Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Book Review for Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh

 Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh

Publication:  January 9, 2024 by Harper Muse

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Taken from Goodreads:  The Titanic was only the beginning. What she survived has become legend.

Violet Jessop is Miss Unsinkable.

Violet is a stewardess and wartime nurse who not only survives a shipwreck but also two sinkings, one on the infamous Titanic. No one can understand why she would return to sea, but Violet is simply trying to survive. Her childhood was fraught with illness and death in her family. Her distraught mother is too ill to work, that responsibility falling to Violet as the oldest of nine. When the world enters the Great War, she becomes aboard as a nurse, helping men who could very well be her brothers. But disaster strikes again, this time as the Britannic strikes a mine. Miraculously, Violet survives, but her obligation to her mother and siblings still remains, leaving Violet to wonder if she'll ever be able to put her tumultuous life at sea behind her and pursue a life and love all her own.

Daphne has survived calamity of her own.

Daphne Chaundanson grows up as an unwanted child after her mother died in a tragedy. She throws herself into education, collecting languages like candy in a desperate attempt to finally earn her father’s approval. When the Special Operations Executive invites her to be an agent in France in World War II, her childhood of anonymity and her love of languages make her the perfect fit. She sees it as an opportunity to help the country she loves and live up to her father's expectations. But unthinkable moments of challenge and resilience change Daphne in ways she could never expect, including an eye-opening encounter where she must come to terms with the secrets in her own past.

Two unsinkable women. Two stories of survival, family, and finding one’s own happiness. One connection that reshapes both their lives forever.


My Thoughts:  Two women, three sinkable ships, and a lifetime of history.  After surviving the sinking of the Titanic, Violet continues with her life and have two more brushes with death on ships.  Daphne becomes a Special Operations Executive agent during WWII and sees the damage war can cause. 

 The settings were brought to life with detailed descriptions.  I could picture Violet as she sat in the lifeboat and watch the horrors of the Titanic sinking around her or Daphne as she watched an entire building of people be herded by the Germans into a truck.    Both women saw horrific things but I also could feel the hope that they had as they worked for the good of themselves but even more the people they were working to save.  

 Unsinkable is the story of survival and family, I love learning more of the history of Titanic.  The history shared about WWII was not new to me, but I am always looking for more to learn.  WWII history is my favorite to read.

Thank you Harper Muse for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

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Meet Jenni L. Walsh (taken from her website):  Jenni L. Walsh spends her days knee deep in words in Philadelphia’s suburbia. Beyond words, Jenni is a mama (of a soulful ten-year-old, a dinosaur-loving seven-year-old, and four needy furbabies), a wife, a Philly and 'Nova sports fan.

But where did it all begin? Jenni spent her early years dabbling in various forms of writing and with her nose in a book. Her writing chops first began to develop through one-page stories. Never fail, the storyline followed the same progression: girl meets boy, girl marries boy, girl and boy have baby. That's it. 

Now Jenni has moved on to stories with a bit more depth and, for the mamas, 
Side by Side is a historical women's fiction story of America’s most infamous crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde told in the raw and honest voice of the woman who lived it, Bonnie Parker. In Becoming Bonniea prequel set in the Roaring Twenties, a picture of Bonnie's earlier life, before and while she meets Clyde, is brought to life. Jenni's third historical women's fiction book A Betting Woman takes us to the California gold rush, featuring a little known woman from history, Eleanor Dumont, but who is largely remembered by the moniker Madame Moustache.  In The Call of the Wrens, Jenni introduces readers to the Women's Royal Naval Service (the Wrens), who carried wartime secrets on their shoulders as motorcycle dispatch riders during both world wars. Jenni's next historical novel Unsinkable ​is about two resilient women, one of which is the real-life Violet Jessop who survived the Titanic and two additional maritime disasters, will be released January 9, 2024. Jenni is also contracted for untitled books in 2025 and 2026, one of which is based on Alice Marble, #1 tennis player, editor of Wonder Woman, and WWII spy.

For the kiddos, Jenni's debut middle grade books, 
She Dared, features true stories from women who, at a young age, accomplished daring feats of perseverance and bravery. She is also the author of I Am Defianceinspired by a real-life resistance group, known as the White Rose. Jenni has contributed Hettie and the London Blitz: A World War II Survival Story to the Girl's Survive series. Revolutionary War hero Sybil Ludington, who is often known as the "female Paul Revere," is brought to life in By the Light of Fireflies, Jenni's first historical novel with a touch of magical realism. Over and Out is a thrilling and fast-paced espionage and escape story that is inspired by real stories of life in East Berlin during the Cold War. Her newest novel, Operation: Happy
, releases in spring 2024 and is inspired be a real-life Pearl Harbor survivor.


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