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.