Luck of the Titanic

  • Type: Books
  • By: Stacey Lee
  • Age Category: Teens
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781524740986
  • Check Catalog

What was it like to be one of the eight Chinese people on the Titanic?

In this richly-imagined novel, author Stacey Lee situates 17-year-old Valora Luck – a British Chinese acrobat and erstwhile lady’s maid – on board the Titanic in search of her twin brother Jamie.  As children, Val and Jamie had always worked together, supporting themselves and their parents as wire-walking street performers.  But after their father’s death, Jamie became a sailor and Val hasn’t seen him for two years, but she is determined to reunite with him and go to America.

The story is set on board the Titanic, and recounts Val’s efforts to reconnect with her brother, who shares a third-class compartment in the bowels of the ship with his fellow Chinese sailors.  Meanwhile, Val is posing as her deceased mistress, a wealthy English widow with a suite in first-class.  Due to the sexism, xenophobia, and classism of the Edwardian era, this requires Val to disguise herself as a Chinese sailor (which in 1912 automatically meant male) while mingling with Jamie’s crew, and then switch costumes to re-enter the first-class world as a rich white woman.

An exciting survival story with sympathetic characters, family reconciliation, and a touch of romance that adds up to a fine reading experience for teens and tweens.