“And so it went. No bells or sirens. No general alarm. But all over the Titanic, in one way or another, the word was passed.”
The sinking of the Titanic was avoidable, but the loss of life that night is tragic. The details of that fateful night have been passed on by survivors and compiles in the book A Night to Remember. Released in 1955, just 43 years after the sinking in 1912, the book tells the tale chronologically. The sinking changed the way ships communicated and how society worked in so many ways. It is a historical event that needs to be remembered by all generations.
A family member recommended this book to me after hearing that I was reading Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. She had read both books and thought I would like the book about the Titanic if I liked the one about the Lusitania. She was right and I’m glad she recommended it. It was available right away to check out as an ebook from my local library.
A Night to Remember takes the reader through many different points of view on the ship. From high society to people in steerage and from the crew to the men filling the boilers with coal, each victim and survivor had a unique story. Unfortunately, the sinking was a clear showing how money brought favor to certain people. While lifeboats went away from the ship less than 25 percent full, people were still locked down in third class waiting to get up to the main deck. Many of the men whose job was to fill the boilers with coal sacrificed their lives by trying to put out the fires so the steam rooms wouldn’t explode. Women chose to stay with their husbands. The boat’s designer, Ishmay, got into a lifeboat but had a hard time dealing with the sinking for the rest of his life. So many others perished because lifeboats did not go back once the boat finally capsized and then ships in the area did not get or believe the distress signals being sent by the Titanic.
While A Night to Remember is a sad story, this account is very factual. The author mentions there are discrepancies with some of the stories as many tales were told to the newspapers in the immediate days following the arrival of the survivors in New York. I would highly recommend this book to history lovers. Historical fiction fans would enjoy it as it reads like a novel with a tragic plot.