Saturday, September 26, 2015
Stacking the Shelves: Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.
From the Library:
Dead Wake by Erik Larson
This book was selected by my book club for October. I have only read one historical fiction novel, which I really enjoyed, so I'm going to give this one a try. I know nothing about the Lusitania besides the very obvious...it sank...so this should be an enlightening experience for me.
On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.
Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.
It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love.