Tuesday, March 06, 2012

By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer

Title: By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer
Copyright: 2012
Published By: Barbour Publishing - Inspirational/Historical Fiction
Length: 319 pp.
Reason for Reading: I enjoy reading about the Titanic; this is my first fictional Titanic tale.

Brief summary: It is 1912 and the Titanic is about to leave for America. Amelia Gladstone and her Aunt Neda have been given tickets by a man with whom Amelia has been corresponding. When Amelia sees two stewards remove Quentin Walpole from their ship as it's being boarded, she takes pity on him and gives him her absentee cousin Henry's ticket. Quentin is a prodigal son who took his inheritance and lost it all. What he doesn't know is that his father and brother are also on the Titanic and his older brother Damien is still angry with Quentin.

When she meets the elder Walpoles, soft-hearted Amelia becomes determined to reunite Quentin with his family but both brothers are trying to woo her at the same time and neither desires to see the other. Will Amelia fall in love with one of the Walpole brothers before she's even met the man who paid for her passage? Can the brothers make their peace so Quentin will be reunited with his heartbroken father? Who will live and who will die when the Titanic goes down?

What I liked about By the Light of the Silvery Moon:

I loved the pairing of the Biblical tale of the Prodigal Son with a light romance and the question of who will survive the capsizing of the Titanic. Since the Titanic is a known equation, the question of whether or not the characters will survive was compelling enough to keep the pages turning. And, I did like the way the author chose to end the story. I think some people might scoff at the convenience of various plot points, but I personally found the conclusion satisfying.

What I disliked about By the Light of the Silvery Moon:

There is a significant weakness to the research in that all of the characters sound fairly modern and American, although many of them are British and the book takes place, of course, in 1912. In addition to the language, hairstyles of adult women are occasionally described as "flowing" rather than pinned up or covered with hats. There are also numerous typos, grammatical errors (particularly mixed tenses within the same sentence), at least one spelling error that jumped out at me enough to mark it, as well as typesetting errors -- for example, in dialogue, when one character speaks and another responds but the response is not placed on a separate line to distinguish between speakers. I got the feeling this book was rushed to press without proper preparation.

Notes on the category:

By the Light of the Silvery Moon is "Inspirational/Christian". I didn't find it particularly preachy, but there were some moments that I think Amelia's internal monologue might qualify as annoyingly self-critical because of her Christianity.


Most of the plot is forwarded by internal motivation; By the Light of the Silvery Moon is character-driven. In general, I tend to dislike character-driven novels but the knowledge that the ship was going to sink really added some momentum to this particular storyline, in my humble opinion. Anyone who knows much about the Titanic will probably be tempted to nit-pick some of the details. I did have to work at shutting off my internal critic. The title does not refer to the phase of the moon at the time of the sinking of the ship but the title of Amelia's favorite song.


3.5/5 - Entertaining but flawed. The pages flew enough that I don't feel comfortable giving By the Light of the Silvery Moon a lower rating although I would call it an average book. I liked the book or I would not have finished reading it. I did, however, find the sheer quantity of errors terribly distracting. The bottom line: Recommended to readers who enjoy a light, romantic tale with a Christian bent. People who are extremely knowledgeable about the language of the time period and details of the Titanic may find the inaccuracies frustrating.

Cover thoughts:

Even though there's an obvious problem with the full moon on the cover (there was no moon visible on the night the Titanic sank), I like the design of the cover a lot. I think it's pretty and appealing.

What's with the new review layout?

Eh, felt like doing something different. What do you think of it? Too stiff? Easier to read what you're interested in and skip the rest?

Where I got this book and why I'm baffled:

I received this book for review but I didn't know it was coming, although I did sign up to try to get in on a tour. I haven't received any messages at all from the network through which I signed up (and it's a lottery, so you don't automatically join in on a tour -- usually, they contact you to let you know if you've been selected). So, I'm going to just post the review and if anyone ever contacts me I'll send them a link! Weird. I think I fell through the cracks.

What else is new?

My blogging breaks are not necessarily exciting. :) In 2011, I got rid of something on the order of 600 books -- I can't remember the number, now, but quite a few. I stalled for a while; it's such an exhausting job and kind of emotional because I'm pretty attached to my books, but it's got to be done. So, this break has been partly a bit of time off to get back into the swing of purging. Since my mother died and we brought home some of her furniture, we have so little living space that something has got to give!

The cats love my computer breaks:

Honestly, they don't like it at all when I sit at the computer typing. Isabel will often curl up behind the monitor and Fiona comes to say hello or lie at my feet during their nap times, but they like my full and undivided attention when they're up and at 'em. So, they've really enjoyed the fact that I'm buzzing around and frequently stopping to play drag-the-string-through-the-house or to roll jingle balls, etc.

Fiona is hilariously personable. If she's sitting somewhere and I walk into the room, she'll often make a little noise of delight and come running to greet me. Isabel is afraid of moving feet but she is making incredible progress at conquering some of her fears and growing more affectionate all the time. She's gone from once-a-day head to tail pettings to dropping by to ask for an ear rub several times a day. She is even rubbing my leg like a normal cat, now!

Why don't you ever mention the kids, anymore?

I miss my kids like crazy, although we do at least get to see the college Kiddo as he dashes in and out between dates on the weekend. I was a stay-at-home mom for many reasons -- not entirely by choice, partly due to circumstance -- and I thought I would be thrilled to finally have the ability to choose how to use my time. But, the empty nest thing has been so much harder than I expected!!! Travel helps. Exercising and being around humans helps. I haven't yet learned how to share newer bits of my life the way I used to talk about my kids, so I'm going through a bit of an awkward phase as a blogger and I really appreciate those of you who have stuck with me as I'm adjusting.

Blogging will continue to be sporadic because this is my busy season -- when the windows can occasionally be thrown open, the gardens need tending (haven't started on that, eeks) and the yard cleared before summer hits. And, wouldn't you know, Huzzybuns and I both have colds. So, we're not too active at the moment. It's really gorgeous outside, when the sun is shining.

I'm also reading quite slowly because I'm keeping myself so busy with chores, but I just finished Before the Poison by Peter Robinson. I hope to review that in the next day or two. We shall see. Happy Reading!

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I think that all the typos and historical errors would bug the heck out of me, so I can't say that I will be jumping out of my seat to read this one, but I do really appreciate your honest take on the book.

    1. They did bug me. In fact, all of the post-its I put in the book were to mark errors. It's something I do to help me move on with the reading -- mark the mistake, move on. Then, I yank out all the post-its because I'm not out to pick on an author or publisher. But, I have to find some way to shut up my editor brain when the quantity of errors gets crazy.

  2. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Quick...glance at the cover! Now tell me that doesn't look like Princess Leia.

    1. Only at a quick glance, but she does look like Darth Vader could be after her. Only you would notice such a thing, Jill!


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