nicola-Yarred, a refugee fleeing from Lebanon with her younger brother and traveling to America in steerage to be reunited with her mother and other siblings.

- Thomas Andrews, the ship designer who spent three years overseeing the building of the Titanic and feels as though Titanic is one of his children.

As well as many more. The iceberg itself is also given a voice.

The tale is beautifully written using poems, with each voice having its own unique style. Each section of the book begins with an account written from the perspective of the undertaker responsible for trying to recover the bodies from the water five days after the disaster.

This book will break your heart as you discover who will be pulled from the water next.

- Blaine (currently reading Where Things Come Back and watching her to-read pile grow at an astonishing rate!)