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Ella Brown grew up in one of London’s privileged homes, with all the comforts and luxuries that money can buy. But when sudden financial reversals strike her household, leaving her father dead by his own hand and her mother broken by trauma, Ella is forced from a life of safety and abundance to one of scarcity and fear. Clinging to survival on the filthy streets of the city, she’s betrayed by her only friend and burdened by an ill-fated pregnancy. By the time Ella arrives at the hospital in premature labor, she desperately needs an angel of mercy, and one soon arrives: Irene Corbett, a Mormon midwife who has come to London for advanced medical training at the great sacrifice of her family. Irene soothes Ella’s pain as she births a son, who lives only minutes, helps her back on her feet, and joins her on a voyage to America on the ship Titanic—where epic disaster rips the two friends apart. Bereaved and alone, Ella finds comfort and healing in the care of rescue crewman Jonathan Moreau and his loving family. But will the dark weight of Ella’s past destroy her delicate hopes for the future? Bestselling author Anita Stansfield delivers a story of compassion, hope, and survival set against a backdrop of the greatest tragedy of the early twentieth century.
- Pages: 240
- Size: 6 x 9
- Released: 02/2012
- Book on CD: Unabridged
About the Author
Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots. She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature. Anita is the mother of five, and has two adorable grandsons. Her husband, Vince, is her greatest hero.
The Atlantic Ocean — April 15, 1912
Ella could hardly breathe as the shock of icy water grabbed hold of
her feet and ankles. She looked down as if her eyes might convince her
of what seemed impossible for her mind to believe. Lifting the hem of
her skirts out of the water, she watched the fabric dripping and heard the
sound of the drips intermittently hitting the water, like the span of time
between the flash of distant lightning and the ensuing echo of thunder.
It seemed to take several heartbeats for her mind to absorb the message.
It was true! The Titanic really was sinking! It could no longer be denied
as a possibility too horrible to consider. The life belt she wore seemed
inconsequential in light of the temperature of the water in which she
stood. What point might there be to floating in such water, when its
icy fingers promised to strangle the warmth out of any blood flowing
through human veins? Ella gasped as a familiar hand took hold of her
arm with an unfamiliar force, startling her back to the moment.
“Don’t just stand there,” Irene ordered and turned Ella around on the
stairs. “We’ve got to get out of here. Getting on one of those lifeboats is
our only hope of surviving this.”
“What about the children?” Ella demanded, resisting Irene’s firm
tugging. “What about—”
“You mustn’t think about that now,” Irene said, exerting more effort
in moving Ella along quickly.
Ella’s feet felt bitterly cold as she dragged them up the stairs, but her
heart froze in her chest at Irene’s implication. She stopped in her tracks
and stubbornly resisted Irene’s efforts to budge her.
“What on earth do you mean?” she asked, as if Irene might actually have a sensible response
to such a question.
Irene came back down two steps to face Ella directly. The chill in
Ella’s feet rushed all the way up her body and back down again as this
woman she’d come to call her dearest friend in all the world looked
into her eyes with a gaze so intense and foreboding that Ella found it
difficult to breathe. “Listen to me well, my friend,” Irene said in a voice
that matched the intensity of her eyes. “I don’t know how all of this will
end, but I know what I have to do, and I know what you have to do.”
“How could you possibly know that?” Ella insisted.
“I’ve explained to you more than once how such a thing is possible,
but now is not the time to quibble over details.” Tears appeared
suddenly in Irene’s eyes, tears so hot that Ella almost expected steam
to rise off of them. Ella wanted to know if they were tears of fear or of
some kind of resolve. She suspected the latter but didn’t have a chance
to ask before Irene headed up the stairs again, dragging Ella along. “We
must hurry,” was all she said.
Conversation became difficult in their earnest trek toward the
lifeboats that were stretched out along the massive deck of the ship. Chaos
and noise threatened to swallow them, but Irene pressed forward as if
she were a torpedo aimed at a very specific target. By some miraculous
means that Ella could not account for while her brain was in shock and
her surroundings were in pandemonium, she found herself scrambling
into a lifeboat, aided by the capable hand of a uniformed member of the
crew. She had to squeeze herself in but still eased over as far as she could
to allow room for Irene, certain her friend was right behind her. She was
barely seated when the lifeboat jolted into movement, and she realized it
was being lowered. Sitting next to her was a young woman, crying and
waving good-bye to a man near her age standing on the deck.
“No!” Ella shouted and tried to stand but could not find the
balance to do so. “No!” she shouted louder and tried again, gripping
the edge of the boat as if she might leap out of it to reunite herself with
her beloved Irene.
“You’ve got t’ sit down, miss,” she heard a male voice say, and a firm
hand on her shoulder made it impossible to ignore the command. But
Ella’s eyes were connected to Irene’s. In a matter of a few seconds, all
they had shared through these months of friendship raced through Ella’s mind.
Irene had given hope to the hopeless and life to the doomed. Ella had been both. How could they possibly be separated by whatever
this terrifying disaster might entail?
Ella convinced herself in the next few seconds that Irene would get
into another lifeboat and they would soon be reunited. She shouted
toward her, hoping to be heard above the din. “I’ll see you soon. Go
and find yourself a seat and—”
“Whatever happens,” Irene called back, and even from the distance
Ella could see those steamy tears once again glimmering in her eyes,
“you must live your life to its fullest. Promise me.”
Ella hesitated, refusing to accept the implication that they might
not see each other again. “Promise me!” Irene shouted.
“I promise!” Ella called back. After all that Irene had done for her,
how could she refuse anything this great woman might ask of her?
Irene’s countenance softened and she actually smiled. “All will be
well,” Irene called back, her voice becoming more difficult to hear,
and her face more difficult to see, as the lifeboat was lowered farther
toward the frigid, black ocean below. “I know what I have to do,” Irene
shouted, as if she desperately needed Ella to know. “Whatever happens,
never forget . . . that I know what I have to do, and all will be well.”
While Ella was trying to think of appropriate words to say in
return, something that could be shouted with the hope of being heard
amidst the chaos, the lifeboat jolted as the ropes on one side slid a little
more quickly than on the other. The frightened voices of the women
and children in the boat with Ella distracted her from her conversation.
When Ella looked up again at the deck of the mighty ship, becoming ever farther away, Irene was no longer there.
Exquisite Renition of TheTragic Sinking
by Teri - reviewed on March 20, 2012
When I read through a newsletter from Anita a few weeks ago that her newest novel would soon be released and that it was about the Titanic, I knew I had to get it and get it quickly, as I'm a HUGE Titanic fan and have read a lot of books on this subject. Since Anita usually writes a series of books when she writes, I was hoping there would be a sequel, but at this point, I'm not sure. We'll just have to wait and see. The story starts out with the sinking of the ship, with the main characters Ella Brown, who is a fictional character and with incorporating a real-life character into the story. This person happens to be Irene Corbett, an LDS woman from Utah, who strongly feels she needs to further her nursing skills in London in midwifery. She prays about this important undertaking, as she'll need to leave her husband and three young children for 6 months or more. Ella, a young English girl, loses both of her parents, so is forced to live an impoverished life on the streets of London, winding up in the hospital in a life-threatening state, the same hospital Irene is working in. Irene feels a strong connection with Ella and they bond quickly. Irene finds a place for Ella to live, where in time, she finds work as a nanny. When Irene has finished her schooling, she books passage on this new ship that has been touted as being unsinkable. Ella is totally surprised when the family she works for also books passage on the Titanic for a vacation in America. Both women find the ship wonderful, especially with knowing the Titanic has many pianos onboard. When both ladies hear and feel the ship hitting the iceberg, they begin to gather a few things together. Ella loses sight of Irene when Irene puts her in a lifeboat. The next morning, when the ship Carpathia arrives where they expected the Titanic to be, they see nothing but lifeboats with survivors in them. Deeply shaken by this catastropic event, Ella finds comfort and healing in the care of rescue crewman Jonathan Moreau and his loving family. Can Ella ever find peace and happiness with the constant nightmares over this devastating event? This powerful novel evokes compassion, redemption, hope and survival as never before, as this really happened.
A must read for Anita and Titanic fans alike.
by Rhonda - reviewed on March 08, 2012
I loved reading this book. It was an interesting way to become acquainted with some of the people who sailed on Titanic. I love the story of Irene and the courage it took to leave her family to go to England. I also liked that we were able to see a little of what life might have been like for some of the survivors of this horrific event.
by Donna - reviewed on July 01, 2012
This is the second or third book I have read by Anita Stansfield and I must say, it was a great read. It took me two weeks to get started but once I did, I could not put it down. I consider her to be my favorite LDS author and I will be reading more of her books.
Tender, Compelling, and Haunting!
by Dina - reviewed on January 27, 2012
This love story transcends one of the most horrific events in the world’s history. Although, we all know what the outcome was, in regard to the Titanic, you will have a new view of the raw emotions that were experienced by its survivors. Anita Stansfield demonstrates her gift for storytelling in “Passage on the Titanic”. She allows us to fall in love with Irene and Ella; Two friends brought together by a higher power. She weaves a story of heartache and loss and then brings us full circle to healing and living the life we’re meant to live. I love the lesson of learning to listen to the promptings of the Spirit. It resonates continually throughout this book and it allowed me to see beyond the normal examples of daily life. And YES! There is a romance in store for Ella so hold on tight and get ready to be sucked in to the world of “Passage on the Titanic”. Go to http://anitastansfield.blogspot.com to read more and enter give aways!
Another great read from Anita!
by Terry - reviewed on March 08, 2012
I too loved this book! Anita gives us insight into what it must have felt like to not only endure this tragedy from the passengers point of view, but from the on-lookers (rescuers and those waiting on land for family & friends to arrive)perspective as well! I have quite a different mindset about the whole devastatingly horrific disaster! Thank you Anita!
Another great read!
by Terry - reviewed on March 08, 2012
I loved this book! Anita gives you a look at the world not only through a passenger's view point and experience, but anyone who was living at that time in history when they were either involved in, or helped with, the rescue efforts not to mention those on land waiting for the passengers arrival ! I received a different view point of the whole horrific tragedy.
Passage on Titanic is lacking
by Lu Ann - reviewed on March 03, 2012
I am a fan of Anita Stansfield's writing but this new "Passage on the Titanic" would have been more interesting in short story form, in my opinion. She seemed to be 'reaching' to stretch this out. The story line was good, it just seemed to be lacking interesting events.
I loved the way Anita entwined fact with fiction in her new book about the LDS midwife who died on the Titanic. Could not put it down.
by Judy - reviewed on March 08, 2012
It was so timely for Anita's book to come out recently about the LDS woman who died on the Titanic. I had just heard the talk in conference referring to this woman. I knew the story of the two missionaries but not about Irene. When Elder Cook mentioned her story I wanted to know more. It was just recently that I met Anita and heard of her book. I had read previous fiction books by Anita so I wanted to see how she would entwine fact with fiction. I feel that Anita did capture the feelings that Irene would have felt. The courageous decisions she made to go to Engalnd. I could not put the book down. I would recommend this book to everyone.
I wanted it to go on.
by Darla - reviewed on March 08, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to find out a few facts about the passengers on the Titanic. Irene's story although sad touched me to know that she lived the gospel and loved so thoroughly. It also showed how God's hand is in all things as seen in the missionary's story. The fictional part, Ella's story, was typical of Anita's ability to capture realistic struggles of man/woman. I just wish it hadn't ended so soon.
by Darlene Anderson - reviewed on March 08, 2012
Anita does an amazing job of weaving fact & fiction into a beautiful story I couldn't put down! I was afraid I might not like this one since I'm not a big fan of all-things Titanic but I should have known better! It is a must read!
Touching to the heart, and a sweet romance.
by Bonnie - reviewed on March 10, 2012
Passage on the Titanic is a story of two very courageous women, who both make decisions that lead them to life changing experiences. I was very touched to read this book. Anita did a fantastic job of bringing you into the tragedy, and you truly feel the pain of what those survivors had to see and go through. It's also an example of how horrible things can lead to truly beautiful endings. Amazing story, and well written - one of Anita's best, in my opinion.