BOOK REVIEW: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by Rebecca Connolly


Title: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice
Author: Rebecca Connolly
Publication: April 5, 2022
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 304


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

As a child I was absolutely obsessed with the Titanic.  I drew the sinking ship for multiple art projects and I read my brother’s book that he has cover to cover multiple times.  So when I got the spring release email from a publisher that I love and I saw that there was a historical fiction book coming out with the Carpathia’s story I knew that I had to read it.  I was so excited to read it.  

The story follows the Captain of the Carpathia, Arthur Rostron and Kate Connolly and her friends.  Kate and her friends are passengers on the Titanic and are rescued from the icy waters of the Atlantic in Lifeboat 13 by Captain Rostron and his crew.  This book was so good.  I binged it in about 2.5 days flat and that was just reading just before bed.  It bounces between the two sets of characters, so that does take some getting used to because you have to pay attention to the timestamp and the dates at the top.  I fell in love with the characters and spent most of the time on the edge of my seat wondering if they would make it.  I really admired Captain Arthur.  He was a quiet force that coordinated the rescue of all the survivors of the wreck.  He wanted no praise and insisted that his crew were the real heros.

I found myself once again getting pulled into the whole Titanic story.  I admit that while I knew about the Titanic or at least as much as a child in elementary school can absorb, I know very little about the Carpathia aside from the fact that it did rescue the survivors.  Reading the story also brought up the whole how and why about the sinking.  How was the Carpathia the only ship that was able to respond when supposedly there were other ships closer.   I could feel the whole guilt of Kate being the survivor of the ship when there was a woman on the ship who had the same exact name as her.  My heart broke for all the families on both sides of the pond that were left wondering if their loved ones were alive or dead.  Even the survivors wondering if their loved one made it off the ship.  I loved this book.  The writing style was amazing and flowed so well.  I loved the added touches of quotes from Captain Arthurs books and from other Titanic survivors.  I would definitely read more books by this author and I hope that it is just like this one.

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