Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Rare Titanic Family - Julie Williams

Publisher:  NewSouth Books
Pages:  208
Source:  Received a copy from publicist
Genre:  Adult, Biography

April 12, 2012 will mark 100 years since the Titanic sank.  Julie Williams is the great-niece of Albert Caldwell.  Albert and his first wife Sylvia went to college together, accepted a mission to Siam and then married.  The day they married they left for their new life.  Sylvia was not recommended to go because of possible future health issues.  She went anyway.  The weather was very agreeable with Albert.  A combination of the tropical weather and pregnancy made Sylvia very sick.  After Alden was born she just couldn't seem to get her strength back.  She was unable to hold her own child.  Upon the recommendation of a doctor the Caldwells left Siam, headed to Europe where they ended up on the ill-fated Titanic.  Albert was a very personable person.  He made friends with everyone.  According to Mrs. Williams it is because of this that he and his wife and child managed to survive.  
Julie Williams has told a story that was passed down to her from Albert.  She became so intrigued she had to find out more.  A photograph started it all, and graces the cover of the book.  This biography held my attention not only because of the topic, but because of the other story.  Haunted by the Titanic and Hunted by the Presbyterian mission board took its toll on their marriage.    This story was told in a hauntingly beautiful way.  It is full of emotions and memories but doesn't dwell on the macabre.  This is a book I will most definitely recommend to my friends.  

About the Author
Julie Hedgepeth Williams is a journalism professor at Samford University.
She received a B.A. in English and history from Principia College
in Elsah, Illinois, and a Masters in Journalism and a Ph.D in Mass
Communications from the University of Alabama. She is the author of
Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama, 1910
(NewSouth Books, 2010).

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