Surviving Savannah

Patti Callahan has written a remarkable narrative based on the true story of the sinking of the steamship Pulaski, which sailed from Savannah on June 14th of 1883, on its way to Baltimore. After a boiler explosion during the night, the passengers were forced to save themselves from the wreckage and the waves, as two of the lifeboats had rotted away and the remaining two were hardly enough to carry the roughly 200 passengers and crew to safety. Callahan based her main characters, the Longstreet and Forsyth families, on the real life Lamar family that sailed on the steamship on that eventful day. The novel moves smoothly between present day, where researcher Emily Winthrop is creating a museum display of artifacts recovered from the ship, and the past, with the exploits of the strong women endeavoring to survive the aftermath of the sinking. Interesting enough, after the original recovery of the wreckage in 2018, the stern of the steamship was found this past August, where divers hope to find more gold coins and jewelry.

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