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  • Writer's picturePatti Callahan Henry

Video: The true and untold story behind the novel Surviving Savannah

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

From Patti:

We know, of course, that surviving hardship changes us. But how? Even with these past months and all the chaos and pain and goodness and awfulness, who will we become? It's the same thing I asked over the years I wrote this novel.

It's not always easy to figure out how to explain a book you've been working on for years. But here, I do. Or try. Surviving Savannah grew from not only my great love for Savannah and the surrounding areas but also from my respect for the truth of all that came before us that brought us here.


Praise for Surviving Savannah

“In Surviving Savannah, Patti Callahan masterfully weaves a little known historical tragedy, an enigmatic mystery, and a searing family saga into a mesmerizing tale that will captivate readers until the last page and beyond." —Pam Jenoff, NYT Bestselling Author of The Lost Girls of Paris

“The astonishing story of the ‘Titanic of the South’ is brought to vivid life….This tale of survival, love, and loss, as well as Callahan’s epic portrayals of a trio of strong, passionate women, gripped me from the very first page. Simply masterful.”

—Fiona Davis, NYT Bestselling Author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

“Fans of Christina Baker Kline and Kate Quinn will love this beautiful, richly detailed novel about a lost bit of American maritime history. In a seamless blending of fact and fiction, Patti Callahan has created an atmospheric, compelling story of survival, tragedy, the enduring power of myth and memory, and the moments that change one's life."

—Kristin Hannah #1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Great Alone & The Nightingale

“Through the interwoven tales of three courageous women, Surviving Savannah ​grips the reader in a spellbinding novel full of mystery, tragedy, sacrifice, and resilience….Superb.”

—Kristina McMorris, NYT Bestselling Author of Sold on a Monday

Hidden history rises from the watery depths in all its glittering glory but also in its intimate, human detail. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, underpinned by timeless themes of personal trauma and its aftereffects, Surviving Savannah is a journey readers and book clubs will treasure.”

–Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Before We Were Yours and

The Book of Lost Friends

“A luminous novel about bravery, connection, and resilience that resurrects a forgotten 19th-century shipwreck and interlaces it with a page-turning contemporary narrative. With lush historical detail and a graceful pen, Callahan raises questions about fate, faith, and human purpose that are timeless. Surviving Savannah has the luster of a secret that’s been pulled from the depths of the sea.”

—Signe Pike, Bestselling author of The Lost Queen & The Forgotten Kingdom

"What a marvelous tapestry Patti Callahan has woven in SURVIVING SAVANNAH!"

"[S]pellbinding….Beautifully written with a masterfully crafted plot, Surviving Savannah leaves the reader breathless and marveling at the manner in which the past and present interweave in ways we almost cannot imagine.”

—Marie Benedict Bestselling Author of The Only Woman in the Room & The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

“[A] rich tale of friendship, heritage, forgiveness, redemption, and the thin, too-fragile line between life and death. How will we survive the surviving? one of her characters wonders, and it is a question that Callahan mines beautifully. If you’re fascinated by the Titanic,

meet your new favorite novel.”

—Kristin Harmel, NYT Bestselling Author of The Book of Lost Names

“[A] sweeping, captivating tale of a contemporary woman lost in a fog of grief who finds solace, and finally, redemption, as she uncovers the long-buried secrets of a nearly forgotten shipwreck—and the courageous women who survived to bear

witness to history.”

—Mary Kay Andrews NYT Bestselling Author of Hello Summer

“In Patti Callahan’s fiercely hopeful Surviving Savannah, the past and the present intertwine with ringing authenticity. Disaster and crisis become a powerful testing ground, as Callahan’s expertly-drawn characters are forced to discover how to live past tragedy, and what matters most in the aftermath. This is exactly the kind of story we need right now.

—Paula McClain, Bestselling author of The Paris Wife and When the Stars Go Dark

1 Comment

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Dec 22, 2022
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