Book Review: By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer

Destiny Brought Them Together. Will Tragedy Draw Them Apart?

Amelia Gladstone’s mind is filled with promise as she gazes at the marvelous new ship, ready for its maiden voyage. The Titanic holds the promise of a reunited family. . .and of possible love waiting on American shores. Nothing could mar Amelia’s joy, until she sees a ragged stowaway being escorted down the gangplank.

Down-and-out after squandering his fortune, Quentin Walpole thought his voyage to America ended on the Southampton pier. Then a sweet lady—his angel of mercy named Amelia—secured his passage with a spare ticket. Now he’s headed to America, eager for a second chance.

But once the voyage begins, the past confronts Quentin when he discovers that his wealthy railroad tycoon father and older brother Damien are also on board. As Amelia tries to bring about reconciliation between father and son, she suddenly finds herself the center of both brothers’ attention with a choice to make: Who can she trust with her heart?

Then the fateful night arrives, and one brother faces a greater choice.

Will Amelia’s fate ultimately be one of love or loss?

One thing I love about reviewing is that it allows me to get books by authors I’ve never read before with little investment. No money, just some time. I’m still careful to pick books I’m fairly certain I’ll like, but I can find new authors to fall in love with.

This book is set on the Titanic. I’ve seen and read enough to have a pretty good idea what first and third class were like, though second class is a bit more of a mystery. But still, having been to one of the traveling exhibits a few months ago, I could see it in my mind’s eye as well.

Though today we’d look and see the disparity in the classes, which was quite real, my understanding is that the second and third accommodations on the Titanic were better than most during that time period. In fact, I’ve heard the second class passengers thought they’d mistakenly been shown to the first class dining room when they went to their first meal on board ship.

But I digress.

Quentin and Amelia are traveling second class, though Amelia makes some connections in first class allowing us to see more of that world [sort of like Jack did in the movie]. Quentin is more comfortable in third class and Amelia befriends one of the maids [who knew Amelia’s mother many years earlier]. This allows us to see bits and pieces of all parts of the ship, not just the second class.

One of the things I struggled with while reading the book [and this isn’t a bad thing per se] is that I had to remind myself they were on the Titanic. Every time I got attached to a character [and there were a lot of characters I adored], I had to remind myself there was a chance this person wouldn’t survive.

Even Quentin, and to a lesser extent because of her gender, Amelia. With well over half of the people on board the ship dying [yeah – don’t tell me that’s a spoiler! You knew this!], there’s a good chance any of them could go down with the ship. And if you don’t think it could be Quentin or Amelia – well, I have three words for you, “Come back, Jack!”

Er, right. Tricia’s book.

But even knowing that there was a good chance a number of the characters I came to care deeply about would meet their bitter end in the N. Atlantic, I cared anyway. I hoped [and maybe even prayed just a bit] that all of my favorites would survive, even though I knew it was highly unlikely to be the case.

This is quite a tribute to Tricia’s writing ability. To make me care about characters who had a less than 50% chance of survival is quite the feat. She did it quite well.

Quentin and Amelia are the most prominent characters but the romance isn’t quite a given. In fact, I wasn’t sure who Amelia would end up with until she actually did. Her suitors include Quentin [of course], First Class Passenger Damian and the man who paid for her passage on board the Titanic – a friend of her cousin’s, who she has been corresponding with for some time and intends to court with their eyes toward a fairly quick marriage.

The resolution to the prodigal son portion of the plotline was very well done and I loved the way things played out with Quentin and his father/brother. This is, far and away, one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while [and that’s saying something because I read a lot of REALLY good books!].

Overall rating: 9.75 out of 10 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.