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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hearts that Survive: A Novel of the Titanic

On April 15, 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life with a boundless hope in love and faith. Her new friendship with Caroline Chadwick is bonded even more as they plan Lydia’s wedding on board the “grandest ship ever built.” Then both women suffer tragic losses when the “unsinkable” Titanic goes down. Can each survive the scars the disaster left on their lives?

Decades later, Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed, successful, heroic novelist who went down with the Titanic. Will he find his identity with the past, or will he listen to Joanna Bettencourt, Caroline’s granddaughter, who says inner peace and success come only with a personal relationship with the Lord?

Will those who survived and their descendants be able to find a love more powerful than their pain?

My Review:
I really wanted to love this book, afterall it has all the makings of a good romance.  It had tragedy, history, love between classes, overcoming disaster, secrecy etc.  Lehman had so many opportunities to really connect the reader to a character and really draw you in.  Unfortunately I wasn't. 

Now, don't get me wrong, it is a good story, but I feel like it could have been so much better had Lehman focused on one main character instead of jumping back and forth.  Lydia goes through so much in the book and there were so many places I really wanted to feel emotionally connected to her but she ended up feeling one dimensional.  It wasn't just Lydia, all of the characters did. 

The plot introduces characters and many times I was flipping back to see where they came from or how they fit into the story.  Caroline's husband dies aboard the Titanic, she rescues two children who then disappear for a large portion of the novel only to have them reemerge as the deceased relatives of Alan Morris who appears out of nowhere. 

I think had the author written this book as a series, one focusing on Lydia, one on Caroline, one of Alan's family, this would have been a much better experience and the characters would have really come alive.

Hearts that Survive is due to be released in March of 2012. 

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