Monday, 7 May 2012

Women & Children First by Gill Paul

Women & Children First is set on the Titanic and tells the story of Reg, Juliette and Annie.

Reg Parsons is a 21 year old first class steward. He has worked on many ships but he is hoping one day he will save enough money to set up a business of his own and afford some of the luxuries he sees around him on a daily basis in first class.

Juliette Mason-Parker is a first class passenger who is travelling with her mother, Lady Mason-Parker. Her mother is desperate to find Juliette a rich husband on board but Juliette isn't so keen. 

Annie is a third class passenger travelling with her children to America where her husband is waiting. She hasn't seen Seamus for 18 months and she can't wait to start their new life together.

The first part of the book centres around the ill-fated voyage and the passengers on board. Reg is intrigued when he sees a beautiful young woman aboard the ship who nobody else seems to have seen. Where is she and why is she hiding? We also discover the reason Lady Mason-Parker is so desperate to find a husband for her daughter.

The second part deals with the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, following some of the survivors and seeing how they coped and dealt with life afterwards. Secrets are discovered and nobody's life will be the same.

I really enjoyed Women and Children First. I find stories of the Titanic tragic yet fascinating and what I liked most about the book is it continued their stories beyond the sinking and being rescued. It dealt with the problems and traumas of trying to get back to normal when you have been through something so horrific and lost the people you loved the most. The book has clearly been researched thoroughly, which came across in the details of the ship and the events that unfolded.

At the end of the book there are facts about the Titanic and Gill Paul also explained the inspiration of the characters she wrote about, which, as an aspiring writer I absolutely loved.

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