Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she’s had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic’s doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.
Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky.
On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic.
This novel has to do with the Titanic and from the description I thought a large chunk of the action would take place on ship, both before and after the crash. When the ship went down and our main characters were rescued by chapter three I knew I was in for a very different novel.
Most of the story is about the Congressional hearings following the disaster and how they affected a small cast of characters. If you don’t know much about the Titanic you may find this interesting. However, if you’re like me and have read the full hearing transcripts and newspaper reports of the time (it was a phase, I tell you) you’ll be bored.
Add in cardboard cutout characters and a stereotypical love triangle (shall she fall in love with the rich but sketchy man or the poor but awesome sailor?) and you get an unremarkable tale.