I am delighted to share my review today for Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie. This is a fabulous historical fiction that has been wonderfully researched and offers a glimpse into those on the Titanic.
My huge thanks to Bloomsbury Books for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley. I do wish I had read it sooner as it was a wonderful read.
From internationally bestselling author and celebrated actress Celia Imrie, an epic novel set against the backdrop of the sinking of the Titanic.
Nice, France, 1911: After three years of marriage, Marcella Navratil has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, may have charmed her during their courtship, but their few years of marriage have revealed a cruel and controlling streak. The 21-year-old mother of two is determined to get a divorce.
But while awaiting the Judges’ decision on the custody of their children, Michael receives news that changes everything.
Meanwhile, fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the most celebrated steamer in the world.
But as the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Marcella, Michael and Margaret cross and nothing will ever be the same again.
Orphans of the Storm dives into the waters of the past to unearth a sweeping, epic tale of the sinking of the Titanic that radiates with humanity and hums with life.
I know I am not the only reader who sees a book and thinks “I really want to read that” and then it gets lost in the mountain of other books. Orphans of the Storm was one of those books and I am so glad I finally got to read it. If you have this on your TBR then I suggest bumping it up and reading it.
When I first saw this I knew it was one that I would enjoy, historical fiction and one that also includes the Titanic. The book is set in 1911, Nice, France. Marcella is going through the motions of divorcing her husband Michael a tailor. The story then goes back and fills in how the couple met, their life together, their two children and how the Titanic is involved.
This story grabbed me from the first few chapters, more so just before the jump back in time! The first half of the book concerns itself more with Marcella and Michael and how things change for her when her children are born. Michael is not the person she thought she had married, and she lives a very fraught life. He is a tyrant and a manipulator to say the least and not a likeable person at all.
The second half of the book introduces Margaret, a woman who has done the “European Tour” and decides to get an early boat back to America. She boards the Titanic along with around 2,24 other people including the crew. We know from history what happens to this ship.
The author has woven such an amazingly heartbreaking story and I didn’t realise how much research had gone into this until the end of the book. This is so interesting to read and it also gave me the chance to hop on the internet for more information.
The author is not one I have read before, but I was aware of her name as regards being an actor. I think in some ways it was her name that caught my eye first.
The story of Marcella, Michael and her children as well as her family and friends was a wonderful yet very sad story. It gave a glimpse into life for women as wives, employees and mothers. Michael is a person who has charm and you soon see how she was won over.
The section of the story dealing with the going down of the Titanic and then the rescue of some of the 2,224 by the passing ship Carpathia was so well done. It gave an account of what was happening to the main people of the story as well as those around them. When the survivors embarked in America the media frenzy was shocking.
This was such a wonderful story to read, I quickly flew through the pages and was gripped. The historical notes and research information at the end of the book are brilliant and very informative.
If you are a lover of historical fiction that is well researched then you really should look at picking this book. I am so glad I finally got around to reading it and wished I had done so sooner. It is a book I would definitely recommend.
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