‘Thomas, it’s time to leave.’ Father’s voice echoed up the stairs of the empty house.
Thomas took a last look around his room. Gone was the furniture, his books, cricket bat and model ship. He wondered if he should have talked Father into letting him keep his cricket bat. After all, cricket might be played in America.
Head high, Mother sailed through the jostling crowd. I trailed behind, fighting the sorrow engulfing my heart. Even though the Southampton dock was crowded with passengers and spectators, I felt alone. The excited chatter, clop of horses’ hooves and blast of automobile horns mingled as mournful drone in my head.
Eve and her family are relocating from England to America. Her brother, Thomas, is excited but Eve can only think about the friends she is leaving behind. Not even the news that they are to travel on the Titanic’s maiden voyage is enough to cheer her up. Once aboard however, there is plenty of diversion for Thomas and Eve, even if Eve is left to care for her baby sister more often than she would like. There are new friends to make, other decks to explore and adventures to be had. On a ship so large and fancy, with so much to look forward to, Eve’s apprehension and sadness slowly ease.
Forget Me Not is the story of one family’s journey aboard the ill-fated Titanic. The reader knows at the outset the fate of the ship, but like the pull of the sinking ship, the story moves them inexorably closer to the moment of impact and beyond. By that time, Eve, Thomas, Bea and their friends Huge and Meggie have become the reader’s friends too and every page turn becomes breath-holding as their fates unfold. In addition to being a story about a family emigration, ‘Forget Me Not’ is a window to another time, when middle class girls were expected to behave like ladies at all times, and young men had responsibilities way beyond their years. And despite this, they found ways to just be children and to enjoy the stuff of childhood. Recommended for middle- to upper-primary readers.
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author