This book is about two women, from two generations, on a journey together yet on different paths of self discovery and with life changing outcomes.
The Passengers by Eleanor Limprecht
Published by Allen & Unwin
Date: March 2018
Sarah is Hannah’s grandmother, and she tells her story about being a war bride in 1945, travelling across the Pacific to America to begin a new and unknowing life. Hannah has her own story to tell which she keeps safely guarded, but as she learns of her grandmothers past on their cruise to Australia, she begins to be confronted by her own life choices and makes bold decisions just as Sarah did all those years ago.
As a whole I enjoyed this book, it is well layered and is written in an era that I like reading about. I found myself more invested in Sarah as a character than I did Hannah. I wasn’t expecting Hannah’s situations and I was surprised by them. Normally this would not worry me, but Limprecht wrote Sarah’s character with such brilliance, I became focused on her story and felt as though I intimately knew Sarah. I like the compassionate nature of her and this never wavered throughout the book. It was even more evident on her journey “home” when she nurtured her granddaughter through her turning point.
The more I reflect on Hannah and her story, perhaps it was a good thing I wasn’t expecting it as it allows me to be stretched as a reader. While I felt like I knew Hannah intimately, it was the opposite in regards to Hannah. For those that have either read or are going to read this book, it’s not that there is anything wrong with the issues she faces because they are very real situations that people face. I hope her character encourages other women and men in her situation to speak out. I just found it hard to warm to her character, even though she needed to be understood and cared for by others.
In the book we meet many people and each one will have a different impact on you an have you thinking about them once you have shut the book, for me it was Sarah’s mother. Each time I read about Sarah’s mother I wanted to hug her and tell her life could be so different. The author has done very well in capturing how it would have been in that era, especially how she remained in her relationship with Sarah’s father. In 1945, help wasn’t as readily accessible and the expectation to stick together as a family looked very different then than how it does now in 2018.
I really enjoyed the style of this book and having read quite a few of them this is up there as one of my faves. I enjoy switching from one era and person to another which is why I found it surprising that the interruption of the switch affected how I warmed to Hannah. Limprescht has a gift for describing places well, I could really picture Australia and America through these eras, taking in the sounds and smells through her writing and I want to read more by her because of this.
Overall I would recommend this book and would love to hear what others thought of it too.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review this book.