By Charles Pellegrino
Wiley, $27.95, 333 pages
Pellegrino’s writing has captured so much information in a readable and compassionate way. He offers information from deep-sea explorations of more than twenty-five years complemented by firsthand accounts of the tragedy from Titanic survivors. Readers get a deeper sense of being there when survivors describe conditions before, during, and after hitting the iceberg.
“It was only a simple, nameless, and timeless plaque, and on it these words appeared: ‘The 1500 souls lost here still speak, reminding us always that the unthinkable can happen, but for our vigilance, humility, and compassion.’”
Sixteen pages of color photographs of the sunken Titanic add to a better understanding of the vessel before the ship’s infrastructure collapses in the next few years.
What I found particularly chilling were the events recounted during the September 2001 research expedition that synchronized so closely to another tragedy of lost innocent lives. The caption under one of the photographs describes it: “At 7:30 a.m. New York time, on September 11, 2001… After the first sample broke into the shape of a cross and a cross-shaped davit bit came up with a section of rope draped over its arms, a Russian scientist eerily lamented that the objects were a bad omen and that a third cross would soon be seen.”
The combination of research from expeditions, survivor stories, and current tragedy made for a more powerful account of the Titanic than I have ever read before.
Reviewed by Angie Mangino