In Chicago in 1915, Olive is an insurance agent for MetLife, an unusual occupation for a woman at that time, and she is facing prejudice as she tries to get promoted and gain more responsibility. She also soon discovers that her friend Claire needs her help. She invites Claire to travel on the SS Eastland from Chicago to a picnic in Michigan City, Indiana, as a temporary respite and a chance to talk. When tragedy strikes, Claire makes an impossible request which places Olive in a position in which any choice she makes will compromise her values. Olive then volunteers for an opportunity to be an insurance investigator in the aftermath of the tragedy. Facing discrimination from her boss and threats from others, she tries to help families who have lost loved ones while still keeping secrets herself. Although part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone.
This is a well-put-together story revolving around the 1915 capsizing of the SS Eastland, in which over 800 people were killed. The description of the disaster as it occurs is well done. There is another storyline involving abuse, and the fact that women in that time had little recourse for protection or escape. The bias against women in business in the early 20th century is also addressed, and all these storylines are woven together skillfully. The characters are all well developed, and the plot ranges from captivating to suspenseful to heartbreaking. Drawn by the Current takes us back to one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history and also reminds us of the plight of women in those days. Multi-layered and well-researched, this third book in the Windy City Saga series is not to be missed.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House via The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.
The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.
Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.
Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville. Visit her at her website, jocelyngreen.com.