Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We Sink or Swim Together by Gill Paul

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read: April 11, 2017

Gerda Nielsen is on her way from Brooklyn to Liverpool aboard the ill-fated Lusitania in 1915. Jack Walsh is returning to England, ready to take up a post developing new types of portable field telephones to help the war effort. Unmarried, he’s keen to settle and as he and Gerda spend more and more time onboard together they realise that each has found someone very special. But it’s the afternoon before they dock in Liverpool, and tragedy strikes. As the torpedoed ship lists to one side Jack and Gerda must make frightening decisions that become a matter of life or death… A beautiful, romantic and moving tale based on a true story.

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RMS Lusitania
I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but my Cover Cliché series at Flashlight Commentary is one of my favorites. The posts are fun to compose, they are surprisingly popular, and they inspire some great discussions, but they’ve also caused me to consider the various titles I feature which is how I found myself purchasing a copy of Gill Paul’s We Sink or Swim Together

I featured the book in Unspoken Attraction last April, but it was the jacket description that captured my imagination. I was familiar with the sinking, but short of the made-for-tv movie starring John Hannah, had never seen it adapted and was curious to see if an author could pull off a shipboard romance on a doomed ocean liner that didn’t read like a cheap imitation of James Cameron’s epic.

Did Paul succeed? Yes and no. At only thirty pages in length – the final third of the book is actually an excerpt from Paul’s No Place for a Lady - the story is hardly comprehensive. That said, I felt the author made creative use of the material despite the limitations created by format. The characters are fairly simple and can’t be considered memorable by any means, but the love story provides a sweet sort of distraction for those who appreciate lighter lit with a historic twist.

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I like this man, she thought. He was easy to talk to. You didn’t have to work to come up with new topics of conversation because he listened to what you said and asked relevant questions and somehow the words just flowed.
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