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The Titanic Survivors Book Club: A Novel By Timothy Schaffert Cover Image
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the author of The Perfume Thief, a remarkable tale about the life-changing power of books and second chances, following the Titanic librarian who opens a bookshop in Paris where he meets a secret society of survivors.

"Deeply moving and rich with vivid detail . . . Timothy Schaffert is an exquisite storyteller."—Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

For weeks after the sinking of the Titanic, Yorick spots his own name among the list of those lost at sea. As an apprentice librarian for the White Star Line, his job was to curate the ship’s second-class library. But the day the Titanic set sail he was left stranded at the dock.

After the ship’s sinking, Yorick takes this twist of fate as a sign to follow his lifelong dream of owning a bookshop in Paris. Soon after, he receives an invitation to a secret society of survivors where he encounters other ticket holders who didn’t board the ship. Haunted by their good fortune, they decide to form a book society, where they can grapple with their own anxieties through heated discussions of The Awakening or The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Of this ragtag group, Yorick finds himself particularly drawn to the glamorous Zinnia and the mysterious Haze, and a tangled triangle of love and friendship forms among them. Yet with the Great War on the horizon and the unexpected death of one of their own, the surviving book club members are left wondering what fate might have in store.

Elegant and elegiac, The Titanic Survivors Book Club is a dazzling ode to love, chance, and the transformative power of books to bring people together.

About the Author

TIMOTHY SCHAFFERT is the author of six previous novels: The Perfume Thief, The Swan Gondola, The Coffins of Little Hope, Devils in the Sugar Shop, The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God, and The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters. He is the Adele Hall Chair of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and coeditor of Zero Street, a literary fiction series of the University of Nebraska Press.

Praise For…

"Deeply moving and rich with vivid detail, The Titanic Survivors Book Club is as heartbreaking as it is enthralling. About love, fate, desire, and the power of books, this wonderful novel will delight fans of historical fiction and captivate booklovers. Timothy Schaffert is an exquisite storyteller."
—Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

"Book a trip to Paris with this intriguing take on the Titanic story. For members of The Titanic Survivors Book Club, hard luck brings good fortune and second chances. Echoes of a modern Cyrano love triangle set in the Parisian bookshop La Sirène will keep you turning the pages in this powerful ode to books and friendship."
Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library

"Miraculously spared from the tragedy of the Titanic, Yorick embarks on an even more precarious voyage: a love affair. In this clever and high-concept novel, lush with emotion and vivid with period detail, we root for Yorick, in the company of his mysterious and provocative new friends both real and fictional, to grab the reins of fate and change his fortune yet again. What a ride!" 
Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

"In The Titanic Survivors Book Club, Timothy Schaffert takes the iconic tragic event of the Titanic and turns it into a story of chance encounters, entanglements, romance, and engagement with books. Set against the backdrop of the first world war, this is an ambitious novel that is as engaging and fast-paced as it is intellectually stimulating—like something written by Iris Murdoch."
Chigozie Obioma, Booker-prize finalist and author of The Fishermen

"Schaffert writes brilliantly about surviving love and longing with such lush, heartbreaking, and beautiful prose that one feels instantly transported to pre-WWI Paris, strolling along a smoky covered passage, the scent of a sweet cocktail perfuming the air, the whisper of ghosts and the past haunting. A captivating love triangle is at the center of this tale of survivors who question if their good fortune is about to run out."
Leslie Zemeckis, author of Feuding Fan Dancers

“A very different take on the Titanic story. It’s deeply researched. Timothy Schaffert is just a dazzling writer who has created this exquisite historic novel. It is about love, it is about fate, but most important for me, it’s about the power of books to bring people together and to change lives.”
WAMC Roundtable

“Full of details of pre-war Paris as intricate as the ethereal candies that Zinnia’s family produces, this is both a novel of the human heart and a novel rooted in the power of books and language and reading. The bookstore becomes a character in itself, and each book a specific message of hope and second chances.”
—The Historical Novel Society

“Lush and intricately researched. . . The marvelous sensuous details [make] this star-crossed lovers’ tale an absolute delight, and the underlying themes of book banning and suppressed sexuality resonate. Schaffert has outdone himself.” 
—Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Exquisite. . . Schaffert writes stylish, intelligent fiction that casts new light on familiar settings, and his appreciation for lush details feels so very Parisian. This isn’t a standard cozy novel about book clubs but rather an elegantly moody take on love, literature, and the indelible connections they create.”

“Lush. . . Schaffert has a [strong] gift for atmosphere. . . The novel is at its best in evoking the sumptuous details of prewar life in Paris. . . [A] swoony romance with a dash of history.”
—Kirkus Reviews

"A novel offering lessons about love and literature that transcend time."
—Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780385549158
ISBN-10: 0385549156
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English