Title: Big Water
Author: Andrea Curtis
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
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.
First of all, let’s talk about that cover. I absolutely love it, and I would basically frame it and put it on my wall. Anyways, let’s talk about the story.
This book is extremely intense at times, with frequent mentions and depictions of death. If you’re bothered by that subject matter, I would pass on this one. With that said, I really did enjoy this book. It’s a very short book, coming in at less than 200 pages. I was able to finish it in one sitting easily. Not to mention the fact that the writing style is one of the most easy to read styles I’ve come across. This story flowed so well in my opinion. I saw a few reviewers say that it went too fast, but I disagree (sort of). Yes, things do move quickly, but I feel like that’s just the nature of the story, if that makes sense. There’s a definite sense of urgency and danger throughout the book, and I think that it really emphasizes how physically short the story is.
I don’t want to talk too much about the actual events of the book, as it’s something you need to experience for yourself. For most of the story, the focus is on the two main characters, the survivors, but don’t expect to know their entire life stories after this book. This is a story of survival more than anything, so while you do get to know the survivors, you won’t feel like you’ve know them your entire life by the end of the book.
If you’re looking for some well written, fast paced YA historical fiction, look no further. Big Water is an intense, quick read. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.