A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolly

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Book Review of A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolly

I’ve heard a lot about the sinking of the Titanic. I have watched the movie and some documentaries here and there. One thing I had never thought about or heard about were the people that came to the rescue of the Titanic survivors. A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolly changed that for me. It is “based on the remarkable true story of the Carpathia—the one ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic.”


Based on the remarkable true story of the Carpathia—the one ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic.

Shortly after midnight on April 15, 1912, the captain of the Carpathia, Arthur Rostron, wakes to a distress signal from the Titanic, which has struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Though information is scarce, Rostron leaps into action, determined to answer the call for help. But the Carpathia is more than four hours away, and there are more questions than answers: Will his ship hold together if pushed to never-before-tested speeds? What if he also strikes an iceberg? And with the freezing temperatures, will there be any survivors by the time the Carpathia arrives?

Kate Connolly is a third-class passenger on Titanic, and she is among the last to receive instruction and help after it hits an iceberg. Despite the chaos of abandoning ship, Kate is able to board a lifeboat, though after seeing the Titanic sink into the abyss and hearing the cries from hundreds of people still in the water, she wonders if any rescue is even possible.

Told in alternating chapters from both Captain Rostron and Kate Connolly, this novel is a compelling, heart-pounding account of two eyewitnesses to an epic disaster. Rostron’s heroic and compassionate leadership, his methodical preparations for rescue, and his grit and determination to act honorably and selflessly to save lives and care for the survivors, sets the course for this awe-inspiring story.

My Book Review:

The sinking of the Titanic was a terrible tragedy, and I cannot imagine being there. This book tells the story of the one ship that arrived to rescue the survivors. Honestly, I’d never thought of the story from that angle, so I was interested in learning more. This book is historical fiction, but many of the characters and situations portrayed in the book did occur.

I liked this book. I learned a lot about the rescue efforts and the people that were involved. It’s a sad story, but also one that shows people serving and helping others amid their own suffering. I liked learning about the characters involved, especially Captain Rostron and Kate Connolly. Captain Rostron was on the Carpathia while Kate Connolly was on the Titanic, so you hear alternating viewpoints from the different ships.

I liked the writing style of this book. The alternating viewpoints flow together well so it’s not choppy or difficult to follow. The descriptions of the terrible events are chilling. It’s a super sad story, but I did like the part where the Carpathia travelers helped the rescued Titanic victims by donating clothing and other items. There were also a couple of Titanic survivors who gave of themselves to help their fellow survivors.


Content Rating PG-13Content Rating: PG-13 (This book is clean. There isn’t any profanity, “intimacy,” or violence. There are, however, some very heavy themes and scenes, and many people die.)

Recommendation: YA+

My Rating: 3/5

3 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.




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