Thank you to Harper Muse and to Net Galley for an ARC of this book.
I love Historical Fiction and all things Titanic, so I was really excited to see this book pop up on Net Galley. I knew about Violet Jessop prior to reading this book, I was able to obtain a copy of her autobiography many years ago.
I couldn't wait to dig into this book and start reading it. I am always looking for new Historical Fiction authors, so I was really excited to get approved for this one.
As excited as the premise of this was, unfortunately it fell short for me. This book relies on a dual story line of Violet as well as another woman who is a fictional character named Daphne. I love when you read books like this and both stories tie together, but this one was really flimsy how their stories merged. I thought about adding it to my DNF book pile several times but ended up finishing it.
Unfortunately, this book just missed the mark for me.
*I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was a fine enough book. Nothing world-changing, but good. I’ve long had a fascination for maritime history, and the Titanic sinking is the granddaddy of extraordinary historical events at sea. Of course, Violet Jessop is one of the most remarkable people associated with the Titanic, as she was on Olympic during its collision with the Hawke, and then she went on to survive the Britannic’s sinking.
Combining a fictionalized story of a real life historical figure, with that of a completely fictional character can be tricky. Even more challenging is that these characters live in separate time periods and largely have little to do with one another. But I think Jenni Walsh pulled it off. So in that way, I enjoyed the story.
Something that threw me off was the big time skips in the later chapters. After the beginning of the story and establishing both Violet’s and Daphne’s storyline, the comparably faster pace of the later chapters threw me off. I wasn’t expecting the narrative to jump months or even years ahead within the same chapter. That made it hard to follow certain parts of the story close to the end.
Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the advanced readers copy.
I have long loved historical fiction and have been fascinated with books about the Titanic for even longer. When I picked up this title, I knew the name Jennifer Walsh from title I have in the school library in which I work. I was expecting this book to be a middle grade read taking place on the Titanic. I was wrong on both counts.
I was delighted to find that Walsh also writes fiction for adults and I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which focuses on Violet Jessop, who was actually a steward aboard the Titanic. What I loved most about this book was that Walsh seamlessly wove a story of fact and fiction, jumping forward and back in time between anecdotes taken from Violet’s memoirs and stories of the SOE during World War 2. Much of what drove me as I was reading was to find the connection between the two stories. I was delighted to finally make the connection and even more surprised to find the connection, not necessarily the characters themselves, was also taken from Jessop’s memoir, a little known bit of Titanic history.
If you are a fan of historical fiction and survival against great odds, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy this book. I am so glad authors like Walsh do such great research and find stories like Violet’s to delight their readers.
Wonderful story, great character development, great writing! Highly recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it
I love reading about stories connected to the Titanic and this one also involves WWI and WWII, so it has everything and more that I could have wanted wrapped up in one novel. Told through the two women who live eerily similar lives in wanting to always help others, but in doing so have always held themselves back from what they wanted in life. Based on the true Ms. Unsinkable Violet Jessop who survived three large maritime disasters and yet kept returning to the sea. The author packed so much into this story and I loved that it was not just about the Titanic sinking but also about the decades after this in the characters lives and how each historical event affected them. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author for the complementary ebook. This review is of my own opinion and accord.
A story about a remarkable woman who survived three ship disasters. This fictional account of a true person, Violet, was well written. The way the timelines converged was interesting. The later time depicted a resistance fighter during WWII, the character of which was based on several real-life heroines. I did feel like I was part of the story and liked the atmospheric descriptions.
Although the stories drew me in and kept me turning pages, I was disappointed in several instances of swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain. I think they could have been omitted and the story would not have suffered a bit.
Recommended for fans of fictional telling of true instances that took place in history. Just be aware of a bit of swearing.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. Via NetGalley. All opinions are mine alone.*
I’m kind of obsessed with the Titanic so I knew I would enjoy this book. I just didn’t realize I would become so invested in the lives of the characters and their harrowing stories.
It was incredible how many close calls that were had when traveling the ocean.
Filled with sadness, resilience and bravery this is a fantastic read.
I received a copy is this book from the publisher through Netgalley. Opinions are my own
I am in awe of this powerful tale of survival and resilience. There is a reason this book is a USA Today Bestseller!
Following the lives of two extraordinary women, Violet and Daphne, from World War I and World War II, this book weaves together their stories of courage, adversity, and second chances. Their journey from the Titanic to the battlefields of war is truly captivating and inspiring. Ever since I was little I have had a fascination with books about the Titanic (does anyone remember those Dear America books from the 90s?) so I was completely engrossed in this story.
So if you’re a historical fiction lover this is a must-read for anyone who appreciates stories of strength and hope in the face of unimaginable challenges.
Thank you Harper Muse for the copy of this book!
I liked this one, but didn't love it. The dual timeline can be hit or miss for me, and this one didn't work as well for me. They didn't connect well enough to each other and that was disappointing for me.
I want to say thank you to Netgalley for an advanced ARC (Audiobook) of this book
I have in the past read nearly everything I could about the titanic and this book follows about the titanic a little with multiple POVs, we follow 2 different characters and the stories where really good but in one book was a little confusing and I would of preferred if they where both different books to concentrate more on each character in detail
Unsinkable is a dual timeline novel in which both stories are historical. The first is based on the life of Violet Jessop, an actual stewardess on the great British passenger ships. Violet survived the Titanic, the Olympic and the Britannic incidents consisting of one collision and two sinkings. The other storyline is that of fictional Daphne Chaundanson, based on the work of several female members of the SOE during WWII. The connection between the two stories is limited, so it’s much more like reading two extraordinary books than one. In fact, although I started reading in sequence, early on I switched to reading each story separately. I became so engrossed in Violet’s story that I had to continue without interruption. The same was true of Daphne’s story once I got back to it. It was so intense that I would not have wanted to be pulled away. I have read numerous novels based on these two storylines, but this one still held my interest, each yielding new information. I was initially more drawn to Violet, probably because she is an actual historic figure, but Daphne’s story turned out to be equally moving. Both tell of surviving unimaginable situations and continuing to perform one’s job and meet one’s responsibilities despite the intervening trauma.
Jenni L Walsh was a new author for me, but Unsinkable will just be the start of my reading journey with her. Her writing style is accomplished, absorbing and emotionally intense, her research superb. Five stars!
Thank you to the author, the publisher Harper Muse, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC.
This book features two interwoven storylines that take place during World War II. You can tell the author did extensive research on the historical events and settings of the novel. The reader will get a vivid sense of the challenges and dangers faced by the characters on the sinking ships and the secret missions of WWII. This book is a fast-paced and engaging read
The word Unsinkable immediately conjures the Titanic but I realised to my surprise that there were many ships, huge ocean vessels which suffered the same fate.
Violet Jessop’s life was hard, but never humdrum. From being a ship survivor not once, not twice but thrice, you’d wonder why she went back to the same job. Stewarding on ships brought in plenty of money and she was the breadwinner for a family of five siblings and her mother when her father died. Family first was her motto from the beginning to the end and she sacrificed her dreams of a medical career and a love, till everyone was taken care of.
Parallel to this story is the one of Daphne Katherine. A girl who did not know her place in society, who never knew a family warmth, and who joined the French Resistance first as a way to get recognition from her father and then later on toget revenge from the Nazis and their treatment of Jews.
The stories of both linked by birth unknown to each other, told in alternating chapters was an emotional one. WWI Nazis and Hitler are stories that will not get old or stale, as each one is different. Violets story of endurance, hardship and getting on with life against immense odds is also one worth reading abou
Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh
Violet Jessop is a based on a real person who was a stewardess on the Titanic. Yes, that ship that sank in 1912 after it hit an iceberg. This was just the beginning of Violet’s perils at sea. Her life, her livelihood, depended upon her work on luxury ocean liners because wealthy travelers tipped generously. Her ailing mother and younger siblings depended upon her income to support the family, so she gave up her dreams of a career in medicine and returned to the sea despite tragedy after tragedy. She became known as “Miss Unsinkable.” The narrative of the novel alternates between Violet and Daphne’s perspectives.
Daphne Chaunderson is a conglomerate of 39 women, but as in individual character, she has an entirely different, but equally compelling story. She’s an only child whose mother died tragically. The cause is not revealed until the end. Her father was mostly absent, physically, and emotionally. Daphne was raised by au pairs and attended boarding schools. She speaks numerous languages and even as an adult hope to impress and earn her father’s admiration and respect. When she is approached by a Special Operations Executive to become an agent for France, she sees it as a challenge. She can do something positive to help her country and, in the process, prove to her father that she is a capable, intelligent adult and earn his affection.
Initially, I felt more drawn to Daphne/Katherine’s story. Katherine is what her father calls her, and it was also her code name on her first assignment. The training proved to be rigorous and challenging. The field work was dangerous and required planning, quick thinking, and excellent people and networking skills. Katherine proved to be flexible and a fast learner. Her language skills also proved to be a valuable asset.
Violet’s character is a contrast to the vessels upon which she travels. They are billed as “unsinkable,” which proves to be false. They are not; she is. She’s a faithful, steady, determined woman. She works hard to provide for her family, even after her brothers are old enough to enter the service and go to war, earning paychecks of their own. During this time, by the way, Violet works as a nurse. In all, she survives two more sinking ships! True story!
Each woman must deal with life-threatening danger to herself and others. It’s a test of character and fortitude. Each is forced to handle her fears and pain with courage. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The author provides each with a love life. According to Miss Jessop’s biographical information, she did marry later in life. Of note, we should be grateful to the women mentioned in the author’s note for their role in the Special Operations Executive, French Section as well as the VAD (Volunteer Aid Detachment) who provided nursing care.
I became engrossed in this story and found it difficult to put down. I wasn’t sure if the two women’s stories would or could be intertwined, but Ms. Walsh found a way!
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." Thanks to NetGalley, Harper Muse, and Jenni L. Walsh
4.5 stars, rounded up
This book is honestly a masterpiece. I was captivated by the story of the two women the entire time. The fact that parts of this story are true and based of someone's life is just amazing to me. I loved everything about the stories and found that the telling of the stories was easy to follow and understand.
I love duel timeline historical fiction and this was also an interesting way to tell the history of the Titanic. This was my first time reading Jenni Walsh and won't be the last!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a great historical novel and I really enjoyed Violet’s points of view. She was my favorite character and I adored her journey. The historical events in this book were the best backdrop for this book.
I've been following Jenni Walsh's books since the very beginning, and she just keeps getting better. I have an endless fascination with anything related to the Titanic, and I was so excited to see that Walsh was going to spin her own story set on the ship! But once I dug in, i was delighted to discover that UNSINKABLE is so much more than a Titanic story. It's about resilience, real-life women who were stronger than they ever should have had to be, and the sacrifices we all make for the people we love. Walsh has officially cemented her place as an auto-read author for me: Do yourself a favor and add her to your list, too!
Violet and Daphne are two young women connected by tragedy and war. I’ve always been intrigued by Titanic stories. That was only a small part of this book but I didn’t want to put it down. Well-researched and intriguing eventually-intertwining stories will make this a keeper for sure. Highly recommended.
Loved this historical fiction novel! A perfect mix of dual timeline, Titanic WWI era and WWII France. Both of the main characters, Daphne and Violet, are strong capable women who are brave and determined in extremely difficult circumstances.
I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more of the real-life of "Unsinkable" Violet Jessop as well as the members of the SOE and French Resistance during WWII.
This book ranks 5 HUGE stars due to Jenni Walsh' writing style, thoughtful characters, and meticulous research. Ranks high on my list of intelligently written novels. I'll read everything Jenni Walsh writes!
Make sure to read the author's notes at the end of the book. And that cover art, perfect and deserves mentioning!
Thank you NetGalley and Harper Muse for the complimentary copy of the novel. I couldn't wait to read it, so I purchased a copy as well. All opinions are my own.