Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney, grieving the loss of her twin brother, Jonathan, to consumption, has run away from her Parkdale home. She believes her mother wishes she had been the one to die, and she plans to find work far away as a nursemaid or teacher. Christina’s cousin Peter is the first mate on the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes, so she seeks him out to secure passage to Sault Ste. Marie.
But when a violent storm suddenly rises, the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina, heeding the warnings from her cousin, somehow makes her way to the hurricane deck. A large wave tosses her overboard, but just before she loses consciousness, she is pulled to safety.
Hours later, adrift on the wide-open water of Georgian Bay, in a lifeboat full of corpses, Christina is nervous about being alone with Daniel, a brooding young man with a likely criminal past and the only other passenger left alive. But they both know that working together is the only way they will find the strength to make it to safety.
Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.
Author: Andrea Curtis
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
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I’m telling you, New Year New Me is literally me. Look at me, reading yet another Historical Fiction despite my known displeasure of them, I’m getting out of my comfort zone. And with this one… I’m kind of neutral. There were a lot of things I appreciated in the story and some things that I could’ve gone without. Oh, and heads up, the word of the day is appreciate.
This book is telling the story of the sinking of the Asia on the Great Lakes, an actual event that happened in history. I’ve never heard of this, so I was interested to read about it. Yet, chapter one I was kind of disconnected. I grew to appreciate Christina, her characteristics and what she went through, but I never connected with her. Daniel, the other survivor was also someone I couldn’t connect with, but I felt sympathy for his conflicts he was dealing with. This is inconvenient, considering this story is reliant on its characters; they’re stuck on a boat together for the majority of the book.
I was expecting an experience akin to Salt to the Sea, where I felt for the characters and the relationships. The only relationship that made me feel anything was between Christina and her cousin who was on the boat with her. I do like the portrayal of grief, the self reflection Christina goes through, the flashbacks of her brother and family.
I think my biggest issue was the romance. I get it, intense situation evoke intense emotions. But, it was a little unnecessary. I wanted 100% focus on the characters as individuals, not together. And the ending was rushed. I appreciate the openness of it, but it kind of just…ended. Despite all of my gripes, it was short and I enjoyed reading about this; I’m pretty ignorant on the sinking as I haven’t read about it before.