The Deepest Waters
This poignant novel, inspired by the true story of a steamship that sank in a hurricane off the Carolinas in 1857, begins with a scene reminiscent of the ending of the Titanic movie. As the S.S. Vandervere founders, the women and children have been rescued, but the men are left to either go down with the ship or drift in the ocean with little hope of survival. John and Laura Foster are honeymooners who were traveling from San Francisco to New York so that Laura could meet her new in-laws. Most of the women carry a small sack of gold, all that will be salvaged of the incredible wealth from the gold fields that sinks with their ship, but Laura also bears a note containing a secret, which John begs her to read only if she knows he has died.
As men slip one-by-one to their deaths in the water, and a thief steals from the women the last of their worldly goods, there are moments of both cowardliness and courage among the survivors. The multiple subplots, scene changes, and glimpses of the back story are deftly woven together. Both heartrending and inspiring, this is a grand adventure of the sea.