As you can tell I am not sleeping.

Last night I read Unspeakable by Caroline Pignat (Razorbill 2014). This is a very good YA novel, the best I have read in quite some time.

Ellen has a secret history, Jim too. They meet in 1915 as stewardess and fire stoker on the Empress of Ireland. This is their love story.

Ellen survives the sinking of The Empress—Canada’s worst naval disaster—only to be harassed by a journalist from The New York Times. She is desperate to discover Jim’s fate. But when the journalist admits to having Jim’s journal she reluctantly reveals her secrets in return for being able to read it herself .

The book is well written and researched, with many layers and much emotional complexity. The structure involves chapters going back and forth in time and initially I had to keep checking the day or the month. But it was worth it and definitely  a sleepless night well spent.

Five stars.

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