I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. It is historical fiction with a poetic twist. Anyone who enjoys reading about the Titanic will thoroughly enjoy this book.
The Watch That Ends The Night is written by Allan Wolf. We all know the story but Mr. Wolf takes the information, the facts, and uses them to create a whole new story – to bring the people to life, so to speak. He gives them character, family, emotion, hope, fear, and dreams.
Each page, sometimes two, is a new speaker. These are the thoughts and actions and emotions of each of the people who were on board this magnificent ship when she floundered and failed. The speaker has a way with words that varies from person to person, just like in life. Each person speaks a different way, using a different type of poetry.
These voices tell us the story of the Titanic from a unique perspective. Meet the voices of this disaster:
Olaus Abelseth – the immigrant
Thomas Andres – the shipbuilder
John Jacob Astor – the millionaire
Joseph Boxhall – the navigator
Harold Bride – the spark (wireless operator)
E.J. Smith – the captain
Jamila Nicola-Yarred – the refugee
The Ship Rat
. . . and more.
p. 7 – The Iceberg
I am the ice. I see the tides ebb and flow.
I’ve watched civilizations come and go,
give birth, destroy, restore, be gone, begin.
My blink of an eye is humankind’s tortoise slow. . .
p. 175 – The First-Class Promenade
Like figures on a crousel,
around the upper-crust rondelle,
they swagger, sway, sashay, glissade;
Titanic‘s first-class promenade. . .
These are just a couple of examples of the differences in the poetic voices used to tell the story of the ship building, the launch, the sailing, the disaster, the rescue.
Mr. Wolf has done an incredible amount of research and used this information to put together this new and interesting vision of the Titanic. It is a fascinating and interesting read. There is much information that I had not heard before or a new take on it that helps me see the people on board the ship as real.
As with all historical fiction, there is some information that is included from lore and legend, some that is changed or unverifiable. However, Mr. Wolf does a complete job of trying to make the reader aware of where those changes or legends occur by include a as-true-as-is-known biography of each of the voices in the story. This final closure is a wonderful ending to this unique story.
This is one to add to your list. No doubt about it. You can find a partial preview and read some of the story online.
As always, please visit Wendy’s Ladybug Daydreams blog to see what she read this month and is up to now. Thanks for reading along!