Monday, 17 September 2007

Ship of Dreams by Martina Devlin

Ship of Dreams
Martina Devlin

IT'S too tempting for most writers who take on the Titanic to sink (ahem) happily into that velvety Edwardian world, and go full frontal romantic.

Martina Devlin has given us a crowd-size blockbuster - but it's not just the love story you might be expecting.

Who could blame her if she wrote a King of the World cinematic version - when she set out on her research, the writer unexpectedly found a family story about a great-great-uncle who died on the Titanic, leaving a pregnant bride.

In her fictional riff on their story, Devlin uses every shred of information about the actual sinking - including the haunting memories of those who survived, of the shrieking thousands thrashing in the water.

But then she goes on from there, imagining the life of her pregnant heroine as she makes a life for herself in the new country with allies met on board - the rigid classes of 1900s Ireland riven apart in the struggle in the New World.

Independent columnist Devlin put together a great cast - upper-class lady, American civil war veteran, penniless 'Bridie', romantic Frenchman - to run her story. It's already selling in a big way; this is going to be one to watch.

xxxx stars

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