Queen of the Waves
When Jacquie Abingdon’s father arranges for her to marry a young colleague of his, her mother secretly plots for her to leave England on board the Titanic to avoid marrying a man she didn’t choose. Jacquie, however, has other plans; she isn’t going on the ship because she is in love with the young gardener her family employs. So in order to fool her mother, she enlists the gardener’s tormented younger sister, Tessa, to take her place. Though Tessa has misgivings, her life at the hands of her cruel father convinces her to pretend to be a first-class passenger, despite the disdain of her lady’s maid, Iris. Once on board, Tessa discovers the attention of Nathan, a wealthy young businessman, and becomes conflicted about the lie she is living. This being the Titanic, of course we know what the drama will be, but along the way, there is plenty of emotional and spiritual conflict among all the characters and classes.
Despite the fact that I don’t usually care for inspirational fiction, Queen of the Waves is an engaging story with heartfelt emotion set mostly on board the doomed liner. I liked how the author brought about the ultimate resolutions; they seemed realistic and plausible. Interwoven well with the actual passengers, Tessa and Nathan are particularly well written with both experiencing surprises they would not have dreamed of just days before they embarked. The biggest complaints I had were the sometimes heavy- handedness of the religious message, and the way the lady’s maid was allowed to act (even if it was unrealistically explained). Even with those problems, the story is well told and it’s obvious the author knows her Titanic history. I was especially pleased with the ending, as it seemed reasonable for the events involved. This is a fast read that was a surprising hit for this reader.