A Heartwrenching Historical Novel!

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Yeah, so, um, there was a lot of crying as one might expect. This was just a heartwrenching story of family and female empowerment, with themes of racism and classism mixed in. Valora, or just Val, is a tenacious and talented young woman who’s sense of loyalty to both her fellow Chinese friends and her brother never waver. It was fascinating watching her wrestle with her own perspective of her dead parents, vs. her brother’s. Personally, I thought that both their characters have excellent arcs.

The subplots were all done very well, balancing different layers of story, all while streamlining the tragic story that we all know so well. I don’t know much about the actual layout of the Titanic, but the author clearly put a lot of research into it because everything was written in a very detailed manner. I could easily envision the sprawling decks, the extravagant staircases, and the stifling boiler rooms.

The dialogue was fantastic!! I very much adored the little sibling quips and the sense of camaraderie between both the Chinese passengers and the interactions between women. This is a character-driven novel, and the characters were extremely well-written with great emphasis on both class and race. I

I will say that I found it rather slow at times. However, it’s slow in the way that the film Titanic is slow: it takes place in a single location, focused mainly on two characters. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, rather, just understand the type of book you’re getting into. My other point that I wanted to touch on was the fact that my least favorite trope of ever (yes, it might be official now) was present. The insta-love is semi-understandable and doesn’t overpower Val’s ambitions, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling like an unnecessary addition.

So that’s it! I really do want to get back to blogging regularly soon, but I hope you enjoyed the review! I give this a solid 4/5 stars.