Well, it’s April and I am already behind in writing up the Book Club meetings! Better late than never I suppose!
On February 16th we met to discuss Shadow of the Titanic by Andrew Wilson. This book is obviously on a very topical subject with this year being the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The book followed the stories of some of the survivors of the disaster, what happened to them after the cataclysmic event and how it impacted upon their lives. We were struck by the thought that as the 46,000-ton Titanic slipped beneath the waves at 2.20am on April 15,1912, it was the noise of the cries of those left aboard that would haunt the survivors in the lifeboats for the rest of their lives. One described it as like a gigantic swarm of bees; another, 100,000 people at a Cup Final; a third, the roar of a crowd in a baseball stadium – he could never bear to go to another game. Many survivors exhibited symptoms of what would now be recognised as post-traumatic shock disorder. Wilson follows the lives of a few of these survivors but to a degree which we thought began to become repetitive in it’s detail.
As the title says, the wreck of the Titanic overshadowed the lives of the 705 survivors of that awful night, but also signalled the ending of the era of immense wealth, opulence and privilege of which the mighty ship was the swansong, and which was soon to be blown apart by World War I.