Saltwater and Driftwood: A Historical Novel

Saltwater and Driftwood: A Historical Novel

by Anna J Walner

Narrated by Amanda Stribling

Unabridged — 6 hours, 7 minutes

Saltwater and Driftwood: A Historical Novel

Saltwater and Driftwood: A Historical Novel

by Anna J Walner

Narrated by Amanda Stribling

Unabridged — 6 hours, 7 minutes

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The saga of The Great Storm in Galveston, Texas in 1900 comes to life once more.

"A well-drawn tale of one of America's worst natural disasters." - Publisher's Weekly

A Texas Monthly MUST READ!

The year is 1900, Galveston flourishes in the Gilded Age. It hails as the pride of Texas exports.

On the morning of September 8th, 1900, the hopes and dreams of Galvestonians will come to a tragic halt. In a time before storms were named, The Great Storm of Galveston, Texas has all but become a legend. 

Through the eyes of Clara and the Gladys family, the past comes alive with love and hope, sorrow and tragedy. A historical novel that encompasses the scope of the storm, and the people affected by it. 

A chilling re-telling of the day when mother nature would bring an island to the floor of the Gulf waters. A triumph of human spirit, and a testament to the great people who rose up amidst tragedy to rebuild against all odds.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

In this historical novel, a woman fights against social conventions to win the man she loves, but the Galveston hurricane of 1900 sets her on a new path.

The book begins with its teenage narrator discovering her grandmother Clara’s memoir, written in 1964, just before Clara faced the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. The bulk of the novel is made up of this memoir, set in 1900, with occasional interjections by the unnamed granddaughter. Clara recounts her life as a 17-year-old in a wealthy family in the island city of Galveston, Texas, communing with her sister, Lydia, and fighting her mother’s demands for her presence at high teas and galas. Although Clara’s mother aspires for both daughters to marry well, the teenager’s heart is set on Grant Hambry, a young clerk working in the shipping industry. Grant’s heart is true and he wins over Clara’s father; his proposal is accepted and everything seems to be on track. All of them are, of course, unaware they’re about to face the deadliest natural disaster in United States history: a hurricane that will wash away the city and claim several thousand lives. In the last section of the novel, Clara struggles for survival, watches loved ones drown in devastating waves, and deals with the aftermath of loss. Walner effectively paints Clara as a sympathetic figure and portrays the teenager reading her diary with a sense of realism. However, attempts at historical accuracy are uneven—for example, it would have been scandalous for a young woman of Clara’s age and class to be seen meeting a man alone without a chaperone—and the dialogue alternates between stiltedness (“Did we not receive a report from Washington D.C. yesterday?”) and colloquialism, which makes the overall narrative feel unconvincing. Some characters, such as climatologist Isaac Cline, pop up suddenly, then drop out of view without meaningfully intersecting with Clara’s story. This, along with repetitive exposition, adversely affects the overall flow of the work.

A story of a historical tragedy with well-developed characters but uneven execution.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176633931
Publisher: Silver Dawn Publishing
Publication date: 09/19/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
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