By Elizabeth Wroten
Review: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
On 27, Mar 2013 | In Review | By Elizabeth Wroten
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.
I was not originally going to read this book for the YALSA Hub reading challenge, but after I read their interview with Deborah Hopkinson here, I immediately put in a request for the book at the library. I was not disappointed. As terrible as it is to take delight in such a tragedy, this was a fascinating book. I recently came to learn a lot of the details and events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic through a research project I helped put together in the library, but I think Hopkinson made a wise choice focusing on the people on board. It made the disaster much more horrific. While I wanted to keep reading I had to keep putting the book down to take a steadying breath.
It was funny for me to think that even though I knew how the book would end (the boat sinks!), it didn’t make it any less exciting, riveting, or nerve wracking. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, but as the book wore on I got into the swing of it and could hardly put it down. Even if you aren’t especially interested in the sinking of the Titanic this book is worth the afternoon it will take to read it.