The Stars In April by Peggy Wirgau is a powerful YA novel surrounding the maiden voyage of the Titanic. The story is grounded in fact being set around twelve year old Ruth Becker and her family. It is a novel that needs to be read as we witness the love, bravery and courage of many.
The action is set from March 1912 to early April 1912 as the Becker family (minus Ruth’s father) journey from India to America in search of medical help for two year old Richard.
The story is seen through the eyes of Ruth. We ‘hear’ the events in the first person as we ‘journey’ on a train to the coast, a ship to Southampton and the ill-fated Titanic. We become intimately acquainted with the lively per-teen. We empathise with her feelings as she leaves her beloved India behind.
As with all journeys, Ruth encounters some characters along the way from acrobats to young women to a big-hearted Irish family. Huge personalities encourage Ruth to try new things. Her sense of joi de vivre and adventure is infectious.
Ruth loves deeply and therefore hurts deeply. Her bad mood against her father for deciding to leave India is keenly ‘felt’ by the reader. Even in her anger, Ruth keeps her link with her father alive as she studies the stars alone. “He’d [Papa] told me we would see the same stars even though I was far from home.” The stars unite even though apart.Continue reading