I recently finished reading the novel The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic. Coincidentally, this month marks the 103rd anniversary of the infamous tragedy of the ship sinking on that fateful night on April 15, 1912.
Like the blockbuster film Titanic, this novel has a love story element to it as well. Though the love stories in this book have a slightly happier ending. I say love “stories” instead of “story” because like popular books-turned-into film love stories by Nicholas Sparks there is that parallel love story running between the past and present (think “The Notebook” or the newest one in theaters “The Longest Ride”)
We like to paint this picture of romantic love being timeless (and “never go out of style” as Taylor Swift would put it). It’s also the notion that true love lasts and somehow lives on even after death do us apart if not any other reason. And like many of these popular love stories, the concept of love letters left behind long after it all began adds that romantic charm.
What I did like about this novel was that it gave an insight to what it was like to be on the other end of awaiting news ashore on those who had loved ones on the ship. There were also many detailed comparisons on how drastically different things were for the third class (“steerage class”) passengers vs those in first class aboard the ship. And it really makes you emphasize with the feeling of guilt the survivors felt as they witnessed those who didn’t [survive] struggle in the icy waters of the Atlantic that night.
While some aspects of the book are fictional, it is obviously based on an actual historical event and the characters on Addergoole Fourteen, a group of fourteen emigrants from a village in Ireland that were traveling on the ship. Traveling across the ocean back then pretty much meant starting a new life upon arriving at the final destination and it’s sad to think of so many lives that never got to have that fresh start.
Living life to the fullest all the more was an on-going theme of the book. And therefore, I would like to dedicate this posting and the song “I lived” to all those who have/are living life to the fullest.