A Titanic Journey across the Sea, 1912 (American Sisters) Hardcover – 1 Oct 1998
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Top customer reviews
Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed in this book. As other reviewers have mentioned, it is very slow to start, and it took a while to get into. However, I don't think I ever got into the book, which is quite a bad sign. It's based on Erna and Alfreda Anderson, who were two real passengers that traveled third class on the Titanic. The author has woven a story out of it, although nothing is really known about them, so it's pure fiction.
This is where I think the book failed. I found the language that the author used very abrupt. It didn't seem to have a natural flow that most dialogue has, and I had to actually check that it wasn't translated. I also was not keen on the characters - Alfreda was very bossy, probably with her being the older sister, but it became a little too irritating at times. It seemed to be overkill on her attitude at times.
I enjoyed the part on the Titanic, as I think this is where the story really came into its own. I found that I sped through the last few pages, rather than the slow start to the book, which is why it ended up becoming 3 stars, rather than the two I was originally going to give it. But at the same time, given all the detail included in the pre-Titanic section of the book, the Titanic section is very hurried. The readers don't find out much information about the sisters lives on the Titanic, it seems to go from the start of the journey, to the sinking, with a few characters thrown in for good measure, and a strange ring, which doesn't really add anything to the story line.
I didn't find the additional characters who Erna & Alfreda shared a room with added to the story at all, and the pointless ring inscribed with something that doesn't really make much sense if you live outside of the UK/Ireland, is alienating to any foreign readers.
If you're buying this purely because you're interested in anything Titanic, I would try and lay your hands on this for cheap. At the time of writing, there are a few cheap copies on Amazon, but I wouldn't get your hopes up for an excellent book. It's an average book at best, and not one I would pick up again for a re-read.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
and even though its for a young reader, it's a story that is part of history .. and it could very well be true or close to true to someone's experience of this time period ..
i gave it 5 stars bc of the way it was well written, and bc of the nature of storyline and bc of the time period of the story ..
i love history and this was a fast reading book to me and it brought out many emotions .. funny, somber and yes, heartbreaking but also, happy ..
i have recommended this book to many people and relatives of all ages to read .. its a good book ..
I also didn't enjoy the story as well as I could have because of a few wrong facts and historical inconsistencies concerning the RMS Titanic.
Perhaps it is just my preference, but the sinking of the ship (as told in the book) happened alarmingly fast -- I would have hoped to savor a bit more suspense in that part of the story just to bring forth more emotion in the tragic scene.
Although not a bad thing, the book references to a "tomte" a mythical creature in Swedish culture.
All in all, this is an "okay" book for children, but I regrettably don't recommend it.