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It was called "The Titanic of the South." The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten—until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she's shocked.
The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can't resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.
Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Dawson, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions.
This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.
Casimir Pulaski Monument in Savannah, or Pulaski Monument on Monterey Square, is a 19th-century monument to Casimir Pulaski, located in Monterey Square, on Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia, not far from the battlefield where Pulaski lost his life during the siege of Savannah. The Steamship Pulaski was named after him.
This summer is the 182nd anniversary (yes, one hundred and eighty-second) of the sinking of the Steamship Pulaski.
In the middle of the night, in the middle of the sea, a boiler exploded on the luxury steamship Pulaski with almost two hundred passengers on board. Over the next forty-five minutes, the ship floundered and sank as passengers and crew fought for survival. The stories of this ship often called the "Titanic of the South", and its passengers have only been told in part.
Three years ago, a shipwrecked crew discovered the remains of the steamship a hundred feet beneath the waves, thirty miles off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. While the team brought up the artifacts and treasures of this beautiful ship, I discovered the stories of its passengers.
For years now I have been researching and writing this novel, and yet how could I have known how timely it would be? As I wrote about those who were faced with tragedy and hardship, as I wrote about their resilience, courage, and endurance, how could I have known how very relevant this story would be today? With a dual timeline novel that plumbs the depth of the sea and the subject of how we survive the surviving, I am thrilled to announce my new novel’s title and publication.
A New York Times Bestselling Author
Podcast Host and Co-creator of
Friends & Fiction
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction), BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan). In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner "Book of the Year.” ; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.
The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original "Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series" launched, October 2019. The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released in January 2020. The new expanded Becoming Mrs. Lewis paperback edition was released in March 2020.
On March 9, 2021, SURVIVING SAVANNAH —a new historical fiction novel based on the true story of the Steamship Pulaski wreck will be released and available for pre-order now.
THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (writing as Patti Callahan Henry—Southern Contemporary Fiction) was launched in 2019, and THE PERFECT LOVE SONG—A Christmas Holiday novella.
Patti Callahan is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly Friends and Fiction Facebook Live Show and podcast, featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.
A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
Photo Credit: Bud Johnson Photography