Cynthia Bass Maiden Voyage

ISBN 13: 9780553580631

Maiden Voyage

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9780553580631: Maiden Voyage
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In 1912 the Titanic was the largest, fastest, and most lavish man-made object on earth--the elegant and invincible consummation of the Industrial Age. An international flurry of wonder and gaiety launched its ill-fated voyage from London to New York. For one boy, however, it would be a voyage of crisis and discovery.
Torn between the worlds of his estranged parents--the activism of his suffragist mother and the social frenzy of his bohemian father--Sumner aspires to both, longing desperately for manhood, poetry and heroism. On his own for the Titanic's fateful crossing, the boy finds himself drawn to two very different passengers: the fiery young feminist Ivy Earnshaw and handsome, sophisticated Pierce Andrews, aviator and cynic. In the harrowing last moments of the giant, doomed ship, the three young people find themselves joined in a devastating and intimate dance with death no reader will forget.
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Review:

In the 84 years since it sank in the north Atlantic, the Titanic has become a powerful symbol of 19th-century hubris and a generator of multiple myths. Cynthia Bass adds to the store of legends with this engaging tale of a young passenger who, in surviving the disaster in which some 1,500 of his shipmates perished, discovers something steely and enduring in himself. Bass' latest book, with the excitement of a good thriller and the depth of fine history, should find a harbor with Titanic buffs and non-buffs alike.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In a radical shift from the time and temperament of her debut, Sherman's March (1994), Bass here tackles the Titanic disaster from an unusual angle--one that alternates between being riveting and ridiculous, fresh and formulaic. Thirteen-year-old Sumner Jordan, son of a leading Boston suffragist, took his eyes from the prize as a contestant in a prestigious poetry contest in order to champion the cause of women's emancipation. He lost, but was rewarded by Mother with a trip to London to visit his expatriate father--and a voyage home on the Titanic. During a wild literary evening his father sponsors, attended by Pound and Joyce among others, Sumner takes a keen interest in Dad's actress lover, especially after she flirts with him. He discovers his sexuality that night, but soon after finds another focus for his passion: the American suffragist Ivy Earnshaw, whom he views in thrillingly defiant action at a pro- suffrage rally. Sumner's excitement at travelling alone on the Titanic is boundless when he sees that Ivy is also aboard. With the help of the sympathetic (and breathtakingly dashing) Pierce Andrews, he succeeds in overcoming his shyness enough to ask Ivy to dance, but the momentous evening has barely ended when the iceberg happens along to spoil the fun. Unable to avoid being labeled a child as women and children are loaded into lifeboats, not even the fact that Ivy and Pierce are saved with him can keep Sumner's heroic image of himself from being dashed. He returns to Boston depressed at having survived, but eventually rethinks the matter when Ivy confesses to feeling the same way. The tragic appeal of the Titanic remains undiminished, even with the recent passing of the last survivor with memories of the sinking, but using it--no matter how vividly--as mere backdrop for a tale of a sappy, genteel adolescent crush seems ill-advised. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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