On April 15, 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life witha boundless hope in love and faith. Her new friendship with Caroline Chadwick is bonded even more as they plan Lydia’s wedding on board the “grandest ship ever built.” Then both women suffer tragic losses when the “unsinkable” Titanic goes down. Can each survive the scars the disaster left on their lives?
Decades later, Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed, successful, heroic novelist who went down with the Titanic. Will he find his identity with the past, or will he listen to Joanna Bettencourt, Caroline’s granddaughter, who says inner peace and success come only with a personal relationship with the Lord?
Will those who survived and their descendants be able to find a love more powerful than their pain?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Yvonne Lehman is an award-winning, best-selling author of 48 novels with more than 3 million books sold. Carolina, South Carolina, and Schoolhouse Brides sold over 100,000 units each. She has written historical, contemporary, romance, women's fiction, mystery and biblical fiction. Her works have been published by Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, David C. Cook, Guideposts, Barbour, Bethany House. She has been published in Germany, Norway and Holland. Ms. Lehman lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Read an Excerpt
Hearts that Survive
A Novel of the Titanic
By Yvonne Lehman
Abingdon PressCopyright © 2012 Yvonne Lehman
All rights reserved.
Friday evening, April 12, 1912
Clothed in her shame, Lydia Beaumont stood on the deck of the Titanic, waiting for John. Each evening since they departed two days ago from Southampton, she and John strolled here after dining. Other first-class passengers found their own special spots, like congregants in a church sanctuary.
Oh, the church analogy brought thoughts of condemnation she'd rather not entertain. The grandeur of the greatest ship ever built had pushed aside her personal feelings, any doubts or guilt that had so beset her in previous weeks. She'd tried to forget her fears by planning the trip, convincing her father to allow her to go, and helping her maid pack the trunks.
She thought back to the day before sailing while she was staying at the South Western Hotel. She'd made the acquaintance of several passengers, her favorite being Caroline Chadwick, in her mid-twenties. She and her husband, Sir William, had arrived from London and were awaiting the ship's maiden voyage to America.
Staring out the hotel suite window at the magnificent structure, four city blocks long and ten stories high, had accelerated her heartbeat. However, walking up the gangplank to board the ship and seeing the grand staircase took her breath away. Even Craven Dowd, the president of her father's company and accustomed to the best, commented on the luxury as they were led to their suite rooms.
John Ancell glanced her way, his deep blue eyes shining with excitement beneath raised eyebrows and lips turning into a mischievous grin. Had Craven not been entering the room between hers and John's, her beloved would likely say aloud what he only mouthed, "This is no toy ship."
Lydia saw Caroline and Sir William entering their stateroom. Caroline halted at her doorway and called, "Are you going on deck to wave goodbye?"
"Ah, we must do that," Craven answered for them as if the matter were settled.
"Yes," Lydia echoed, "I'll be along shortly."
"Just peek in when you're ready," Caroline said. "The door will be open."
Stepping from the private promenade deck to explore the sitting room, and then the bedrooms, Lydia was amazed. Her father, Cyril Beaumont, had endowed their home with the finest furnishings, but her personal knowledge and university studies in art and design made her realize she'd stepped into a world of unmatched luxury.
She entered John's and Craven's rooms. The furnishings represented various countries. "Reminds me of the Ritz in Paris," she said of Craven's bedroom. He gestured to the furnishings around the room. "Chippendale. Adams. French Empire."
She returned to her bedroom, where Marcella was hanging gowns in the wardrobe. Craven walked through the adjoining door that she must remember to keep locked. "The White Star Line has actually outdone their advertising." He glanced around. "Not only were they correct in saying it's one hundred feet longer than the Mauretania and bigger than the Olympic, but the other ships are like ... toys."
His pause was so brief one who didn't know him well wouldn't suspect it was deliberate. But she knew, then reprimanded herself for being overly sensitive. Craven's adding, "toys," could mean the word slipped out before he thought about what he was saying. However, Craven always thought before speaking.
But there was a certain amount of truth to it. Further exploration could wait. After peeking in for John, then Caroline, the two women walked ahead of Craven, John, and Sir William.
"I've been to Windsor." Caroline grinned, indicating she wasn't bragging. "But, from what little I've seen already, I feel like the Queen of England without the responsibility."
Even the men chuckled. Lydia knew John couldn't make comparisons, because he hadn't traveled extensively. But Craven and William talked of the ship's design and of its opulence with no expense spared. She felt rather like a princess as she ascended the grand staircase beneath the glass dome that allowed the noonday sun to anoint them with a golden glow. She glanced back at the staircase as they moved along the deck and to the railing.
Passengers waved and people on the dock did the same. They must be feeling sheer envy.
She jumped when a sound like a pistol shot rang out.
Happy goodbyes changed to gasps and questioning.
"Nothing to fear," a man called out. "The lines tying the New York are giving way." That sounded rather fearsome to her.
Another said the suction from the Titanic's gigantic propellers were pulling the other ship away from its berth.
The ship headed for the side of the Titanic. However, deckhands stopped the New York's drift and the Titanic steamed out of the harbor.
A man said playfully, "You don't christen a ship like the Titanic with a bottle of champagne, but with another ship." Several passengers laughed.
A woman warned, "It's an omen."
Lydia didn't live by omens. But the word made her think of signs. Robins were a sign of spring. Snow was a sign of winter. There were ... personal signs. She swallowed hard and shook away the thought.
That woman was wrong about the New York's breaking away being a sign. It hadn't rammed into the Titanic.
Maybe she was wrong about her ... signs.
For two and a half days, she'd allowed herself the privilege of denial and had enjoyed John, her new friends, and the grandeur all around her. She'd explored the ship's grand shops, the restaurants, the women's library, and the Parisian sidewalk café.
Now as she stood looking out to sea, visualizing their destination of New York, she had to face reality.
Her long fur coat covered her silk dress. Her kid-gloved hands held onto the steel railing. The bitter-cold air burned her face, and her warm breath created gray wisps, reminiscent of Craven's cigar smoke, when he wasn't making entertaining smoke circles.
Only a moment ago she'd said to John, "Finish your dessert. I don't want any tonight. I need a breath of fresh air." That uneasiness in her stomach had nothing to do with seasickness.
John and Craven slid back their chairs and stood when she pushed away from the table. She felt Craven's gaze but met John's eyes that questioned. Usually after dining, Craven joined other men in the smoking lounge. She and John would walk onto the deck, They would stand shoulder to shoulder. With his arm around her waist, he'd speak of the aesthetic beauty of the ocean and sky. She'd dream of her future life with him.
She shivered now, looking out to where the sun had sunk into the horizon, analogous of her having sunk into the depth of yielding to temptation. A mistake seemed much worse when one was ... caught. Only four weeks had passed. But she knew.
She would be an outcast if others knew. The night they'd expressed their love physically, she'd never felt so fulfilled. But with passion sated, guilt entered. She felt violated. Not by John, but by her own weakness. A decent woman should say no, keep the relationship pure until marriage.
Oh, she knew they both were at fault. But had she, more deliberately than she wanted to admit, lured him into the physical relationship because she was afraid of losing him? He wanted her father's blessing before marrying her. She doubted he would ever have it.
It was a wondrous thing to be loved, but a fearsome thing to be tainted.
For now, only she and John knew about their tainted love.
She had thought she and John could face anything together.
Her father said she was all he had after they were both devastated by her mother's death from a deadly lung disease and a stillbirth. However, Lydia had had the best of tutors and nannies. She had been accompanied to the appropriate outings by Lady Grace Frazier, a middle-aged widow. Her father and Lady Grace became close companions, although he vowed he had neither time nor inclination to marry. His heart attack last year so frightened and weakened him, he'd made it clear that although Lydia would inherit the business, he was grooming Craven to run it.
She'd surprised him by expressing a desire to learn more about the business and win the respect of the company's American executives. She suggested that John accompany them on the trip, since he could explain his designs better than Craven. Beaumont Company wanted his designs, and John wanted to be sure that he wanted to divulged those secrets to the company. The matter would be discussed and any agreements drawn up in a legal contract.
"You may have a business head on you after all," her father said at her suggestion about John. He'd meant that as praise, so she smiled and thanked him.
Although he and others often complimented her on having inherited her mother's beauty, Lydia thought her looks paled in comparison with her mother's loveliness and grace. She'd inherited her father's ambition and strong-mindedness rather than her mother's submissive attitudes, but he never acknowledged this. He did, however, occasionally admonish her to behave in a more ladylike fashion.
Her father and Craven cultivated identical goals. One was ensuring that Beaumont Railroad Company continued to be number one in the world. Two was that Lydia become Mrs. Craven Dowd. And in that order.
At one time she'd felt that marriage to Craven was her destiny. Her friends proclaimed it her good fortune. To be honest, however, rather than sitting in the plush coach of a noisy, smelly, smoke-puffing Beaumont train, she preferred flipping a switch, watching a little Ancell toy train huff and puff, its wheels turn, and its engine chug-chug along, as she laughed delightedly with John.
Hearing footsteps, Lydia took a deep breath. The cold air in her throat made her feel as though she'd swallowed too large a bite of the French ice cream served at dinner.
Before feeling his touch on her exposed wrist, she knew this wasn't John, but Craven. Like many women, she liked the aroma of his after-dinner cigars, offset by a slight fragrance of cologne. But she preferred John's light, fresh, faintly musky scent.
Turning her head, she glanced at him. "Where's John?"
Craven's deep breath didn't seem to affect his throat. Likely, it was heated, as his face had been when she told him she couldn't see him anymore. "He's sitting at the table." His eyebrows lifted. "Writing."
"That's what poets do." She glanced beyond his shoulder, hoping John would appear.
"Lydia, there's something I want to make clear."
Facing the ocean that reflected the star-spangled night, she was reminded of the spark in Craven's eyes earlier, when he'd kissed the back of her hand and said she looked lovely. John had smiled, as if he agreed.
She'd requested they not sit with other passengers this night, but at a smaller, more intimate table. She'd planned to tell John after Craven left. But then she'd experienced that queasiness. She felt it now.
"I want you to know," Craven said. "I understand why you wanted to take this trip."
He mustn't. John would be ruined and in the process they both would face a worse fate than if she'd stayed in London.CHAPTER 2
Lydia faced Craven. "Well, I'm sure you do." She hoped he thought her voice shook from the cold and not from his intimidating manner, particularly since he'd voiced his adamant disapproval of her seeing John, and had kept saying, "What if your father knew?" as if he might tell him.
"Aren't you the one who's been shouting the praises of this—" she looked out at the vast gray sea rather than into his eyes of the same color, that had a way of piercing her soul, "greatest ship ever built?"
He lifted his hand and shook his head as if she should hush. She would not. "I told you and Father I need to make this trip. After all, he is ill."
"I know." His words halted her. "You claimed it's a business matter." His tone was condescending. "But I know you wanted to be with John." He looked around, but unfortunately John wasn't approaching. "I understand that. You're young. He's different."
"Different?" Her voice squeaked. For a long time she'd been in awe of Craven. Somewhere along the line, she'd grown up. Now he was trying to make her feel young. But, compared to his thirty-five years, twenty-one was young.
She shifted her gaze to the silver hair at his temples, below the darker brown. He had a handsome face. Mischievous eyes that women said were flirtatious, in a complimentary way. He certainly fit the picture of a distinguished gentleman.
"What I mean is, he's a nice boy."
"And likeable. But he's a dreamer."
Before Lydia could retort that they were on an acclaimed ship of dreams, he added, "And he's a toy-maker."
Lydia refused to conceal her indignation. "That toy-making is what brought him to your attention, Craven. You brought it to my father and the board and gave John a place in the company so he could learn about it. Have you forgotten that?"
"Of course not. We all recognize his ingenious designs and hope we can incorporate them into real trains."
She knew Craven did not hold in high regard those who didn't come from old money, name, and prestige. She'd held some of that attitude before meeting John.
She sighed. "You're telling me what I already know."
"I guess what I'm trying to say, Lydia, is that you have every right to find out what and who you want in your life. In case this is just a phase, I want you to know I still care for you. I wish that, by the end of this voyage, you would know who is the better man."
She gasped and glared at him, open-mouthed. He held up both hands and grinned, as if she were having a childish temper tantrum. He remained calm. "I know I'm not a better man than John in many ways. But keep in mind I'm, what, ten, twelve years older than he is? Who knows what kind of man he might be in ten years? What I'm saying is, I think long term, and I'm the better man for you."
Lydia turned from him and looked down at her gloved hands grasping the railing, needing to hold onto something. "Thank you," she said softly. She'd enjoyed being escorted by Craven the last two years. They'd been noted in the society pages, the heiress and the president of the Beaumont Railroad Company. He'd been married and divorced and had had many women friends before her. But she could not condemn or judge, considering ...
And she knew he cared for her. But he'd never said "love" the way John had.
"You will think about what I said?"
Alienating a powerful man like Craven wouldn't be wise. She was the heiress, but he ran the business. She smiled at him. "I was just doing that."
He gave a quick nod, lifted his regal chin, straightened his shoulders, turned, and strolled off in his confident way. Her father thought Craven the better man too. But the two of them judged a person more by his financial holdings than by his heart.
She'd never known a dreamer before, nor a man who made her dream about just being near him. John had done well to come from so-called nothing to designing a popular line of toy trains. But she didn't care if he hadn't a penny to his name.
Looking around, she nodded and spoke to those who strolled by. But where was John? Had he lost some of his eagerness to be with her?
As much as she dreaded it, she must tell John about the lie, and the truth.
Would he still love her?
Instantly everything changed. She heard his steps, sensed his presence, breathed in his essence. Felt his warmth when his fingertips touched her cold cheek.
Before she could find the words, he spoke in that delightfully excited, energetic way of his. Probably the way a child would react upon playing with the train John had designed. John was delighted with her.
She'd loved it when she and John, along with her friends Elsie and Edward, had dressed like commoners and acted young and free. But being on this ship was life too. Although she had fallen in love with John when he wasn't dressed in a formal suit and white tie, her heart beat faster at the picture of male perfection. He was tall, dark-haired, lean, and quite elegant. She, in her silk and fur, felt they went right well together.
"I'm sorry I took so long," he said. "I got caught up in writing a poem to you. May I read the beginning to see if you like it?"
She nodded but dared not look into his deep blue eyes that made her feel as if the rest of the world had receded and only the two of them mattered.
Excerpted from Hearts that Survive by Yvonne Lehman. Copyright © 2012 Yvonne Lehman. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Awesome. Worth the money!
Long and drawn out..... The first 100 pages or so of this book were very good and I thought I was really going to enjoy the book, however the last 226 pages were so drawn out...not sure what happened....I felt the author rushed through the first 100 pages and then decided she needed to write more and didn't know how to write it. Half the time I had no idea what decade we were in and I was so lost...I hate to buy a book and not finish it however this book really had me skimming the pages just to get it finished. I enjoy reading books of the Titanic but this was just to long and drawn out.
Love anything around Titanic. Bought the book as it was the book of the day. Was curious to see where the book would take me after the sinking, since many movies &books are based on the ship. Wonderful story. Very tasteful on the religion aspect, not overly done. I felt very connected with the woman. Sad to think of the reality of going through what they saw & went through during the sinking & how thet were able to start life over. Wonderful writing, did not drag on & flowed very well. Worthy book.
Amazing book! I would recommend to anybody that has ever been in love, lost somebody they loved, or lost any relationship with another person that you truly miss. This story will give you the courage to move forward and soul search your way through designing the life you want to live!
This book was a great read. I really didn't want to put it down. I fell in love with the characters and I really hated when it ended. It's a very touching story about love found, love lost and doing what must be done for everyone's best interest. It's about friendships begun on board the Titanic which survived the test of time and different circumstances. This is such a touching story line and I loved how a number of the characters shared their faith and certainly made an impact on others around them. Hearts that Survive turned out to be so much better than I expected and I will definitively read other books by this author. There were a few places where the story line was a bit weak but all in all.. I could not put it down and found myself reading through the night to see where it all ends.
Follow the lives of Titanic survivors. Several twists and generations later 2 Ladies have their heirs get together.
Loved it. Would read more of this author.
I thought this was a great love story that follows the characters for years after the Titanic sinks! It did have moments that were slow, and at times could be hard to remember how the characters were related, but it was worth sticking it out to the end, at least for me!
The beginnning of the story was pretty good then began to drag in the middle. I normally enoy good historical novels....this was not one of them.
We follow the youthful enthusiasm of Lydia, so in love with her John, as the Titanic sales towards history. A hidden pregnancy, The first ,and last Titanic wedding, and how fate and choices will effect all those who sailed on her maiden voyage. Caroline is not as young, married, childless and comfortable in her niche in life. She yearns for something more, some higher purpose, someone who really needs her. Each has a life shattering experience when the Titanic sinks. Each will make choices that will impact their lives in ways they could never imagine. Each find faith, and that happiness is a choice they each want to make. Life is not easy. Life is not without pain. Life with the Lord includes pain, and challenge, and joy. You will find yourself engrossed in the lives and choices of Lydia and Caroline as they remain fast friends throughout their lives.
Great book. Wished the ending wasn't so rushed. Would love a sequel.
This book had such a promising start; the story line and characters were well defined and interesting. But about 2/3 of the way through the book, I had the feeling that the author lost interest. It seemed like it became more of a junior high book report..... this happened, then this happened, and then this happened. In fact, as new generations of characters appeared there was very little character development. I found myself having trouble understanding who everyone was, how they were related, and why they were doing certain things. I finished the book, hoping that it would go back to its earlier details and descriptions, but was disappointed. Too bad.
I enjoyed following the characters after the sinking of the Titanic and watching as their children grew up. It was a different spin on things. As you read the first few chapters, you may think that it is the same plot as the movie, but it is actually quite different. Keep reading, you will enjoy it.
This was a beautiful story. It was a great learning experience, as well. Caroline and Bess were my favorite characters in this wonderfully written story. I thoroughly enjoyed and have recommended to my daughter and friends.
HEARTS THAT SURVIVE: A NOVEL OF THE TITANIC begins Friday April 12, 1912 out on the chilly North Atlantic. Several weeks pregnant Lydia Beaumont, a 21-year old Englishwoman, stands on deck waiting for her lover, train designer John Ancell to come on deck. When he learns that Lydia is carrying his child, John sets in motion a Sunday evening shipboard marriage by the Captain. Also a poet, John is drowned below decks, having completed a sonnet to his wife and unborn child and sealed it in an empty champagne bottle. *** Decades later that bottle is found and makes it way to Lydia's new husband Craven Dowd (whom Lydia hastily marries after both survive the catastrophe). For years Dowd had assumed or at least accepted that Lydia's son Beau was his, not John's. Craven is President of a great U.S. railroad company created and owned by Lydia's father. Lydia is sole heiress. *** There are, of course, real life survivors of the real sinking of the RMS Titanic. Notable is Mrs Molly Brown, "the unsinkable." She played an active role in the shipboard marriage of socially prominent Lydia and John Ancell but is never heard of again in the novel after her rescue. Her inexplicable public silence is decidedly crucial to ambitious Craven Dowd's immediate cover up of the wedding -- for business reasons (he does not want the remaining Ancell family to claim a portion of the Beaumont railroad empire). *** Lydia's good English friend, wealthy Caroline Chadwick, survived the Titanic, with her maid Bess. Husband Sir William Chadwick, like so many men, was not permitted to find his way into the often underloaded rowboats. Much of this Christian Romance novel tells what happens over the next fifty years to Lydia Beaumont, Caroline Chadwick and Bess, their new loves, including Caroline's romance with Halifax lawyer Armand Bettencourt. Tragically widowed Bettencourt is persuaded by Craven Dowd to help with legal affairs newly widowed Caroline Chadwick. *** In her lifeboat in April 1915 Caroline had tended the shortly to be orphaned noble children Henry and Phoebe Stanton-Jones whose widowed father and grandmother, Titanic passengers would go down with the ship. Their father was a distinguished novelist. *** There is room in HEARTS THAT SURVIVE to wait patiently for the later lives of Phoebe and Henry, both raised by American relatives in Caifornia. Henry turned out badly but by novel's end his son found love with the granddaughter of another Titanic survivor. *** HEARTS THAT SURVIVE is complex, even sprawling. Its strongest passages describe the panic, courage and male cowardice (including Craven Dowd's) in the hours after the unsinkable Titanic scraped along an iceberg. The narrative's weaknesses include a general failure to indicate clearly the nationality of some of the key characters, compounded by the fact that Britons, Nova Scotians and American all sound alike. This is, nonetheless, a notably better than average effort and is a good sign that within another novel or two North Carolina novelist Yvonne Lehman may produce a long work of fiction even better. *** DISCLAIMER: Yvonne Lehman and I live in the same small town of Black Mountain, North Carolina, near Asheville. We are friends, although, in general, I am not a fan of Romance fiction, Christian or otherwise. -OOO-
Lydia Beaumont is about to set out on an adventure of a lifetime that will change her future forever. Being one of the first class passengers embarking on the maiden voyage of the Titanic along with her friend Caroline Chadwick she is faced with a dilemma of the heart. Also along for the voyage are Craven Dowd, president of Beaumont Railroad Company and John Ancell, a toy train maker, whose latest designs are the main interest to the Beaumont Railroad Company. The problem, both men have confessed their undying love and proposed marriage to Lydia.Craven is 35 to her 21 years of age, is wise, wealthy, and very handsome; while John has a creative flair for not only designing trains but for poetry as well. It's this innocent heart that appears to have captured Lydia's heart. When Craven learns of her desire to marry John, he vows that her decision is childish and impulsive. In time, she will learn that and see in the long run a better fit would be to marry him instead. Her father will never accept the fact that Lydia would chose to marry John, as he would believe she deserves much better and she is lowering her standards.Nevertheless, Lydia and John pursue their new found love and begin planning a wedding aboard the grandest ship in the world. Lydia wishes to marry on the grand staircase if only the captain would be willing. Not that she's in too much of a hurry, but when she learns that an unexpected night of passion between her and John earlier in their relationship, has resulted in her being with a child. Now if she can only find a way to tell John and hope that he will still want to marry her or will that fateful night rob them of the only love that they will ever know before it's too late?In the latest novel by Yvonne Lehman, Heart That Survive, brings the readers on board the Titanic once more for a new romance story. This one of a railroad heiress and a toy train maker whose love seems to go behind the barriers of what is acceptable in the rich and famous. Bring back those favorite characters alongside this love story are the John Jacob Astor and Molly Brown, along with the new villian Craven Dowd. Much like the Titanic movie, this one involves a love story between two ill-fated people whose future rests in the hands of God on the night she will sink. Will true love prevail or will this be another love story lost at sea?I received this novel compliments of Pump Up Your Books for my honest review and LOVED it! Being a huge Titanic fan, this one won me over initially with the setting taking place aboard the Titanic. Always curious to see where writers will go with a new fictional take on the fated ship, I was so caught up between the love stories of Lydia and John but also that of Caroline and her husband William. This one goes beyond the night of the sinking and shows how the lives of those that survived that night were forever changed. The reader is taken on a journey to see how each of them dealt with the losses incurred that night and how they manage to try to put their lives back on track. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and a MUST READ for any Titanic fan or those that love a hopeful romance!
I have always been fascinated with the Titanic and with the 100th anniversary of the sinking coming up soon I have been reading my share of books and articles regarding this tragic story. Hearts that Survive is not only a story of the Titanic, but a fictional account of the survivors. The first half of the book tells the story of Lydia Beaumont and her plans to marry the love of her life, the secret that she is keeping from everyone except the groom, the wedding, and the sinking of the great ship and it's aftermath. The second half of the story deals with the survivors, what the tragedy has done to the families, friends and their interactions over the years following. I do not want to say any more for fear of giving away the story but I felt that this novel had a bit of everything, love and happiness, tragedy and sorrow, faith and forgiveness. I find that when a book can make me smile and cry then it is an awesome book, well researched and well written, I give it five stars...If you read any novels about the Titanic at all, this one is a must.
Review originally published on my blog: AWordsWorth.blogspot.comBook provided by publisher for review.Lydia Beaumont had it all: wealth, status, the company of a handsome and successful gentleman, the not-so-secret-love of an up-and-coming and kind young man, and a suite on the greatest of all ships' maiden voyage. With both gentlemen. And a secret that would change her life forever. This secret prompts Lydia and John Ancell - the young visionary behind Ancell (Toy) Trains - to plan a quick wedding aboard the Titanic. It's a perfect plan: a wealthy railroad heiress, wearing a brand new wedding dress from a renowned fashion designer, on the maiden voyage of the Ship of Dreams. And it is a perfect, beautiful wedding - the night of April 14th. But things take a shocking turn in the night hours following the reception, and history of a very different kind is made. Lydia escapes, as does her new friend Catherine, and Craven Dowd - the manager of her father's business, and her 'second suitor.' John stays on the Titanic.What follows is a story that is poignant and very human. As they struggle to orient themselves in their new reality, Lydia and her friends must come to terms with who they are and what life means. And love - the thread that connects all the mismatched pieces of life is love. Always love. Even in the face of such wrenching tragedy, life goes on. Lydia marries Craven and finds herself in a fulfilling and, eventually, happy life. Catherine and her maid Bess travel north, to Nova Scotia, finding a place to call home, hearts to love, and the peace that passes all understanding. The survivors keep living, and have children who have children. And all the stories, from the ship and beyond, slowly come circling back together in a way that creates a beautiful story - and also reflects the intricate weave of life. When all the secrets are revealed at last, and lives are rattled on their foundations, the Love present in those foundations is strong enough to let life continue.I don't want to give out too many details, while some of the secrets are revealed right away, others are a little more layered. Maybe less secrets and more tiny details that click into place. Hearts that Survive is an excellent exercise in creating a story that involves many separate stories gathered in one neat arc. With so many separate stories, there are a lot of perspective/point of view changes -- though most of them occur at chapter breaks, and it's normally easy to pick up and bounce between to the two main stories of Lydia and Catherine.
Synopsis: On April 15, 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life with a boundless hope in love and faith. Her new friendship with Caroline Chadwick is bonded even more as they plan Lydia¿s wedding on board the ¿grandest ship ever built.¿ Then both women suffer tragic losses when the ¿unsinkable¿ Titanic goes down. Can each survive the scars the disaster left on their lives?Decades later, Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed, successful, heroic novelist who went down with the Titanic. Will he find his identity with the past, or will he listen to Joanna Bettencourt, Caroline¿s granddaughter, who says inner peace and success come only with a personal relationship with the Lord?Will those who survived and their descendants be able to find a love more powerful than their pain?Have I told you all lately that I really love an old fashioned "saga"? NO? Well I do! Especially when the saga is as well done as Yvonne Lehman's Hearts that Survive. The story starts with the first and last wedding on the ill-fated Titanic. The story spans the lived of Lydia and Caroline along with their friends and family over the years. It ends a lifetime later, as we learn that love never ends and friendships survive.Hearts that Survive is a fast paced, well written and plotted story. The characters were believable and you were given the information that you wanted so you would care about these people. While I wouldn't categorize this as a "Christian" story, Christian beliefs are there and you read about the love that binds from a Christian view point. It's refreshing to read about love, family and friendship among people who live their faith in their daily lives and loves. Yvonne Lehman describes the sinking of the Titanic beautifully and respectfully. She skillfully weaves the threads of the mass confusion and panic of the people struggling to accept that the ship is going to sink and they could die. The reader feels the horrors. Then just as deftly, Lehman moves the story along, following the survivors as they make their way in their new world.Hearts that Survive is the third book based on the Titanic that I've had the pleasure to read, and I think, all in all, it's my favorite. Crisp, clearly told and full of people who are a pleasure to read about. 5 out of 5 stars!