Book: Ravenscraig, by Sandi Krawchenko Altner
Genre: Fiction: Big House / family saga – the blurb likens it to “Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs with a Winnipeg twist”.
Where I got it: Free Kindle download
Length: 532 pages
Briefly, it’s about the intertwining lives of two families – one rich, the other poor – in Winnipeg, Canada, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Comments: This is a page-turner. Not only has it an excellent story line , it also contains lots of social history, all of which was new to me. The situation of poor Jewish immigrants, fleeing Russia and other Eastern European countries, their bleak, unsanitary living quarters, and the discrimination they experienced are vividly brought to life here. The main characters are very well developed and we can empathise with them: even Rupert, the “rich baddie” was not completely repulsive and we got a bit inside his skin too. Only towards the 80% mark did I feel that the book fell a bit from its initial high standard, especially when dialogue between some of the characters who are about to embark on the maiden voyage of the Titanic turns again and again and yet again on the safety and “unsinkability” of the ship. But afterwards – well, the ending has a double twist that is just superb.
Challenges: Full House Reading Challenge, for the Category “More than 400 pages”; ebook reading challenge 2014.