In 1925, in a London restaurant, J. Bruce Ismay, former chairman of the White Star Line, has a quiet dinner with his daughter Evelyn. Through the extravagant foliage of the dining room, a young woman watches. Like Ismay, Miranda Grimsden was a passenger on board the ill-fated Titanic that terrible night in April 1912. Fuelled by simmering emotions, Ismay, Evelyn, and Miranda take a backwards journey through the thirteen intervening years to confront issues of cowardice, spite, and revenge, and to dare themselves to exorcise the spectre of the past.
Titanic Ashes is a fast read filled with elegant expression and surprising emotion. Butler makes it easy to see inside the turmoil both sides felt when split second decisions made the difference between life or death. With surprising conclusions for all, this gem of a novel is sure to please those looking to expand on what came after.-- Historical Novels Review --
Titanic Ashes paints an interesting and seemingly accurate picture of Ismay and provides insight into a troubled man.-- Edwards Book Club --
Butler uses well-documented evidence on which to build this story, and he creates a finely-detailed psychological portrait. Not just of a man, but that of his family – and of the desperate self-delusion of which we are all capable in the face of unattractive truth. Add into the mix a climactic confrontation with another survivor of the Titanic, whose personal circumstances contrast sharply with those of Ismay, and Butler’s novel becomes quite suspenseful as well as absorbing.-- Western Star --
Butler covers a lot of ground in a short space, and the flashbacks are vivid and well executed.-- Quill & Quire --
Titanic Ashes resets the immense and famous tragedy on an intimate scale, interlaced with family loyalties and individual memories.-- The Telegram --
Butler skilfully shows us the characters and their connections. By drawing the barest lines to delineate then, he lets us fill in the colours and shading of the relationships.-- Northeast Avalon Times --
Paul Butler's prose is like Granny's knitting, tightly stitched; its tension perfect.-- The Charter --