Sunday 15 April 2012


An extraordinary saga about life before and after the sinking of the most famous ship of all time. Women and Children First will be published to coincide with centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and Julian Fellowes' mini series of 2012.

The Titanic was the most magnificent ship ever built, offering every possible luxury to her passengers - yet on the night on the 14th of April 1912, she sank in the North Atlantic, leaving the lucky ones floating in wooden rowing boats, and the rest struggling for their lives in the icy water.
Women and Children First follows the fortunes of Reg, a handsome young first-class steward: Annie, an Irishwoman who is travelling to America with her four children to join her husband and start a new life: Juliette, a titled English lady who is pregnant and unmarried: an american millionaire and his wife who are trapped in a poisoned marriage: and a mystery passenger who never shows her face in public. All but one survive the sinking but each has to learn just how they can possibly carry on when they finally reach New York.
The sinking of the Titanic not only stole hundreds of lives, it blew apart the futures of those who survived. Coming to terms with the shocking events, the survivors form new attachments, make decisions with tragic consequences, and watch all their old certainties crumble. How can life ever be the same again when you have heard fifteen hundred people dying in the freezing water around you?

I truly loved this book, it came from the angle/perspective of what the survivors did after the sinking of the Titanic rather than just being about the incident itself, which was in itself different to most other books I have read.
I enjoyed learning about the ship, and its crew and their backgrounds and back stories too. Then we learnt about all classes of passengers, so there was someone in the book that all could identify with. which mother could fail to identify with the horrific decision that faced Annie? Should she get into a lifeboat with her youngsters or look for her eldest child who had gone missing in all the mayhem that ensued after the iceberg struck. I was initially a little shocked and disappointed in Reg, and the decision he made after the Titanic sank. I could understand him not wanting to ever get on a ship again. I honestly don't know how anyone of the survivors managed that task at all. I loved the mystery of the kind and generous Mrs Grayling and how eventually the reader hears the total truth of what tragically happened to her when Titanic sunk.
Obviously the actual true facts feature in this book, but the characters are of course fictional, you can believe there are truths within the fiction. 
Gill Paul is very knowledgeable about the Titanic, and you can tell this lady author cared about the people on that ship and there stories even though this is a fictional creation. The way Gill writes, she makes you feel like you are there on that traqgic night watching the drama unfold as it is happening. Gill must have done a lot of research into things like the food served on the ship, to the crew members individual duties as well as the facts of the protocols that would have been followed that fateful night out on the ocean.
I have to admit I had tears in my eyes when reading about the third class passenger Annie and of course Finbarr, though I also had a heavy heart and lump in my throat when we finally discover the truth of what happened to Mrs Grayling that night too.
This book makes you wonder How would you have behaved during the chaos and mayhem aboard the ship? What class would you have been in? Would you have survived? How would you have gone on? Would you have made the same, similar or totally different decisions than the characters in the book?
I think this book will appeal to those who love romance touched with tragedy as well as those fascinated by all things Titanic.
Did I enjoy the book? Yes Loved it. Would I recommend it? Yes its on my mums to read list already!
Would I read more by this author? Yes I would I already have plans to try and find a copy of the other Titanic related book written by Gill Paul. Would I read more about the Titanic? Yes, it may sound odd but it is something I feel myself strangely drawn to, and I have more fictional and factual books to be read and reviewed.

Available on 29th of March  RRP £6.99 in paperback and ebook.
Available, £5.11 paperback or £0.99 on Kindle (an excellent price for a beautifully written extremely interesting, thought provoking book!)

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