Cover Image: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

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Member Reviews

A week written book for those who have always been intrigued by the Titanic. The shifting perspectives between those on the Titanic and Captain Rostron keeps interest. At times the quotes prior to the chapter are so insightful and other times they give too much away about the context of the next chapter. There are times because of this that the dialogue seems forced and you wonder how likely that conversation was to have actually happened. Questioning what is based on fact and what has been embellished by the author. That was the only real draw back for me while reading and caused me to take more breaks than normal. 

Overall a worthwhile read, with details you never thought about and tells the story in a whole new light.
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This was an extremely well written book about the convergence of the Carpathia and the Titanic. . Seeing things through the eyes of Captain Roston was particularly interesting as I have not read anything from his perspective before. Likewise, seeing the sinking of the Titanic through the eyes of a third class passenger, a young Irish girl named Kate Connally, was a strong counterpoint to the stoic captain.

After I read the book, I went and did some research on the captain and on the Carpathia. Based on everything else that I read, the author really captured the essence of who Roston was; how he thought and how he viewed his duties, not only as the captain of the Carpathia, but as the sole person who could save the remaining Titanic passengers.

Two things in particular stand out to me in this book. The first is how the Carpathia passengers, no matter what financial situation they were in, came together to help all of the passengers from the titanic. Wealthy women were giving their clothes to third class passengers. Poor men and women on Carpathia were giving what little they had to the passengers from Titanic. After knowing the way that the third class passengers were retreated on the Titanic as she was thinking, it was good to know that those ridiculous boundaries were erased once the survivors had been brought aboard. It was a small but vital kindness to people who had been through such terror and tragedy.

The second thing that really caught my attention was Kate‘s musings about how loss and grief have universal similarities, and yet are very individual based on who someone had lost. Clearly, she has survivors guilt. Which makes sense given the number of people that died on the ship, but also because in her case she did not lose a husband or a child or any other close family member or friend. Nevertheless, her whole life has been changed, and she recognizes that the whole experience will follow her through her entire life.

Overall, this is a well-written entry about the human side of one of the worst maritime tragedies in modern history. I highly recommend this book.
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Wonderful story of those who helped save the people on the Titanic. This story was wonderfully written and there were things that I had never heard before. I liked that it was told from a perspective that was unique from other stories that are written about the Titanic. I thought this was well done.
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Since the film Titanic came out in the 90s, most of us are pretty familiar with how that disaster played out. But what’s less familiar is the story of the Carpathia, the ship whose captain and crew raced to the aid of the Titanic after receiving its S.O.S.

This historical fiction novel is told in alternating perspectives; the first, an Irish third-class passenger Kate Connolly on Titanic, and the other Arthur Rostron, Carpathia’s captain, who pushed his ship and crew to the brink in reaching the Titanic in time. It’s a fascinating side of the story, with a poignant focus on the aftermath: the grief, the guilt, the media firestorm, and not least, the kindness of Carpathia’s crew and passengers toward those traumatized by that fateful night.
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I confess I am a little Titanic-ed out in that I won't actively search any more books or fiction where it is featured. But when I stumbled upon this well-reviewed tale that includes the perspective of the Carpathia ( the ship that received a distress signal from the fated Titanic ). Here, Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia and Kate Connolly, third class passenger who survives in one of Titanic's life boats, are given alternating viewpoints to paint witness on one of the most infamous man-made tragedies in history.

As a historical writer, I'm fascinated by how authors breathe respectful voice into real personages -turned-characters --- as Connolly does. I'm also beguiled by authors who wonderfully pace real events into a sequence that metes out action in close to real time. I know how the story ends but darnit it I didn't forget watching this fictionally realized world come to life in genius detail.

I respect @author.rebecca.connolly so much. This project cannot have been an easy endeavour. But it is a fascinating one. ♥️📚

With my thanks to @shadowmountainpub for the review copy
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My Rating: 4.5 stars
(Read a finished copy)

I've always been interested in the Titanic and how the 'ship of dreams' met its fate on its first voyage and all those people lost their lives. It's hard at this point with it being so publicized and written about to find a narrative that does the people justice. Connolly does a good job of bringing history to life once again through A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice. They don't shy away from what happened, and all the speculation that followed the sinking. 
In this book, we switch between two different perspectives Kate Connolly a third-class passenger on the titanic, and Arthur Raston the captain of the RMS Carpathia. 
Kate is traveling with some of her friends from Ireland as they look to start a new life in America. They are enjoying being on the titanic, but they also starting to sense a bit of unease as the journey goes on. They ended up being right about this once they find out the ship has struck an iceberg and they and other third-class passengers fight to get to a lifeboat. Once on a lifeboat though they must endure even more hardships and fear. 

Captain Raston is proud of the Carpathia and while at times he is a little frustrated that the Titanic is getting all the attention right now, he wishes it well. Through his parts, we get to see the Journey the Carpathia took on its voyage back to England, and how it was taking a lower route than the Titanic in order to avoid Ice. As the story goes on and once it hears the distress call from the Titanic he immediately makes the Carpathia switch courses and goes full steam ahead towards the Titanic in order to try and save it. The Carpathia and Captain Raston take risks that night that could have ended in tragedy for it, but it managed to stay afloat and kept going and did eventually manage to get to the lifeboats and save lives. 

Overall I loved this book. Like I said earlier Connolly did such a good job of bringing real people to life once again and showing dual perspectives of what was happening throughout the days leading up to the sinking, and most importantly the night of and a little bit of the aftermath. You could feel the emotions of worry, uncertainty, and just plain fear at times from both of the characters. Kate was stuck in a lifeboat waiting for help to arrive while they heard what was happening in the water, and the pitch black. Captain Raston was putting his ship and his passengers on the line to try and get to them and going through huge chunks of Ice all in the dark and just hoping they wouldn't hit anything. 
There was so much tension and fear throughout this book and it was done wonderfully, so it was never too much of one. 
The ending and getting to see what happened in the inquiries after, and how protections were attempted to be put in place to keep the Titanic passengers safe and to family and away from the press was so nice to see as it's not usually talked about in books about Titanic. Usually, the focus is just on the sinking and not the aftermath. I appreciated how everything was mentioned in this book, and all without it being too much. 
I can't wait to read more by Connolly in the future as they did such a good job with A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice.
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So much has been told about the sinking of the Titanic that it was nice to find a story that covered the immediate aftermath. I loved getting to know both Kate Connolly and Captain Rostrom. Seeing how the decisions Rostrom made affected both his passengers and those he took on.  He is shown as compassionate and a true leader.  The heartbreak of the Kate Connollys broke my heart but it was an interesting glimpse into what it was like for steerage passengers before and after the sinking.  I also enjoyed the quotes from the passengers at the beginning of every chapter.  A fascinating read!
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This was a masterpiece. Usually when I find books I really love, I like to scarf the entire thing in one or two sittings and just live and breathe that book for the next month. With A BRILLIANT NIGHT OF STARS AND ICE, the feeling was definitely the same but my execution differed. I not only savored it, but I also had to take my time. The material was truly haunting. Kate's narrative will forever live with me as one of the most haunting things I have ever read. 

And I've read a lot of Titanic material. Nothing comes close to this for me. 

Do yourself a favor and read this book. Everyone knows the story of the Titanic, but not everyone knows Carpathia. Let her live in glory.
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We are all familiar with the tragedy that was the Titanic, but what of the Carpathia and her crew? Told from the perspective of Captain Arthur Rostron and a third class Titanic passenger, Kate Connoly (of County Cavan), the book shares the story of the sinking as it might have been through their eyes.

The author certainly had to fictionalize much of what she's written, though Captain Rostron's response to the tragedy is well documented and researched. All of the characters in the book are actual Titanic survivors and Carpathia crew. Author's notes at the conclusion of the book share more information.

I enjoyed this book very much and would absolutely recommend it.
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Interesting narration and a very unique portrayal of the Titanic myth - really enjoyed how much Carpathia’s role was stressed, which is often forgotten in both fiction and nonfiction about this tragic event. 

The characters were likeable, however, the fast pace made me feel like I didn’t really connect with them that much. 

Nevertheless, a gripping and alluring book.
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A Brilliant Night is a maritime historical fiction book. I remember the first time I watched Titanic, I made my research about the historical Titanic, and I was so young at that time. So I’m glad I get a glimpse of that era in this book. I wanted to know more about certain characters. However, I’m happy the author made an effort to raise specific issues about the era.

I recommend this to anyone interested in clean maritime historical fiction. Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read an arc in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I give it 3 stars.
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Book review: Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolly
This was a captivating book from start to finish. The emotions, the faith, and the focus on the good during a tragedy made this book amazing. I knew right away I liked the captain of the Carpathia based on how he talked about his wife. I thought the two perspectives chosen for this story really made it that much more engaging. The writing had me feeling all the emotions because it was so descriptive of the tragedy. I really appreciate all of the work and research that went into this book. As any good historical novel should do, I learned something new and appreciate my life more. 
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Content: death
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A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice, is a riveting story that I couldn't put down. The author has really brought the different perspectives to life. I would recommend this book to anybody not just titanic fans.
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This books was amazing! I loved how it told the story not just of the Titanic, but of the Carpathia, the ship that braved the ice strewn waters to come to the rescue of the survivors. The captain of the Carpathia was an incredible man. I also love how it told the story of people in the third class part of the ship. This book did a good job showing the trauma the survivors may have felt after what happened to the Titanic. I learned things that I never knew about this event in history.
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I fell in love with this book, it had been a while since I liked a story so much.
Knowing that this is a real story didn't make it any less exciting, I cried in several chapters.
For me the author knew very well how to bring this story to life, she manages to involve you in a way that you don't want to stop reading.
The chapters are short which makes the story go by quickly and makes you want to read more and more.
The author's writing is simple but manages to bring all the necessary emotion.
I think this is definitely one of the best books I've ever read.
I highly recommend it.
It was a wonderful experience reading this book. learning more about the history of the Titanic from another view was very interesting.
I learned a lot from this book about this disaster, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.
Even though it's a real story, the author manages to make you forget about it without taking the weight of the story in addition to being able to bring a real story without looking like a textbook, if I didn't know about the Titanic I would say that this was a fictional book so well written and done that he was!
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I have always been fascinated by the story of the Titanic. I love reading nonfiction accounts, such as A Night to Remember by Walter Lord and A Survivor’s Story by Archibald Gracie. 

As a self-proclaimed Titanic “snob,” I am pleased to say that A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice is a great addition to the historical fiction genre. The characters were engaging, even though I was a little confused between the multiple Marys, Kates, and Martins from Ireland. I wondered why the author chose to name her characters that way, but then I learned that the characters in the story were real passengers on the Titanic. That intrigued me and I found myself “cheating” by looking up the names of the real people. ;) There isn’t very much information available about the experiences of those particular passengers but Ms. Connolly created a beautiful, believable story.

What I particularly loved about this book is that the author told not only the story of the Titanic and her passengers, but also the story of the rescuing ship, the Carpathia. I loved the quotes the author included at the beginning of the chapters from historical figures, such as Captain Rostron of the Carpathia. In researching more about him, I felt that the author did a fantastic job in her portrayal of him as a captain and as a man of faith.
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A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice tells the story of what happened on April 12, 1912 from the perspective of the ship and crew who came to the aid of Titanic. The RMS Carpathia was traveling east bound from New York to Liverpool when it received the distress call from the sinking ship. Captain Arthur Rostron wakes up and unfortunately the quick decision to answer the call for help. Unfortunately the Carpathia is over four hours away but, is determined to do whatever it takes to get there. 

The story alternates with chapters with the character Kate Connolly. Kate is a third class passenger and is coming to America from Ireland for a new start. As a third class passenger, she is one of the last people to receive instruction after the Titanic hits the iceberg. She and her roommates are ae to board lifeboat number 13, and from the lifeboat  she watches the believed unsinkable ship go into the dark abyss. After the sinking she and the other passengers have nothing to do but wait and see if a rescue will actually occur. 

I really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between what was happening aboard the Carpathia and what was happening with Kate and the rest of the passengers from Titanic. It felt familiar with the perspective of Kate but also brand new with the perspective of the Carpathia. I'm so glad a book now exist because admittedly the Carpathia has never been a focus of mine when thinking about the  Titanic tragedy. Now the story of the Carpathia is even more available to the public as this book is based entirely on its endearing legacy.

This story is so well researched and brought forth so many emotions. The response of the Carpathia and their determination to make it to Titanic's aid and kept me on the edge of my  seat. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was captivated by the Carpathia's crew and their passion to get there and help their fellow humans. They really pulled at my heart strings!  Kate also had her moments as a passenger and then survivor. Honestly, it's hard for me to express how this story made me feel and made me think - it is something that the reader needs to experience for themselves. 

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres especially when it is so well researched and is based on an actual event. Following the conclusion, there is a note from the author Rebecca Connolly explaining where she got the influence for A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice and the real life individuals featured in the story. I just wish the characters (in particular Kate) had a little bit more depth to them. I understand why this may not have happened as this is such a plot point/experience driven type story. Regardless, it is a story that held my attention and made me feel all the feels.
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Rebecca is an amazing author. Although this book is outside the normal romance novels I would read from her, her talent for character development shines through. She is able to weave an amazing tapestry of fiction and fact into the perfect marriage of a book that readers of all ages will enjoy.
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I have always been fascinated by all things Titanic so I was excited to see this book offered for review. First of all, I have to say that the cover of A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice is absolutely beautiful and represents this story so well. 

Told from the viewpoints of the captain of the Carpathia, the first ship to come to the aid of the Titanic, and a female passenger of the Titanic, the reader gets to experience what both sides of the tragedy went through. I sensed the anguish and terror that were felt by both. The writer researched this very well and I felt like I was there experiencing it all. 

A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice was an excellent read, especially for anyone interested in the Titanic and what happened on that fateful night of the iceberg crash that sunk the 'unsinkable' ship. It was very interesting getting a different perspective of that night.
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4.25 stars. Wow! As common as the story of the Titanic is, not many know about the ship who came to the rescue. I loved that this story was about the Carpathia and it’s captain and really made me feel like I was there experiencing the stress and decisions of navigating that night. It was so beautifully told and I can’t stop thinking about it. I will definitely recommend this book to my book club as I think it’s an important story and one many people would find interesting.
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