Seven Days In May: A Novel by Kim IzzoSeven Days In May: A Novel by Kim Izzo

Seven Days In May: A Novel

byKim Izzo

Paperback | April 25, 2017

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For readers of Kate Williams, Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson, a captivating novel of love and resilience during the Great War, inspired by the author’s family history.

As the First World War rages in continental Europe, two New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-Tracey, the future Lord Northbrook, in the wedding of the social calendar. Sydney has other adventures in mind; she is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister. As international tempers flare, the German embassy releases a warning that any ships making the Atlantic crossing are at risk. Undaunted, Sydney and Brooke board the Lusitania for the seven-day voyage with Edward, not knowing that disaster lies ahead.

In London, Isabel Nelson, a young woman grateful to have escaped her blemished reputation in Oxford, has found employment at the British Admiralty in the mysterious Room 40. While she begins as a secretary, it isn’t long before her skills in codes and cyphers are called on, and she learns a devastating truth and the true cost of war.

As the days of the voyage pass, these four lives collide in a struggle for survival as the Lusitania meets its deadly fate.

Title:Seven Days In May: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.92 inPublished:April 25, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443422495

ISBN - 13:9781443422499

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Poignant This is a novel about the sinking of the ship The Lusitania during World War I. At the heart of the story are 4 main characters, Sydney (a wealthy suffragette) and her sister (Brooke) who are travelling from New York to England with Brooke's aristocratic but penniless fiance, Edward, for Brooke and Edward's wedding. In England, a young woman named Isabel works as a secret decoder for the British government. In the course of her work, she learns the Germans have threatened to torpedo the Lusitania. I found the pace of the first half of the book sluggish with small bits and pieces of conflict here and there. I almost dropped the book, but kept pushing on. I'm glad I did because the last third of the book was poignant with despair as the sinking of the ship and the fate of its passengers was depicted. A good book, well written and well grounded in historical details pertaining to this famous doomed ship and its passengers, but be prepared to persevere a little through the first half to get to the real meat and potatoes of the tale.
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from based on a true story I wanted to love this. It promised to be a novel with a little romance (the Brooke, Sydney and Edward storyline); a little espionage (Isabel's story) with a backdrop of the Lusitania's final voyage across the Atlantic. What I liked: The ending. Having read the Author's note at the end you realize that one of the characters (Walter) is based on her own great-grandfather's experience on the Lusitania. This fact explains why her descriptions of that fateful day are so well written; she really was able to describe the fear, the chaos, the absolute mayhem that occurred after the ship was hit by the torpedo. She was able to bring the catastrophe to life. I honestly wish the story had started on the fateful day and then worked its way backwards towards the beginning of the voyage. It might have made some of the characters more likeable ... but then again ... now we are getting to my issues with this book. And that is in fact it's main characters (I will admit that the secondary characters - especially those based on real people, are excellent). Sydney, Brooke, Edward and Isabel are never really developed more than being slightly superficial. They don't change and evolve as the days pass (since this book does take place over the course of more than seven days in May) - and so although you are meant to care for them, it was difficult for me to feel that way. Sydney and Brooke: sisters at odds with what they want out of life; one wants freedom (the right to control her own body, to vote, to choose love); and the other wants a title, an estate and to be powerful. Edward, a soon to be titled Englishman who must marry for money in order to save his family estate, meets his soon-to-be sister-in-law and realizes that he has feelings for her. So begins a love triangle that falls a little flat. Isabel, a "fallen" woman who must overcome her past to work in a top secret office (Office 40), keeping secrets even when she's conflicted with the results of not doing anything. She's also not a very pleasant individual. Her side story didn’t really feel necessary to move the plot forward – and was rather simply distracting. I read this book long after I had read Erik Larson’s Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania - an account of the events that led to the sinking of the Lusitania – taking into account the German U-Boat’s perspective, the British Admiralty and recounting the final days and hours of over 1000 passengers on the Lusitania – and I will admit that having read that first helped fill in some of the blanks / was a good companion to this book. This reminded me a little of Crossing on the Paris by Dana Gynther – another novel who’s characters let me down.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A moving novel based on history Kim Izzo's "Seven Days in May" is based on the singing of the British passenger liner "Lusitania" in May 2015. While most of the characters are fictional, Izzo's great-grandfather Walter, who survived the sinking, is portrayed in the book, as are a number of real-life people who sailed on the ship's final voyage. The novel weaves several stories throughout: Isabel, a British woman working for the admiralty, Sydney and Brooke, New York socialites traveling to Britain so Brooke can marry into a "noble" family, and Edward, the British noble engaged to Brooke. Their intertwined stories are compelling and make the novel very readable and enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love and disaster I always like books about sea travel, sometimes romantic novels, sometimes historical facts recording. This book combines the two, thrilling from the start, even knowing how has to end. Truly enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-04-29

Editorial Reviews

“A thrilling and romantic adventure on board one of history’s most fabled doomed ships, in the company of an inspiring heroine you’ll be cheering on every nautical mile.”