Apr 05 2018

Review for On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell

Posted by Jenea @ Jenea's Book Obsession in Reviews / 9 Comments

Review for On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth BlackwellOn a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
Published by Lake Union Publishing on April 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Fiction
Pages: 277
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

On April 15, 1912, three women climbed into Lifeboat 21 and watched in horror as the Titanic sank into the icy depths. They were strangers then…

Con artist Charlotte Digby lied her way through London and onto the Titanic. The disaster could be her chance at a new life—if she hides the truth about her past. Esme Harper, a wealthy American, mourns the end of a passionate affair and fears that everything beautiful is slipping from her grasp. And Anna Halversson, a Swedish farm girl in search of a fresh start in America, is tormented by the screams that ring out from the water. Is one of them calling her name?

Twenty years later, a sudden death brings the three women back together, forcing them to face the impossible choices they made, the inconceivable loss, and the secrets they have kept for far too long.





The Titanic is my all time favorite movie, so when I read that this centered around the events of the Titanic I had to read it. This particular story is about three women, Esme, Charlotte and Anna and their experiences. Esme is a first class traveler on her honeymoon, while Charlotte who happens to be posing as a married woman is traveling in second class. Then there is Anna, she is traveling with Theo of her friends in third class. These three women come from very different walks of life, and each were strong in their own ways but they soon find themselves thrown together on a lifeboat as the Titanic starts to sink.

The story is told in 4 parts. The first being a little bit about the women before the sailing of the ship. It was nice to get to know some about them before they went through all that they did. Second, we are introduced to the characters 20 years after the Titanic tragedy and what their lives were like then. The story then shifts back to the awful night when the ship is sinking, and the events that took place both on the ship and in the life boat.

From everything we learn from these women as we’re reading, it was clear that their lives were changes in the most traumatic way, and each were still dealing with those haunting memories and decisions of that night, and that their lives would be forever entwined. But, I also found myself a little disappointed that their time spent trying to survive the sinking was given to us so late in the book, we had already learned how they fared 20 years later, so it was a bit anticlimactic for me. I know others will probably have no problem with the story being told this way. But I will say the ending did have a bit a twist to it, and that I really did enjoy.

Overall, this was a great read for me, and was a haunting story of survival and moving on.



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Jenea @ Jenea's Book Obsession

9 Responses to “Review for On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell”

  1. Angela

    I find the Titanic’s story to be so fascinating, so I’m really looking forward to this one. The set-up of the book does sound a bit odd, but I’m glad to hear there’s a twist!

  2. Melliane

    ooooh I love books related to Titanic. I did read a few and I didn’t know about this one and now I’m curious!

  3. Heidi

    I just wrote my review for this one yesterday. I liked this one, but I had some issues, mainly with the characters. I almost set it aside early on because I did not like Charlotte at all. It was a good read, but not my fav Titanic read.

  4. Lauren

    I’ve seen this book featured in so many WoWs lately but this is the first time I’ve seen a review for it! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it. I love the movie Titanic (I’ve watched it so many times yet I still cry my eyes out at the end, it never fails to get me) so anything Titanic related appeals to me. The different timelines sound interesting. I like that you get to see them at so many different points in their lives, but I think I’d have the same problem you did. I feel like it would be so anticlimactic to know they survived – I’d want a little bit of mystery. Great review! 🙂

  5. verushka

    The premise of this story is so captivating — and an original take on an event that has been done over and over. I hear you about your issues with the time on the Titanic being not well placed in the book. It’d make more sense to have it in the middle, and the future scenes in the end. Though probably shorter.

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