“Life didn’t work that way. Chapters upon chapters remained unwritten, stretching out far beyond the point of escape. Surviving trauma wasn’t the end of the story. It was only the beginning.”
I love historical fiction that highlights a snippet of history that I wasn’t previously aware of or that I hadn’t given much thought. Olive is a pre-suffragette woman who is trying to get some advancement in her career as an insurance agent. She is passionate about her clients and wants desperately to become an investigator but her male boss thinks she’s too fragile for such a role. Life intervenes and Olive is present for a major Chicago tragedy, she is on the SS Eastland for a celebration when the ship goes down. She survives, but is haunted by PTSD and by the impact on those she met that day as well as those who did not survive. She dives into processing death claims, investigating the missing and helping her best friend cover her disappearance from her abusive husband. Oh and a dashing photographer crosses her path and begins to help her and in the meantime tries to steal her heart.
Yes, there’s a lot going on in this one! There are several mysteries to solve, a slow burn romance, mental health discussions about PTSD (both around this tragedy and the Great Chicago Fire which her mother survived), a family bookstore (squee) and a woman ahead of her time trying to prove women can do what men can do. I loved how all of these elements were weaved together. They were all handled with care and well fleshed out. The bonds Olive forms with her clients are heartening, she has such care for people she’s only met for a few moments. There is a decent bit of action and a few twists that I really enjoyed in this type of novel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to the author for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
How do you feel about cruises or trips on boats? Love them? Hate them?