Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson
American Tapestries series
When Jacquie Abington decides to elope with her wealthy family’s gardener, she offers his sister an opportunity to start a new life in America by taking her place aboard the Titanic.
Six days. Jacquie had six days until the Titanic arrived in New York. Then her parents would know all. Until then, she could focus on planning the rest of her life with the man she loved.
I’m quite the Titanic fanatic, and as I enjoy the occasional Christian historical fiction novel as well, I thought this book would be a good read for me.
This novel was meticulously researched down to the gilded sconces and the decorations on the clock over the Grand Staircase. Obviously, this book was very well researched.
I appreciated some of these details; others, like the endless descriptions of dresses, not so much. In fact, in some scenes, the historical context seemed to overpower the story, such as dialogue that sounded contrived simply to get across an interesting fact about the ship: “Titanic is filled with people in every age group and every social status, that much is true,” Tessa said. And while the story had an interesting premise, the characters’ conflicts seemed trite and the resolutions came far too easily. When it came to the story of the ship’s sinking, it felt distanced and emotionless, with little sense of danger or tension for the main characters.
When it came to the religious aspect of this book, I admit I cringed a bit at the lack of subtlety. One of the characters in particular (Jessie) seemed to be included solely to be the voice of Christianity; I don’t recall her discussing any other topic at all. Each of the main characters had important spiritual lessons to learn, but there was no common thread connecting them and since each lesson was hammered into them so heavily, the last 1/3 or so of the book seemed to be one sermon after another. I felt as if I were being lectured, rather than simply gleaning spiritual truths from a fictitious story.
Overall: Perhaps an overambitious endeavor — too much story without enough heart.