I’m surprised that I picked this book up so soon after reading Cleopatra’s Daughter. I didn’t love that book. But I think I was intrigued by Moran’s perspective. She picks interesting women from history and gives them a voice.
I started reading this book last month, and it was the sort of non-fiction book that made me want to read a pulpy fiction book at the same time. I took a trip to Barnes & Noble to get book number 2 in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series and walked out $100 lighter. Always a hazard in my world. This book was so very dry that I actually started reading three other books since I started it.
Dead Wake tells the story of the Lusitania, a civilian luxury liner that a German U-boat sank in 1915. The story follows not just the ship and select passengers, but also the story of the German U-boat and its crew. Larson also adds a global perspective to the incident with his reading of its impact on President Wilson and the eventual entry of the United States into World War I.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant is two stories in one. Story number one follows Vivian Schuyler, a 1960’s socialite who bucks the system in pursuit of journalism career. Early on in her story, she mistakenly receives the suitcase of Violet Grant, her long-lost aunt. Thus begins the second story the parallel second story.
This was the sort of book that pretentious Honors English college students gush over as “important” and “meaningful”. Which, to me, usually meant it was weird, full of “lyricism”, and contained sentences that never seemed to end. I wanted to like it. I wanted it to be something special. But I really, really hated it.