Spirit of the Titanic by Nicola Pierce
|Spirit of the Titanic by Nicola Pierce|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Mary Esther Judy|
|Summary: When Samuel Scott plunges to his death while working on construction of the Titanic, it's only the beginning of the greatest adventure he can imagine. This re-imagined tale of a most familiar event allows us to see the Titanic again with new eyes and re-live the story of the ship they called unsinkable. Simply a stunning novel for young people.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: May 2011|
|Publisher: O'Brien Press|
Samuel Joseph Scott was fifteen years old when he landed a job in the Belfast shipyards. But when Sam plunges to his death while working on construction of the magnificent Titanic, he doesn't leave her behind. Sam becomes a spirit on board, realising his dream of sailing away with his beloved Titanic on her first... and, of course final voyage. Sam roams freely throughout the ship, from the luxurious first class all the way down to the engine room. He observes the lives of the people on board, become privy to their hopes, dreams and fears. Sam takes particular interest in one third-class family, Jim, Isobel and their children, as they sail away to their new and better life in America. But when disaster threatens the lives of all on board, can Sam find a way to lead the family to safety? And what will become of Sam as the Titanic sinks to the ocean's bed?
There have been many, many books written about the Titanic, and the story never fails to fascinate. However, Spirit of the Titanic is unique. Taking its starting point not as that fateful day, but rather at a time during the building of the Titanic shifts the entire perspective and makes the story new again. Here we meet Sam and get to know him, what his life is like, what he is all about. Pierce writes his character beautifully. There is real depth and texture to Sam because she has based him on a real person, albeit one for whom Pierce had to imagine a life story. As an ordinary working class young man, little knowledge of his actual life has passed through history to meet us. This texture is then carried through to the rest of the story... you can feel the shipyard, hear the sounds of construction, sense the emotions of all of those working long hours for little pay and, later, on board the Titanic as she sails and in the icy Atlantic, itself. Their lives and their loss are palpable. You forget, as you read, the inevitable outcome that we all know so well. Instead, you find yourself travelling on the same journey. The book is completely absorbing. The Author’s Notes at the end of the book help to complete the picture and bring the story back from history, making it live again. It is here we read of the real Samuel Joseph Scott, as well other personalities such as Frederick Fleet, Harold Bride and those whose experiences aboard the Titanic are familiar to us at this stage.
Nicola Pierce offers us a vibrant, realistic and haunting adventure story. It is eloquently expressed and a complete joy to read. It is also beautifully presented with a cover design that evokes the era. Highly recommended for ages 10 years and up, Spirit of the Titanic is an exceptional addition to the already mass of literature revolving around this now iconic event in history.
If you love to read well-written books that evoke time and place with memorable characters, you may also wish to read The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo or The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett. Also, please read Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo for a unique and insightful look into the circumstances and situations which drive the personality, as well as a brilliant work of historical fiction.
You can read more book reviews or buy Spirit of the Titanic by Nicola Pierce at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Spirit of the Titanic by Nicola Pierce at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.