Book – Ocean of Secrets
Author – Jerry Sacher
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 200
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, past tense, dual POV (with about one page of 3rd person, multi)
Would I read it again – Definitely!
Genre – Historical, LGBT, Romance
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
Wow! What can I say?
I've always had an interest in the Titanic. I've watched the movie (hating the historical inaccuracies), read the non-fiction books and watched the documentaries, so I had high expectations for this story. It's the first time I've ever been tempted to read a fictional account.
It didn't disappoint.
Yes, there are some plot similarities to the movie. Let me just get that out the way up front; an illicit love affair between upper and lower class, an upper class MC having to rescue the lower class as the ship is sinking. BUT – the similarities end there. The detail and level of sensory historical accuracy – down to every minor detail that may be important – was unparallelled.
I LOVED that Molly Brown made an appearance. (If you're not familiar with the name – in the book as Margaret Brown – then check out The Unsinkable Molly Brown movie, with Debbie Reynolds)
For me, the book was perfect. From the poignant and stirring Prologue, to the touching Epilogue that nearly had me in tears, it was a first class historical romance, with accuracy that even Hollywood didn't attain.
Not only covering the Titanic voyage and, of course, the sinking, I loved that we got a before and after for both main characters. It was important to see what brought Andrew and Matthew to the Titanic and why; to see what happened after the sinking and into the future. The story very skillfully covers the most important aspects of Titanic's history – from building, first voyage, sinking and rescue, right up to the inquest and after events.
As for the characters, I quickly fell in love with Andrew and Matthew. They were wonderful, well rounded characters, with enough history and back story slipped into conversations and some short descriptions that I got a real feel for who they were.
I loved the other passengers – Tom, Frank Millet, William Stead and Mr Gracie.
I hated Claire and William with a passion! And, although I guessed at the truth about them, I loved the way it was handled and revealed, a little at a time, letting us work it out on our own.
Andrew's mum and aunt were amazing. To be so supportive of him, at that time, just showed how much they loved him.
When it comes to the sinking, we get a very short deviation from the dual POV, to see how other characters are dealing with the events. There's about a page or two of 3-4 lines about how other people experience the sinking, which is a really good way to show the way different classes and different areas of the ship deals with the event.
In terms of heat, there's some incredible chemistry between Andrew and Matthew. Though everything happens very quickly, you can see what draws them to each other and why they feel the way they do. They've both come through unfulfilling relationships to get to each other, so I really like how it was handled. But, the explicit stuff is confined. For most of the book, their encounters are fade to black, until much later in the book than I expected. However, this really worked for me. It worked for the times, the situation and the characters.
Overall, a stunning presentation of a realistic snapshot into history. I believed every minute and would love to think there was a real Andrew and Matthew out there somewhere.
““Will I ever be able to forget, or will April 15 be a part of me forever?””