Following the deaths of three immediate family members, Catherine and her mother, Anne Eastman, travel from Sandgate on the coast of England to Galveston. Book of love, hope in Galveston turns into a dark novel
By MARGARET BARNO | Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 12:15 am
GALVESTON DAILEY NEWS, Lifestyle Magazine, October 27, 2013
“Galveston 1900 — Indignities Book One: The Arrival,” by N.E. Brown and S.L. Jenkins, Midstir Media, Portsmouth, N.H., 320 pages, $14.99.
“The Arrival” is the first novel in a trilogy tracing the life of Catherine Eastman.
The book covers the years 1897-1900, a time of tragedies, life-changing decisions, moving with anticipations of bright futures with new beginnings.
Both mother and daughter had attended Princess Helena Boarding School near London, were fluent in three languages, loved music and had learned in the art of fine tailoring from Catherine’s grandfather.
Anne Eastman had meticulously planned the trip, and with the help of the family’s banker made contacts in Galveston with another banker.
Anne sold the family’s cottage before leaving, enabling the two to travel second class on the ship and have funds to live on during the relocation process.
Anne finds work at The 1894 Grande Opera House not too far from their new apartment. She set up accounts with the assistance of the young banker, John Merit, and looked forward to a bright future with her daughter.
Those plans never came to fruition with the sudden and tragic death of Catherine’s mother. Catherine, 15, is declared ward of the state and moved to St. Mary’s Orphanage on Galveston’s West End.
Another major figure in the novel is David Brooks. Sinister and pathologically unstable, his character gets darker and more evil as the book progresses, reminding me of Jeffrey Dahmer. His actions turn the book’s theme from one of hope, compassion and love, into a very dark novel with a sliver of light.
The other force that enters the story is a very real event, the 1900 Storm. By that time in Catherine’s life, she’s experienced a myriad life changing events — betrothal and marriage, having been abducted, raped and completing high school and enrolling in medical school.