Monday, 16 April 2012

TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER BY DEBORAH HOPKINSON



BLURB from Goodreads


Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the TITANIC and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs.Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the TITANIC, a topic that continues to haunt and thrill readers to this day, this book by critically acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real TITANIC survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story, which follows the TITANIC and its passengers from the ship's celebrated launch at Belfast to her cataclysmic icy end, is sure to thrill and move readers.



MY REVIEW


I have always felt strangely drawn to the Titanic, as well as its many mysteries and stories of courage & bravery. I feel it should be taught as part of our history curriculum in schools. I have to say, I seriously enjoyed this book. I was sent an ARC of Titanic: Voices From The Disaster by the publishers whom I had approached and explained about my blog feature etc. The ARC I received was paperback, where as the actual book will be hardback. Also the final book will have detailed diagrams of the Titanic so you can literally see where things happened on the ship. (My ARC just had two blank pages where the diagrams will be). I think the diagrams will add so much to the book, as you will be able to read where certain things happen and then see on the diagram where those places actually were. as well as being able to see the routes people would have needed to negotiate to escape the flooding waters and to get to the life boats that were available. I will definitely calling in a store or two looking for this book to check out the diagrams. (I may even end up treating myself to a copy with the diagrams in!). The book also has sections with lots of facts and figures in them. Deborah Hopkinson wrote about what happened so well and has clearly done lots of research on this subject. 
I loved the sections where Deborah used the individual survivors and their tales. The one about Violet Jessop was really interesting. How on earth did she ever agree to go back on a ship, let alone continue to work on the sister ships to titanic until her retirement?
In my opinion, this is the sort of realistic, history book our children should be taught from in schools. It is so sad to read the stories of those that did not survive, thinking of the families they left behind, the lives they could have lived, literally swept away from them. The illustrations are brilliant, to actually see the type of lifejackets (also known as life savers or preservers) worn at that time. However, the descriptions that Deborah used are extremely good and help you visualise the opulence of that great ship. 
I also thoroughly enjoyed the section concerning the wreck of the Titanic. The photographs taken so far under the ocean are interesting. I also liked the descriptions of the items that have been recovered from the Titanic.
As for one of the questions most people seem to ask when talking about the Titanic. Should the Titanic be raised? I feel I have mixed feeling on this. On one hand, I truly believe it should be left under the ocean as a memorial to all those that lost their lives. On the other hand, wouldn't it be fascinating to view what is left of the Titanic after so long under the sea?
So did I enjoy this book? YES Would I read more on the Titanic? YES! Of course. Would I read more my Deborah Hopkinson? YES I intend to do so, she has covered many other historical events and tragedies etc. I think I have found an author who writes historical books that totally suit the type I love to read.

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