The more Titanic-based stories I read, the more they sound alike. Anyone wishing to write a Titanic story truly has most of their work done for them as the facts of the event are never-changing. In Titanic Affair by Amanda Grange we have another of these romances set against the backdrop of the tragic Titanic maiden voyage. This particular book draws heavily on the 1997 movie.
Emilia Cavendish who grew up in a wealthy family only to lose everything when her parents died and she was sent to live with a relative. She is bound for Ireland where she is to live with her godmother. As fate would have it, the woman who should have been onboard the ship could not make the trip so offers the ticket to Emilia’s godmother who sends it to her. It is for first-class passage; Emilia is running away from Lord Montmorencey who is determined to have her – if not as his wife then any way he can. To that end he sends his henchman, Barker, in pursuit of Emilia. Barker actually kills a passenger on the docks and steals a steerage class ticket thus allowing him to follow Emilia on board the ship. Think of Emilia as the Jack Dawson character from the movie; Montmorencey is Cal Hockley; Barker is Lovejoy (Cal’s henchman).
Carl Latimer (aka Rose from the movie) is the self-made American millionaire. He is traveling with his ailing mother and her companion. Since the death of his father, his mother’s health has taken a downward turn and even the finest European doctors can do nothing for her but prescribe rest and medication. When Carl learns of Emilia’s lavish accommodations, including a private and enclosed promenade area, he tries to buy those accommodations from her at a handsome price. He feels his mother might do better with some fresh air without the worry of crowds. But he meets his match in Emilia when she flatly turns down his request.
Emilia sets off to explore as much of the ship as possible before she is to disembark in Queenstown and finds herself lost in the maze of corridors on the steerage decks. And when she runs into Barker who is determined not to lose her again, she fears for her life. She ultimately escapes him and runs up on deck and directly into the arms of Carl Latimer who is only too happy to rescue her. Of course they are bound to fall in love. As the story progresses, we are treated to several scenes that seem to have been lifted directly out of the movie. I won’t go into them here as anyone who has seen the movie will instantly recognize them. The only difference here from the movie is that both characters, Emilia and Carl, survive the disaster.
An engaging story for those die-hard Titanic fans interspersed with facts and well-known public figures. The writing style is straightforward and the characters aren’t as well-developed as one would hope but the story comes across nonetheless. Descriptions of the ship are detailed and one can still hear the strains of the music and the genteel laughter that emanated from the dining salon.
Rating: 3 Stars