Weekend Book Friends #37

Posted April 7, 2023 by elzaread in Weekend Book Friends / 27 Comments

Greetings you guys! It’s April and the first time we get to take part in Friday Link up! This year has been super busy so far, but I’ve decided to stop complaining about the fact that we hardly get to the blog at all, and just be thankful for every spare minute we have. Of course we’ll spend it with you!

How have you all been doing? Anybody else as busy as an ant gathering for winter?

It’s Easter Friday, so that means we have a long weekend and my Mommy are finally settling down with a few great books and we even set aside some time for blogging today.

It’s also April and April means that we read Titanic. No, not huge piles of books (we wish!), but literally books on the Titanic. Every year we try to read one during the first two weeks of April to commemorate the historical, but still tragic event. This year, we are reading this one:

Weekend Book Friends #37The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe
Published by Kensington Books on August 21, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 317
Format: eBook
Source: My Bookshelf
Buy on Amazon

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Marie Benedict, this riveting novel takes you inside the scandalous courtship and catastrophic honeymoon aboard the Titanic of the most famous couple of their time—John Jacob Astor and Madeleine Force. Told in rich detail, this novel of sweeping historical fiction will stay with readers long after turning the last page.

Madeleine Talmage Force is just seventeen when she attracts the attention of John Jacob “Jack” Astor. Madeleine is beautiful, intelligent, and solidly upper-class, but the Astors are in a league apart. Jack’s mother was the Mrs. Astor, American royalty and New York’s most formidable socialite. Jack is dashing and industrious—a hero of the Spanish-American war, an inventor, and a canny businessman. Despite their twenty-nine-year age difference, and the scandal of Jack’s recent divorce, Madeleine falls headlong into love—and becomes the press’s favorite target.

On their extended honeymoon in Egypt, the newlyweds finally find a measure of peace from photographers and journalists. Madeleine feels truly alive for the first time—and is happily pregnant. The couple plans to return home in the spring of 1912, aboard an opulent new ocean liner. When the ship hits an iceberg close to midnight on April 14th, there is no immediate panic. The swift, state-of-the-art RMS Titanic seems unsinkable. As Jack helps Madeleine into a lifeboat, he assures her that he’ll see her soon in New York…

Four months later, at the Astors’ Fifth Avenue mansion, a widowed Madeleine gives birth to their son. In the wake of the disaster, the press has elevated her to the status of virtuous, tragic heroine. But Madeleine’s most important decision still lies ahead: whether to accept the role assigned to her, or carve out her own remarkable path…

We are about 10% in, but so far we really are enjoying it.

Let’s see what my fellow weekend readers will think of this one. Our first stop is with  @ Reading is my Super Power for First Line Friday and to Gilion @ Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.  Every Friday you can link up and share the first sentence of your current read (or the one you plan to devour over the weekend), as well as your initial thoughts and impressions.

The book opens with a prologue and I do get the impression that the reader will be returned to this prologued letter/conversation, throughout the novel.

August 23, 1912

My Darling Jakey,

I gave you his name. He gave you his eyes and that swirl of fair hair. I suspect your chin is mine, however, and I suppose that’s as it should be. Your father towered, remarkable and alone, over everyone we knew and certainly over my heart. There can be no true living reflection of such a man left, not even you.

Madeleine Astor and her infant son. Photo from Encyclopedia Titanica

Our next stop will be to Freda’s Voice who hosts the Friday 56. Don’t show up empty handed though!

  • Grab a book (Yes, any book. But it might get you to your other Friday activities a bit quicker if you just grab the book you are currently reading)
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader
  • Find a sentence or two (your other Friday activities might determine this)
  • Post it!
  • Remember to post your link on Freda’s Voice and to visit the other guys in the linky.
  • And  last but not least, don’t forget to list the title of the book and the author as well.

We are still a bit a way from 56%, so we have to go in blindly on the Kindle.

Jack held her arm, keeping them both steady.

Both Margaret and her daughter had produced mirrors from their handbags, and they used them to reflect the narrow sun shafts falling from slits in the ceiling into beams of movable light. Everywhere they aimed the mirrors, the walls and columns came alive with color. Thabit trailed behind them, reciting the names of the illumed figures in a quiet, reverent tone, as if he spoke incantations.

Osiris, Isis, Seti, Amun-Ra.

Luckily I did some research and I know that during that part of the  book, the Astors were visiting Egypt as part of their 7 month honeymoon. Oh and by the way – the Margaret mentioned in the passage, is non other that The Unsinkable Molly Brown!

Before we go and relax with our book, let’s quickly join the Book Blogger Hop. The Book Blogger’s hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. Every week, there will be a prompt featuring a book related question. It’s hosted by Ramblings of a coffee addicted writer and I guess he hops around like a bunny due to all the caffeine. Hence his name.

Today’s question: Do you spend your lunchtime reading?

Lunchtime? What on earth is that?? And is it eatable?

No, my Mommy don’t read during lunchtime. She doesn’t have lunchtime…

What are you reading this weekend?

Remember to add your link to all the linkups and to visit your fellow bloggers!

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27 responses to “Weekend Book Friends #37

    • Hi there Katie!

      I’m from South Africa and if you guys think it’s bad in USA, try doing it here. But you have to have passion to teach and at the end of the day, it does reward.

      Thanks for the visit and I hope you had a great weekend!

      elzaread recently posted: The Sunday Post #92
  1. Paula Shreckhise

    My book this week is The Vanishing at Castle Moreau by Jaime Jo Wright
    Chapter One Daisy Francois April 1870

    The castle cast its hypnotic pull over any passerby who happened along to find it, tucked derp in the woods in a place where no one would build a castle, let alone live in one.

    • I’ve seen The vanishing at Castle Moreau around and it does seem like a great read. I hope you are enjoying it!

      Thanks for the visit and I hope you will have a great week ahead.

      elzaread recently posted: The Sunday Post #92
  2. I hope you enjoy your long weekend! The book sounds interesting, and I may have to add it to my TBR. I recently read Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar, a YA book set on the Titanic.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  3. This sounds like a good read. I’m not sure I’ve read any fiction set around the Titanic though this is one I would pick up. I love the idea of Titanic reads in April.

    • Hi Katherine!

      I love fictional accounts of the Titanic and can recommend a few that I think you might like. One to read with Will that I loved, was Kaspar – Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo.

      Women and Children First by Jill Paul was also good.

      Elza Reads

      elzaread recently posted: The Sunday Post #92
  4. Happy Friday!
    I’m currently reading “Fairest of Heart” by Karen Witemeyer. It’s so fun. 😀
    “‘Let go of that rope, you mangy mutt!’ Jeb’s cantankerous tone carried across the yard to where Penelope was taking clean sheets down from the line. ‘It ain’t a toy.'”
    I hope you have a great weekend!

  5. Yeah, I don’t remember lunch breaks when I was teaching either! No time for reading. Now I do when I can. I like reading books about the Titanic as well but the last one I read was a dud so I haven’t picked up another. I do have one I am planning to read this year though.

    Cindy Davis recently posted: First Line Friday #86-Chasing Secrets
    • Hi Anne!

      I also enjoy books about actual people. I’ve read a few really good ones in recent times.
      The Duchess (about Wallace Simpson) and The Aviator’s Wife comes to mind.

      Thanks for the visit and I hope you are well!

    • I think you will enjoy this one Debbie. I very much do.

      Oh lunchtime…. My time table just doesn’t permit it. What I need to do, is clear my mornings better!

    • So am I Catherine!

      Last year I’ve read a lovely little middle grade novel, Kaspar King of Cats by Michael Morpurgo and it was so enjoyable. I’ve also read Women and Children first and Echoes of the Titanic. All of them were good!