S.O.S. Titanic – Jill Silverthorne

Paperback, 126pp. Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ, UK. Price: £5.00. ISBN 978-1-84625-308-9.

This is another book written with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy as its background. Based upon historical research, it also weaves an account, which this time is largely fictional, that charts the days of this fateful voyage. The story centres around Chrissie and Luke Barwell, the children of Philip and Ella Barwell. With his business faltering and his wife dead, the father is forced to seek the help of his wife’s sister, Alice, to provide for the children. Alice, who has secured a fortune from her former employer, comes to England to take the children to America for what is proposed to be a year’s visit – they are to sail to America on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Jill Silverthorne provides a carefully crafted story which develops slowly but builds to a crescendo as the ship eventually founders. Clearly, given the background, there is much of the ship and its magnificence. However, there are also other themes running through the story. Who is the mysterious Simkins? What is his link with Aunt Alice? What is the role of the fatherly Mr Nash? What is the importance of the pocket watch that Chrissie is given by her father?

This is a delightful book which would be an excellent Sunday School prize/gift. Whilst the story deals with real issues that affect the lives of children, it does so with gentleness and yet a clear statement of faith. It shows how faith can be found and seen in the most tragic of circumstances and how ‘God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform’.


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