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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Hearts That Survive: A Novel of the Titanic by Yvonne Lehman
Published by Abingdon Press on February 29th 2012
Genres: historical fiction
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On April 15, 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life with a boundless hope in love and faith. Her new friendship with Caroline Chadwick is bonded even more as they plan Lydia's wedding on board the grandest ship ever built. Then both women suffer tragic losses when the unsinkable Titanic goes down. Can each survive the scars the disaster left on their lives?
Decades later, Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed, successful, heroic novelist who went down with the Titanic. Will he find his identity with the past, or will he listen to Joanna Bettencourt, Caroline's granddaughter, who says inner peace and success come only with a personal relationship with the Lord?
Will those who survived and their descendants be able to find a love more powerful than their pain?
The first book I finished in 2016 – the only good thing about this book!
Read as part of COYER challenge
This entire review contains many, many spoilers…
Oh, boy. I am not sure where to begin with this one.
I can sum up my thoughts rather quickly – reading this book is a big waste of your time!
The writing overall is OK and there were a couple of scenes that were written well (the sinking of the ship itself) – so well written and put together that I think Lehman had a lot of help, because the rest of the book has plot holes the size of Titanic. But let’s not forget Lehman’s wonderful writing throughout the book, such as: “She knew that he knew she knew he knew better.” What???
When one calls a book “a novel of the titanic” you’d expect much more of the book to actually be on board the Titanic, wouldn’t you? Well, less than a third of the book actually takes place about the ship. There’s a lot of detail about the ship, some accurate and a lot of not-so-accurate bits. The actual sinking of the ship felt very rushed, was wildly inaccurate in places, and other than a few moments here and there, just left me feeling disappointed.
Lydia gets married on the ship, for crying out loud, and is pregnant, and her brand new husband John decides he’s going to finish writing a poem and then sits down and dies. The scene where he dies was so horribly bad I was laughing so hard I had tears coming out of my eyes.
Lydia of course survives the ship sinking, watches Craven (the family business’s head honcho and the book’s big evil bad guy) acting like an idiot/coward/fool, and then days later, marries him with hardly any thought. Then lies to him for the next 18 years, never admitting the child isn’t him. And Craven is such a man about town, but is clueless that Lydia isn’t a virgin.
Lydia survives the ship going down (of course) and though is traumatized a bit from it, none of the characters who survived really suffer any post-traumatic affects. Really? After just a couple of weeks everyone is just fine?
About 35% into the book, all of a sudden a new character is introduced – who ends up being Lydia’s friend Caroline’s love interest. But he doesn’t get introduced until after the ship goes down… Really, Lehman could have introduced him into the book much sooner in the book and it wouldn’t have been so disruptive to the story.
And what’s with everyone having telephones ? Really? How many people had telephones in 1912? very very few, that’s how many, yet everyone seemed to have them, even a lawyer in the middle of Halifax.
And now, 40% or so into the book, all of a sudden the story is all about Caroline and the book gets very, very preachy. There were some minor Christian elements in the beginning (Lydia tells John she’s pregnant and he tells her to read her bible), but they weren’t a significant part of the story. Now the book changes entirely, again, and is a Christian storyline and the writing is completely different, with metaphors that don’t make any sense.
The plot begins rushing – years past on a single page – which I was honestly grateful for because the book was so horribly bad, I just wanted it to be over – and of course, the moment comes when John’s poem magically resurfaces and Lydia tells her husband the truth about their child and then Craven dies and the grandkid’s all get married and they all live happily ever after.
i could spend weeks writing about how bad this book sucked.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: