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.
Unabridged audio book
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.
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.
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.