ISBN 9781496732040, 1496732049
Trade Paperback | 336 pages
Inspired by the scandalous real-life love story between America’s richest man and teenage beauty Madeleine Force—and the aftermath of their tragic honeymoon aboard the Titanic.
Jack Astor was American royalty, the richest man in the world, and Fifth Avenue scion of the Gilded Age. Madeleine Force was a beautiful teenaged debutante suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into fame simply for falling in love with a famous man nearly three decades her senior.
From their scandalous courtship to their catastrophic honeymoon aboard the Titanic—a tragedy that made them the most famous couple of their time—their love story is brought to life in this sweeping work of historical fiction by New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Shana Abé. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis and Melanie Benjamin.
Madeleine Talmage Force is just seventeen when she attracts the attention of John Jacob “Jack” Astor. Madeleine is beautiful, intelligent, and solidly upper-class, but the Astors are in a league apart. Jack’s mother was the Mrs. Astor, American royalty and New York’s most formidable socialite. Jack is dashing and industrious—a hero of the Spanish-American war, an inventor, and a canny businessman. Despite their twenty-nine-year age difference, and the scandal of Jack’s recent divorce, Madeleine falls headlong into love—and becomes the press’s favorite target.
On their extended honeymoon in Egypt, the newlyweds finally find a measure of peace from photographers and journalists. Madeleine feels truly alive for the first time—and is happily pregnant. The couple plans to return home in the spring of 1912, aboard an opulent new ocean liner. When the ship hits an iceberg close to midnight on April 14th, there is no immediate panic. The swift, state-of-the-art RMS Titanic seems unsinkable. As Jack helps Madeleine into a lifeboat, he assures her that he’ll see her soon in New York…
Four months later, at the Astors’ Fifth Avenue mansion, a widowed Madeleine gives birth to their son. In the wake of the disaster, the press has elevated her to the status of virtuous, tragic heroine. But Madeleine’s most important decision still lies ahead: whether to accept the role assigned to her, or carve out her own remarkable path…