Titanic: The Long Night

Titanic: The Long Night

by Diane Hoh


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This action-packed big summer read focuses on the lives of several teenage passengers aboard the ill-fated "Titanic".

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780590331234
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/1998
Pages: 373
Product dimensions: 4.14(w) x 6.73(h) x 1.03(d)
Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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The Long Night

By Diane Hoh


Copyright © 1998 Diane Hoh
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-4818-8


Wednesday, April 10, 1912

During one last argument, Elizabeth Farr tried desperately to convince her parents to allow her to stay on in London with her cousins, instead of returning to New York. It was an argument she lost as always, and the Farr family left Waterloo Station at nine forty-five A.M. on the White Star Line boat train for Southampton. During the seventy-nine-mile journey through English villages with names like Surbiton, Woking, and Basingstoke, Elizabeth remained sullenly silent. She was still silent when they arrived at dockside shortly before eleven-thirty in the morning.

But the sullen pout left her face when she saw the great ship Titanic anchored in the harbor. There were other, smaller ships there, too. But the one whose maiden voyage would carry her and her parents back to New York towered over all of them. The word that sprang first into Elizabeth's mind was "majestic." It was enormous, its four huge funnels marching along the boat deck like giant soldiers on guard. It was the most beautiful ship she had ever seen, and she had seen several. This had not been her first trip abroad.

"Eleven stories high," her father commented, seeing the look on Elizabeth's face. "If you stood it on end, it would rival the tallest buildings in the world. It's something, isn't it?"

It was indeed something. But Elizabeth was still stinging from the morning's argument. "If you stood it on end," she countered crisply, "it would sink."

For the rest of her life, whenever she remembered that remark, she would flush with anguish.

Glancing around, Elizabeth saw with satisfaction that she was not the only first-class passenger who looked excited. Others, as unaccustomed to being impressed as she was, were nevertheless staring and exclaiming, some over the sheer size of the oceangoing vessel, others over its shining beauty.

The first-class passengers walked along the gently sloping gangway to the main entrance on B deck, amidships. A man Elizabeth's father addressed as "Chief Steward Latimer" and a purser's clerk were there to greet them and direct or escort them to their cabins on C deck.

They passed through the entrance and walked quickly down the blue-carpeted corridors.

Elizabeth Langston Farr was used to luxury. The only child of a wealthy New York banker and his equally wealthy wife, she had never known anything else. But even she was not prepared for the impressive, lavish accommodations on board the new ship Titanic.

Only her residual anger kept her from exclaiming with delight when confronted by the elegant foyer at the foot of the wide, curved staircase on B deck. It kept her from making any comment when she saw the large, four-poster bed in her cabin, the patterned wall-covering on the upper walls, and the rich, dark paneling on the lower walls. She pretended not to be impressed by the dainty, antique desk well supplied with fine linen stationery bearing the ship's letterhead, or the heavy, ornate, raised molding around the doors. Angry at being treated like a child, she had made up her mind not to let one pleasant comment about this trip escape her lips. But that was more difficult than she had expected, given the beauty and luxury of the ship.

She had her own bathroom, fully equipped with thick, white towels, tiny bars of wrapped soap, and beautiful antique light fixtures. She could easily be in one of the finest hotels in Paris or London.

But she was determined not to let her pleasure show. "It's just a ship," she said when she moved through the doorway into her parents' room. There was disdain in her voice. "Not a hotel. Why waste all of this on people who are probably going to be seasick, anyway?" She was referring to her mother who, although the ship was still firmly moored, was already paler than usual. "I think it's ostentatious."

"No one's going to be seasick," her father said, removing his hat. His wife was sitting on a maroon velvet chaise lounge situated at the foot of the canopied bed. "And," he added drily, "considering what I paid for these accommodations, I would hardly expect less than 'all of this.'"

"It's such bad form to discuss money, Martin," his wife protested, lying back against the chaise. But then she lifted her head to glance around. Their cabin was larger than Elizabeth's. The canopied bed was further sheltered by velvet draperies hanging at all four corners, the smooth, thick bedspread a rich, embossed fabric. A finely cut crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling, the carved walnut paneling shone against the light, a brass firebox against one wall was polished to a brilliant golden shine. A delicate glass vase filled with pastel-colored fresh flowers sat on a table in the center of the room. "I must say, you can't fault the taste. These are exquisite furnishings. As impressive as any I've seen in the better hotels."

Elizabeth pulled free a pin securing the camel-hair wool hat that matched her traveling suit. She tossed the hated hat on a chair and removed the pins that held her long, pale hair in place, letting it tumble across her shoulders. "You mean the best hotels, Mother. When were you ever in anything less?"

"Elizabeth," her father warned, "your mother isn't feeling well. I'm sure she would appreciate a change in your tone of voice."

"Well, she can't be seasick yet," Elizabeth replied childishly, turning to go back into her own cabin. "We're still anchored." And without waiting for a reprimand, she left them, closing the door after her. She didn't slam it, though she wanted to, but the resounding click as the door shut was almost as satisfying.

Still in her suit, she flopped down on the bed on her stomach, resting her head on a soft, fat bed pillow. How could they expect her to be in good spirits during this trip, when they knew as well as she did what was awaiting her in New York? That stupid debut! An endless round of parties and dinners, in the company of shallow girls and arrogant, impeccably dressed young men who would scrutinize each of the debutantes as if they were examining a new gold wristwatch. Some of the young women would be promptly dismissed as being too plain, others because their parents weren't important enough. Her mother would see to it that Elizabeth wore a different dress and hairdo every night. She would have to endure banal conversation, bland food, and boring company. She had no interest in any of it. But her mother was adamant, and her father, usually so supportive, had so far refused to take a stand on Elizabeth's behalf.

The debut was bad enough. What was worse was, sometime shortly after the "season" ended, she was expected to marry Alan Reed, a wealthy banker ten years her senior. Alan was a decent sort, even if his hairline was receding and his waistcoats getting a bit tight around the middle. Though he was just twenty-seven years old, he seemed much older. He didn't like to dance, he thought traveling was a waste of money, and in spite of having gone to the best private schools, his conversation was limited to two topics: dogs and banking. During the long hours she had spent with Alan, he had mentioned an endless amount of times that the bank his father owned was growing by leaps and bounds. He had also said, without much conviction, that he was glad he had studied banking as his father wanted him to rather than pursuing a career in veterinary medicine as he'd once thought he wanted.

Elizabeth was sure that was a lie. There was no enthusiasm in his voice when he discussed banking, none at all.

Alan was not a horrid person, but he was missing a spine.

"If you make me marry him," she had told her parents, "I'll kill myself!" Then, "On second thought, I won't have to. I'll die of boredom within six months."

"Alan will take good care of you," her mother had argued.

"I can take care of myself."

"Nonsense! You've never taken care of yourself."

Which, Elizabeth had to admit reluctantly, if only to herself, was true enough. But she could learn, couldn't she? She wanted to stand on her own two feet. Not that she knew any other girls her age who did. Most of her friends would be engaged halfway through the social season, and would marry in June. "Suitable" matches, of course. Their parents always had a heavy hand in making sure all the money they spent on gowns and dinners and parties bore fruit. Pity the poor girl who came to the end of the season without a beau in tow. The only avenue left at that point was a prompt dispatch to Europe, where she might get lucky and capture a member of royalty, no matter how undistinguished the title.

The only independent woman Elizabeth knew was her great-aunt Bess, for whom she had been named. Bess had never married, and was in her early fifties now. She lived alone in an enormous house in Westchester that smelled of cats and lily of the valley, a sickening combination. She treated all six of her huge, hostile cats as if they were her children, but had no patience at all with real children. Elizabeth had been frightened of her for years. Bess Langston was not a very good example of the "independent woman" Elizabeth envisioned herself becoming someday. There had to be a more pleasant way of living on one's own. All Elizabeth wanted was the chance to find it.

How was she ever going to do that, with her parents orchestrating her life?

She was planning on using this time on board the Titanic to change their minds, to beg them to let her attend Vassar College in September to study journalism, instead of marrying Alan. It wasn't as if she were asking to go back to Europe. Poughkeepsie, New York, wasn't that far from home. Monica Beaumont, a girl one year ahead of Elizabeth at Miss Chatsworth's School in Manhattan, was a student at Vassar, and she often came home by herself on the train on weekends. Monica was studying biology, and said that she loved college.

I would, too, Elizabeth thought now, hearing her mother calling her from the next room. I know I would love it. They have to let me go. They just have to.

But they had refused to let her stay in London, and she'd had no choice in that matter. She had no money of her own. Not until she was twenty-one. If she made them too angry, they would disown her. It wasn't the money itself she cared about, but the freedom it would provide. So she had to be careful. If she were penniless, she could never go to college.

They had to change their minds about the debut and the marriage, and let her go to school. She would spend every waking moment on this floating hotel working toward that end. No making friends, no playing shuffleboard, no swimming, even though she loved swimming and had been amazed to discover that the Titanic actually had a swimming pool. She would have positively no fun at all until she persuaded them to let her make her own choices.

She left the bed then, went to the dressing table, sat on the plush, green velvet bench and peered into the mirror. She knew without being told that she would be one of the prettier debutantes. This was not conceit, it was simple fact. It had nothing to do with her, since she'd inherited her fair skin, deep blue eyes, and pale hair from her mother, who was still pretty and would have been a great beauty had she had more of what Elizabeth thought of as "sparkle." Her mother did not sparkle. It was Elizabeth's firm opinion that her mother's apparent lack of personality was the direct result of her husband's strong, almost overwhelming presence. He was the competent one, the popular one, the accomplished one of the pair. If there had ever been a shining light in Nola Langston's eyes, it had been overshadowed long ago by the brilliance of Martin Farr's light.

Elizabeth was determined not to make the same mistake. If she ever married at all (and she wasn't sure that she would), she hoped to find a mate who would see her as a partner, rather than as someone subservient to his needs and wishes.

She had expressed that idea aloud to her mother, only once.

"Don't be ridiculous," her mother had responded. "If women were meant to express their opinions, we'd be allowed to vote."

"As we should be!" Elizabeth had replied hotly.

Now, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then she carefully, studiously, rearranged her hair in a proper upsweep, pinning it carefully in place, got up from the dressing table, and taking one last, satisfied look around at the roomy, tastefully decorated cabin, left to explore the ship. Without a hat.

At the same time that Elizabeth and her family were leaving London's Waterloo Station for Southampton that morning, a tall, very thin young man in a worn tweed jacket and cap, his arms loaded down with a large, leather portfolio and a trio of large boxes tied with string, left Paris on the Train Transatlantique for Cherbourg, France, a six-hour trip. But when the train arrived at Gare Maritime in Cherbourg, there was no sign of the great ship Titanic that Max Whittaker had read so much about. Impatient under the very best of circumstances, he glowered from beneath thick, dark eyebrows as the announcement came that embarkation on the tenders, originally scheduled to leave at four-thirty, would be delayed at least an hour. Something about the new ship having some trouble in Southampton.

"Perfect!" Max muttered under his breath. How good could this highly touted ship be if it couldn't even make it out of Southampton without problems? It hadn't been his idea to procure passage on a maiden voyage. The problem with maiden voyages was, if there were any manufacturing mistakes to be worked out, they hadn't been discovered yet. He would have preferred passage on a more sea-tested ship. But he was totally, completely broke after his year of studying art in Paris. He had had to swallow his pride and contact his grandmother for passage home. That seemed preferable to contacting his parents, who were still angry with him. The Titanic was his grandmother's choice. Also the first-class accommodations, which Max wouldn't have selected for himself. Too many snobs, most of whom knew very little about art. All a painting had to be was expensive, and they'd gladly hang it on their walls. His parents included.

He wasn't the only one upset about the delay. Others complained aloud. Some people got up and, paying someone to watch their baggage, strolled off to explore. Others shrugged and headed for the nearby casino. A young couple set off along the Grand Jetée, keeping their eyes on the ocean for some sign of the great liner.

Sighing with irritation, Max dropped one of the larger boxes onto the ground and sat down on top of it, stretching his long legs out in front of him. "I should have stayed in Paris," he told a small boy playing with a few shiny marbles. The boy frowned up at him, clearly not understanding English. Max repeated his statement, this time in French, and the boy smiled and nodded. "Oui, oui, Paris," he cried. Then he went back to his marbles.

Max sat, staring glumly out at the sea, willing the ship to appear. His legs were already beginning to cramp.

At about that time, in County Cork, Ireland, a young girl and two male companions were cheerfully making their way south by a variety of means. Katie Hanrahan had never been so excited. She was not only going to America to seek her fortune, an adventure in itself, but she was making the trip on a great new ship, the Titanic. Everyone in Ballyford had talked about the wondrous new vessel. And all seemed to want to take a trip on it, though few could afford even a third-class passage. Fortunately for Katie, her da had done well this year, thanks be to the dairy cows and the milk and cheese they provided. And although her ma and da said they hated to see her go, they agreed that America was the place for Katie. So, on her sixteenth birthday on the first day of March, her da had surprised her with a steerage ticket on the maiden voyage of the majestic new ship, the Titanic.

Katie had never been on a ship in her life. "But Da," she had cried to her father when she opened the ticket envelope, "what if the ship should sink? I cannot swim a stroke!"

Her father had laughed and answered jovially, "Ah, Katie-girl, have you not heard? The miracle ship Titanic cannot sink!"

She had found that reassuring. Her da was always right.

But it was truly Brian Kelleher she must thank for this journey. She wouldn't have been allowed to go if Brian, nearly a grown man at twenty, hadn't agreed to go along and seek his fortune as well. According to Katie's da, who had worked alongside Brian on the farm for two years now, Brian was "a strong, steady bloke, and that's the truth of it."


Excerpted from Titanic by Diane Hoh. Copyright © 1998 Diane Hoh. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
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.

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Titanic 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Hannah_Abbott More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was in eight grade in my classroom. I've been looking for it for over four years! The book was very well written, I loved the romance in it, and I enjoyed the story. I just bought a used copy, but I'm just happy to have it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutley love this book! I am studying the Titanic for many years now and this is the greatest book I have read! I highly recomend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG!!! this is probably read many books in my life, but this is probably the best book i have ever read!!!!! it made me cry, laugh, want to be in love, oh yes and this is almost lke the movie but slightly different. love love love. more love. READ THIS BOOK NOW OR I WILL EAT YOUR DOUGHNUT!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love the book. i am studying titanic and the book gies a lot of info!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I have ever read. I love historical fiction books and this was an exceptionally well written one. There was just enough romance and action in the book to hold my attention, without being too out there and unbelievable. I have read this book at least three times and plan on reading it several more. I would recomend this book to anyone who loves to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I almost cried reading, which I rarely do. It was extremely well-written, and, although somewhat redundent, was captivating.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. I read it in 1 day. I became so attached to each of the characters. I cried too. Great writing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. I love adventure combined with romance, and this is exactly what this book has. If you haven't already read this book, I highly recommend it to anyone.'Titanic' is also my favorite movie, and this book has a lot of the same qualities that it has. A forbidden love, separated by the great tragedy of the Titanic. I like how this book combines the stories of two different young women. A definite must-read. So what are you wating for??? Go out and buy Titanic: The Long Night right now! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love books with excitement and a just a touch of Romance!! It was a great book I want to read the sequel
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first came across this book when I was in the sixth grade, right after Titanic, the movie came out. So of course, I went and found everything I could on the subject and stumbled upon this treasure. I read it in one sitting, I remember, and now, seven years later, I was reminded of this book after my roommate and I decided to have a crying session and watch Titanic for the first time in years. This book is one that will stay with you, always. The sequel is just as good, Remembering the Titanic, and I thoroughly recommend that one as well. This one is definitely for all of the hopeless romantics out there, and it's a good book for historical information on the tragedy as well. Happy reading, everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book. It made me cry a lot. Its romantic and I just recently found out there is a sequel and really want to read it. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best books i've read and i really loved it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so good. At first when I read it I was thinking that it was the same thing as the movie Titanic (a rich girl falls in love with an artist who earns not that much money), but once I got farther into the book i realized that the details were more descriptive and the end is really different. Also, there is another side of the story about a third-class girl who is trying to find who she really is. I really liked this book, and I think everyone should read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh I just loved this book! It really inspired me to begen to write a book about the titanic my self. I so hope you all lke this boook i LOVED it!! if you have any info aboutthe titanic email or im me on aol shanny4488@aol.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
Titanic is a wonderful book. At the beging I did'nt really like it, but towards the middle It got really good. I would recommend this book to anyone, I also give it 5 Star Score.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're interested in a good love story, read this! I couldn't put it down!It will surely bring tears to your eyes when you read about the unfortunate people who went down with the ship. Diane Hoh described everything so well. I won't tell anything about who falls in love, you'll have to read the book to find that out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot. If you're in the mood for a sappy, love story, and an easy read, definitely pick this book up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok... I read this in 4th grade (6th now) and i loved it!! i have been lookin for it for 2yrs now (forgot the name) and i finnally found it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book Elizabeth Farr despretley wants to stay behind in london to go to Vassar College she lost the battle to stay there but she won't give up she will continue to fight ethier not to marry alan or have the debate or just to go back to london after she got off the titanic and go to Vassar. She would be happy with all of them but most of all not to marry Alan. on board she meets the man she really loves since she was being forced to marry Alan because one day the milk man said hi Elizabith as they were geting in the car to go somewhere and it worierd her mom who could turn a mole hill into a mountain. there is also Kathleen who had been wanting to go to America to try and get her feet off the ground with her dancing carrer. She is going to America with Brian and Patrick Kelleher and she finds out on the way there that this whole time that she only thoght of them as brothers she has really liked Patrick Kelleher also known as Paddy the ladys man back on Ireland this book was really good and I recammend it to everyone kids and adults alike this book is wonderful and if you don't read it you don't know what your missing I could not wait to see what happend next this book is not like the movie this book has alot more fact than the movie ever did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!! There was hardly a dull moment. The book consists of bravery, faith, and loyalty. This book consists, mostly, of loyalty, I believe. There were a lot of loyal passengers that went down with the ship trying to help stubborn people who wouln't hear of leaving their husbands. This book was a great one reliving the true disaster of the great ocean liner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was by far one of the best books I have ever read, and believe me, I've read A LOT! Anyway, in this book there is romance, suspense, and history, and I love reading books that have that! In this book, Elizabeth Farr is using all her power to try to persuade her parents to let her go to Vassar and break her engagement to a suitable man she does not love. When she meets Max Whittaker, she discovers a man she does love; and her mother is outraged because she is already engaged, though against her own will. Meanwhile, Katie Hanrahan, traveling with 20-year old Brian Kelleher and his younger brother, Paddy (16), dreams of life singing on the New York stage. She expects people will flock from all over Brooklyn, where she will be staying, to hear her sing. What she doesn't expect, one night on the voyage, is to feel attracted to Paddy. She doesn't belive it, and is dismayed by the feeling of light-headed-ness whenever she is near Paddy. He had a reputation back in Ireland as a 'ladie's man', going from girl to girl carelessly. But, she sees that he has a nicer, much more caring side she has never seen before. Soon, they both can't deny their feelings for each other, though they are almost complete opposites. This book is EXTREMELY good, and you won't be able to put it down! I LOVED it! That's why I give it 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent; I couldn't/wouldn't put it down!!! It told the stories for two completely different girls and how their lives intersect! This book is by far the best book I've read about the titanic! I can't wait to read the sequel!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think you should definatly read this book. It's filled with action, drama, and a love story. It tells of a girl named Elizabeth Farr,first class passenger, and how she struggles to make her own dicisions in life instead of her parents making them for her, and how she falls in love with one of the other first class passengers. It also tells of a girl named Katie, 3rd class passenger, and how she plans to make her way in America. She also falls in love with the unexpected. This brought tears to my eyes in many parts in the book. It's one of the best books I've read and I strongley recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that book was the best thing I have ever read. I have been a Bookworm since I was three, and I have read my share of books, but nothing has ever touched me as much as Titanic, the Long Night, and it's sequal. I especially enjoy Paddy and Katie.!!! I have already recommended tthis book to my friends, and they love it too!! It's fantastic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Titanic: The Long Night is by far the best book about the Titanic that I have ever read. It was full of all the things that I love to read about, romance, suspense, and heartbraking tradgedy. I felt like I was holding my breath, wondering what was going to happen and who was going to survive through the whole book. I think that Diane Hoh is a great author and intend to read many more of her books.