Cover Image: Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May

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This story of the Lusitania is deeply engaging.  Izzo expertly manages to give the reader accurate background into this WWI tragedy while satisfying the essential personal element of those whose lives were affected  by the Lusitania.  The author has deeply researched the entire event, and real life participants, and it drives the narrative authentically and gracefully. What a great read! It satisfies on so many levels. We know the event, of course, but it becomes engagingly real here.   And it is so refreshing to read about the Lusitania from the female perspective.  Highly recommended.
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I could not put down this historical novel regarding the sinking of the Lusitania and also of Churchill's Room 40. The heroes and heroines in both settings are captivating and the descriptive writing  puts the reader within the action. Though we know what the ending is, the author has put her own mark on the suspense and reality of the times.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the ARC of Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo in exchange for an honest review.  

I’ve read lots of historical fiction that takes place on the Titanic or during WWII, but I’ve read very little about the Lusitania and WWI. My knowledge of what happened regarding the Lusitania was sparse, so I enjoyed reading more about what happened to the ship.

The book centers around two stories and four main characters. There’s Isabel Nelson who works in the top secret Room 40, where messages are decoded. Then there are the American Socialites Sydney Sinclair, her sister Brooke, and Brooke’s fiancé who’s a British aristocrat, Edward.  Sydney and Edward end up falling in love. What I liked about the Sydney-Brooke-Edward story is that it wasn’t a typical love triangle. Edward and Brooke don’t love each other. They’re marrying each other out of convenience. He needs Brooke’s money to save his home from ruin and she wants a noble title. It was a relief to me that Brooke didn’t end up being a complete villain by putting her ambitions over Sydney’s feelings. Also, in the aftermath of the Lusitania’s sinking, Kim Izzo did a good job of showing the grief different characters experience. 

Isabel Nelson was a good way to show the inner workings of the British Admiralty, and how much knowledge they had of U-boats in the same area as the Lusitania. They know of the threats against the Lusitania and yet the higher ups seem to allow it to happen to pull the USA into WWI. I was frustrated when reading those parts because every modern person knows the Lusitania sinks. Isabel knows the Lusitania is in danger, yet the reader knows she cannot and will not be able to do anything to save the people on board.

Seven Days in May is a good read for historical fictions lovers, and anyone who wants to learn more about the disaster at sea during WWI.
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Seven Days in May was interesting. I just wish that the author had picked one or two story lines and really explored them in depth. I think that it would made the book better. Thanks to Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read  this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the first book I've read about the sinking of the Lusitania that took place as the First World War rages in continental Europe. The author obviously did her research as the details are not something that could be made up. The devastation is terrifying and as I read it I felt as if I were there too experiencing it. The raw survival mode these passengers went into as they grabbed any scrap of the wreckage to stay afloat is simply heartbreaking. There was romance as well but the shipwreck is what captured my attention. Bravo, very well done! I will look forward to reading more by Kim Izzo in the future.
Pub Date 02 May 2017 .
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360 for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Seven Days In May. Completely gripping, historically fascinating and the fictional storyline had me hooked. I could not stop reading it and even had to charge my kindle at work to make sure it was ready to go as soon as I was done my shift!  I will most definitely be giving it a strong 4.5 stars.
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"Seven Days in May" follows two story lines. 

The first is the story of New York heiresses Sydney and Brooke Sinclair. Sydney considers herself a modern woman. She is drawn to the Suffrage movement, as well as Margaret Sanger's birth control efforts. Brooke, on the other hand, envisions herself to be an American Princess, and would like to also be a part of the British Aristocracy by marrying a British noble. She becomes engaged to Edward Thorpe-Tracey, a British gentleman who is long on family history and short on cash. The engagement of a wealthy American woman to an impoverished British lord was not a unique phenomenon. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Old World and the New came together in the form of “Dollar Princesses,” a phenomenon that captivated the public’s attention. A Dollar Princess referred to an American heiress, often from newly wealthy families, who married a title-rich but cash-poor British nobleman. And Brooke's engagement quickly becomes THE event of the social season.

The second, and perhaps more interesting story line, is that of Isabel Nelson, a young woman who is escaping a checkered past and moves to London. She finds employment at the British Admiralty as a secretary, in support of the war effort. Though Isabel's secretarial skills are strong, she is soon assigned to "Room 40," a group whose responsibility is deciphering and breaking enemy codes. She has many interactions with Winston Churchill, and finds herself privy to some classified information -- Germany is planning on attacking a civilian luxury cruise ship, namely the Lusitania. Worse, Britain may not stop them, as this attack on American civilians may be the catalyst that brings the US into WW 1. 

Meanwhile, Sydney, Brooke and Edward are embarking on their trip back to London, and the wedding that awaits. Naturally, they are boarding the fastest and most luxurious ship out there -- the sparkling gem of the Cunard line, the Lusitania. 

The reader, of course, knows what is in store for them. However, I groaned, audibly, when the Sydney traded in her First Class Ticket on the Lusitania for one in Steerage. Seriously? 

The two story lines don't come together very well, and Kim Izzo shifts back and forth between them regularly. I felt the plot, especially that of the Sinclair sisters, to be a bit too cliche. And Sydney trading in her ticket for steerage was completely unnecessary, and almost kept me from abandoning the book altogether. 

All in all, it had the potential to be a captivating novel, but it missed, both in originality and storytelling skill.
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I really liked this book, the time period, characters and setting on the Lusitania all interest me, this book gets 4⭐️ because it's too good to get 3⭐️s. Despite the book being enjoyable and easy to read it does have its problems. The plot was transparent, before the love twist happens I could see it a mile away, the girls lives are simply unbelievable, especially the liberal Sydney's interest in women's rights and vote! Also the end left me feeling a bit cheated given how much you invest in the characters. Despite all that I like it.
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The year is 1915. Sydney is a fighter for women's rights in New York. Her sister Brooke is focused on getting married so she will have a title. They inherited fortunes from their father. Brooke gets engaged to Edward Thorpe-Tracey, whose family owns an estate in England. However, the estate is falling apart so his family need a fortune to save it. Edward goes over to New York to escort the sisters to England for the wedding. Meanwhile in London, Isabel works in Room 40, deciphering messages pertaining to the war. She learns that the ship called the Lusitania is now a target for the Germans. But she also finds out that the First Lord Churchill wants to allow a ship with American passengers to be attacked so the Americans will join the war. Isabel is determined to stop this from happening. Just before Edward, Sydney, and Brooke board the Lusitania in New York, everyone sees an ad in the newspaper from the Germans that says the Lusitania is being targeted and warning them not to get on it. Despite this warning, the passengers get on. They all head out on the seven day journey across the Atlantic. 

This story followed multiple perspectives: Sydney, Edward, and Isabel. I liked that two sides of the situation were demonstrated, the passengers and the English who were trying to prevent the attack. 

All of the characters also had their own problems that they had to deal with as well as facing the problem of a possible attack from the Germans. This reflects the actual war, since everyone faced an imminent threat, but they still had to deal with their own lives. 

This story is based on true events. Some of the characters were real people, though the main characters are fictional. I love when authors are able to blend fact and fiction to create a beautiful story. This author also has personal ties to the story which are revealed at the end. 

I chose to read this book because I liked The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo. Though this novel is very different from that one because it is historical fiction, I really enjoyed it! I learned about an impactful attack in World War I that I wouldn't have known otherwise. 

This review will be posted on my blog May 16, 2017.
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The author tells a tale of great tragedy in a captivating way. This book broke my heart on several levels, and I couldn't put it down.
I'm not at all familiar with this author, but this is top-notch writing.
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Sydney wants to make a difference in her world and the world of women.  Her inheritance can be used to bring about this positive change.  First though, she must accompany her sister, Brooke and Edward, her sister’s fiancée, on the Lusitania so she can witness her sister’s marriage in England.  Brooke wants to live the life of a titled woman and Edward Thorpe-Tracey, Lord Thorpe-Tracey, is about to lose the family estate.  That is how Brooke will use her inheritance.  England is at war with Germany and warnings of a possible attack have been pushed to the side.  Isabel, a young woman who works in the British Admiralty is very concerned that the warnings are going unheeded.  As the passengers of the Lusitania look forward to the end of their journey, some on board are hoping the warnings are, indeed, unwarranted and hope to make it safely to England. 

History is a very important part of who we are as a global entity, a local community, and as human beings.  Izzo has shared part of her family history, as well as a part of the world history in her novel Seven Days in May. Using the account of her great-grandfather’s experience as one of the few survivors of this ill-fated voyage, she gives us a peek at life on board the ship.  The atmosphere in the British Admiralty and the attitudes directed at those who worked tirelessly in the code breaking rooms is well written and the antagonistic views perceived by some men and even women is satisfactorily reflected.  Characters of Izzo’s story are realistically depicted. The novelization of her family history is finished with a realistic and personally satisfying conclusion.  This is a good story to read if you aren’t familiar with the Lusitania and just want a little background.  There is romance, glamour and action.  A very good book and is excellent reading for teens interested in history.


I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for generously providing an Advanced Reader’s copy for my honest review.
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I'll be honest, it took me a few chapters to get into this book. I really thought I would have to move on to a different book. Then somehow I found myself invested in the story. We follow Sidney, who's a suffragette, who finds herself to be the black sheep of her wealthy family. Then you have her older sister, Brooke, who follows the rules and expects herself to find a husband that is an English aristocrat. Which she does and his name is Edward. Together, all three of them, they board the doomed Lusitania. Meanwhile in England, we also follow Isabel. She's working in Room 40, which is a top secret government operation. Its intercepting coded messages through Germany. So Isabel knows what might happen to the Lusitania and is waiting for the British government to step in and save these innocent civilians. 

I enjoyed knowing more about this time period. I usually read a lot of WWII books and not much about the first WW. So I found this all to be very interesting. I liked Sidney, I thought she was a good person and deserved better than how her sister treated her. Brooke redeemed herself a little towards the end, but only a little! I thought she was spoiled bitch throughout most of the story. Edward was also okay and was hoping for happiness for him, as well. I also found Lusitania's history very sad. So much could have been prevented! So many lives taken or destroyed all for the sake of America to get involved in the war. 

I thought this was well-written and enjoyed spending time with these characters. I like how Kim Izzo wrote the character of her family into the story, too.

**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC  in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you net galley for a free copy of this book for a review! And I have to say I adored this book! Af first I thought maybe there was to many back and forth with different characters that I would get lost, but I ended up liking everyone's story and liked it when it was time to switch! I also really enjoyed the feminist part of this story this type of women are the women who paved the way for us to be the women we are today! I also greatly enjoyed the romance part of this story the secret forbidden love, the marriage just for money not love I liked all aspects of what was going on! Having this story on a ship with a shipwreck made it the perfect story !
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgallet for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Please see my full review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1994952547
To summarize I really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the factual details and was pleasantly surprised to find out in the author's note that many of the secondary characters were real. I felt the author did a nice job in combining two themes which included the events leading up to the sinking of the ship and the budding women's movement that was happening at the time. The characters were written true to the era -  and even the historical accounts of the waning nobility way of life and the effects of the First World War were accurately portrayed.  Such a tragic event but well told from the eyes of one of the main characters. I would recommend to other readers.


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In London, a young woman does her part for the war effort by typing up decoded messages in Room 40. In London, a wealthy heiress seeks to further women's rights. Though they never meet, both of their lives are affected by seven days in May.
By far, Isabel has the more interesting tale, working with the men who decoded German transmissions, although she was not developed as well as she could have been. I did like that when someone tries to use her past against her, she doesn't give in.
Sydney, on the other hand, is cliched and forgettable. A love triangle where one couple is engaged, but the bride to be has an independent minded younger sister? Oh, I wonder how this will end. I did like the details of the 'Lusy' sinking told from her viewpoint, but that was the only noteworthy aspect of her tale.
There is mention of abortions, the consequences of such, in the beginning of the story, so those sensitive to that should be warned. Also, a sex scene, though not graphic, was still enough to put me off.
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I was able to read this novel courtesy of netgallery
A strong 4 stars

This novel using the voyage and the eventual sinking of the ship the Lusitania as its focus was a well done historical fiction novel that not only included the Lusitania's tragedy, but it also gave the reader a love story to follow as well. 

The characters of Edward, Brooke, and Sydney were fine representation of the people of their time. The sisters, Brooke and Sydney were extremely wealthy socialites. Brooke was surely one who was raised with a silver spoon in her mouth, while Sydney, portrayed as a woman's right activist, was more level headed and down to earth. Edward, a member of the British aristocracy needing money to continue his parents' estate, was a fine character as well. How they interact was the premise of the romantic element of the story.

The sinking of the Lusitania has, over the more than on hundred years since its sinking, fostered many theories and a few conspiracy theories as well. Did Churchill and the British admiralty know of the dangers to this ship? Did they hope that its sinking by a German submarine would encourage and foster America's entrance into the war? This is something the novel explores. Of course perhaps we will never know. However, what we do know is the out of the 1959 passengers who sailed on that fateful voyage, only 764 survived. Of the 33 babies on board only 6 survived. Also, in reading he author's notes it was learned that her great grandfather was on board this vessel. He had sent his family to England on another ship because he feared that the Lusitania with a cargo of guns and ammunition being forwarded to England, might make the Lusitania a floating target. He survived the journey, and is a character in this novel, thus being a motivation for Ms Izzo to write this story. 

Again, as in countless other books, we learn the tragedy and consequences of war. Why we never learn and still are involved in events that produce tragedies such as the Lusitania, is a question that has never been answered and probably never will.
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I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. 

New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-Tracey, the future Lord Northbrook. Sydney is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister. In London, Isabel Nelson is working for the British Admiralty deciphering code and learns of the German plot to sink the Lusitania. 

Although I liked this book, it felt to unnecessarily drag between the different story lines. Sydney considered herself a modern woman and was involved in many things like the sufferagettes and contraception. Brooke was old fashioned and willing to marry for title and position, not love. Edward was thrown into the mix to make the triangle work. It felt like a Harlequin book simple love story with no real depth to their feelings.

The story of Isabel working code in London was more interesting and I would have liked to read more of her life and work.

3☆
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I wanted to love this. It promised to be a novel with a little romance (the Brooke, Sydney and Edward storyline); a little espionage (Isabel's story) with a backdrop of the Lusitania's final voyage across the Atlantic. 

What I liked:
The ending. Having read the Author's note at the end you realize that one of the characters (Walter) is based on her own great-grandfather's experience on the Lusitania. This fact explains why her descriptions of that fateful day are so well written; she really was able to describe the fear, the chaos, the absolute mayhem that occurred after the ship was hit by the torpedo. She was able to bring the catastrophe to life. I honestly wish the story had started on the fateful day and then worked its way backwards towards the beginning of the voyage. It might have made some of the characters more likeable ... but then again ... now we are getting to my issues with this book.

And that is in fact it's main characters (I will admit that the secondary characters - especially those based on real people, are excellent).

Sydney, Brooke, Edward and Isabel are never really developed more than being slightly superficial. They don't change and evolve as the days pass (since this book does take place over the course of more than seven days in May) - and so although you are meant to care for them, it was difficult for me to feel that way.

Sydney and Brooke: sisters at odds with what they want out of life; one wants freedom (the right to control her own body, to vote, to choose love); and the other wants a title, an estate and to be powerful. 

Edward, a soon to be titled Englishman who must marry for money in order to save his family estate, meets his soon-to-be sister-in-law and realizes that he has feelings for her. So begins a love triangle that falls a little flat.

Isabel, a "fallen" woman who must overcome her past to work in a top secret office (Office 40), keeping secrets even when she's conflicted with the results of not doing anything. She's also not a very pleasant individual. Her side story didn’t really feel necessary to move the plot forward – and was rather simply distracting. 

I read this book long after I had read Erik Larson’s “Dead Wake”  - an account of the events that led to the sinking of the Lusitania – taking into account the German U-Boat’s perspective, the British Admiralty and recounting the final days and hours of over 1000 passengers on the Lusitania – and I will admit that having read that first helped fill in some of the blanks / was a good companion to this book.

This reminded me a little of “Crossing on the Paris” by Dana Gynther – another novel who’s characters let me down.
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Excellent book.  Great main characters and plot.  I would recommend this book.
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I loved this book, like the author I had a relative who was on board the Lusitania when she was torpedoed, unfortunately he did not survive.

I have learn't quite a lot about the Lusitania over the last few years and found a lot of details included in the book that were very accurate, for example, the fact that Captain Turner, although an experienced captain, did not like socialising with the passengers, and this aspect of his role was often undertaken by a staff captain. The book was obviously well researched, which added to the enjoyment of reading it for me.

There were also some details that I did not know, such as the existence of room 40, and this being the organisation which formed the basis for Bletchley Park and eventually GCHQ which we know today. I found this aspect of the book fascinating and it prompted me to do some online searching to find out further detail, all of which added to my background knowledge of the sinking. 

I particularly like the way the author alternates between what is happening on board ship and behind the scenes at Whitehall and the Admiralty, and ties everything up together at the end. The scenes describing the sinking and then the immediate aftermath of time spent in the water waiting to be rescued were very well written, and made me think of how harrowing it must have been for my relative and others as well.

Over all a very good read, with an intriguing love story, historical accuracy, and good information regarding the danger of being a passenger on a transatlantic crossing during the early years of the First World War. I thoroughly recommend this book especially if you are interested in that period of history, or anything to do with the Lusitania!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Harper Collins for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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