A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice tells the story of what happened on April 12, 1912 from the perspective of the ship and crew who came to the aid of Titanic. The RMS Carpathia was traveling east bound from New York to Liverpool when it received the distress call from the sinking ship. Captain Arthur Rostron wakes up and unfortunately the quick decision to answer the call for help. Unfortunately the Carpathia is over four hours away but, is determined to do whatever it takes to get there.
The story alternates with chapters with the character Kate Connolly. Kate is a third class passenger and is coming to America from Ireland for a new start. As a third class passenger, she is one of the last people to receive instruction after the Titanic hits the iceberg. She and her roommates are ae to board lifeboat number 13, and from the lifeboat she watches the believed unsinkable ship go into the dark abyss. After the sinking she and the other passengers have nothing to do but wait and see if a rescue will actually occur.
I really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between what was happening aboard the Carpathia and what was happening with Kate and the rest of the passengers from Titanic. It felt familiar with the perspective of Kate but also brand new with the perspective of the Carpathia. I’m so glad a book now exist because admittedly the Carpathia has never been a focus of mine when thinking about the Titanic tragedy. Now the story of the Carpathia is even more available to the public as this book is based entirely on its endearing legacy.
This story is so well researched and brought forth so many emotions. The response of the Carpathia and their determination to make it to Titanic’s aid and kept me on the edge of my seat. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was captivated by the Carpathia’s crew and their passion to get there and help their fellow humans. They really pulled at my heart strings! Kate also had her moments as a passenger and then survivor. Honestly, it’s hard for me to express how this story made me feel and made me think – it is something that the reader needs to experience for themselves.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres especially when it is so well researched and is based on an actual event. Following the conclusion, there is a note from the author Rebecca Connolly explaining where she got the influence for A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice and the real life individuals featured in the story. I just wish the characters (in particular Kate) had a little bit more depth to them. I understand why this may not have happened as this is such a plot point/experience driven type story. Regardless, it is a story that held my attention and made me feel all the feels.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**