The Real Figures of SISTERS OF FORTUNE

by Anna Lee Huber

History and fiction intertwine in Sisters of Fortune, bringing to life a cast of characters drawn from the past. Here is an outline of the real-life figures featured in the novel.

  • Thomas Andrews
    • The shipbuilder and naval architect who designed the Titanic and accompanied her on her maiden voyage as part of a nine man guarantee team to contend with any problems that might arise.
    • Was troubled to leave behind his father, wife, and young daughter, who were all recovering from recent illnesses, and expressed homesickness for them more than once during the journey.
  • William Sloper
    • A genial young lawyer from Connecticut who met the Fortunes while traveling to Europe.
    • Witnessed Alice receiving her fortune from the soothsayer on the verandah at the Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Jacques Futrelle
    • Author of the popular Thinking Machine mysteries, featuring Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen.
    • His wife, May, was also an author.
  • Karl Behr
    • A handsome American tennis star who traveled to Europe following Miss Helen Newsom, the woman he hopes to marry. They both board the Titanic, but from different origin points.
  • Margaret Brown
    • A wealthy woman and philanthropist of humble upbringing from Denver, Colorado.
    • She is later dubbed the Unsinkable Molly Brown, though she was never called Molly in her lifetime.
  • Helen Churchill Candee
    • An author, interior decorator, and suffragette, and popular figure among Washington society.
  • Colonel Archibald Gracie
    • The congenial but verbose author of a Civil War history book.
  • Dr. Alice Leader
    • A female physician who runs a practice in New York.
  • Marie Young
    • Travels as a companion to Mrs. Ella White.
    • Former music teacher to President Theodore Roosevelt’s children.
  • Isidor Straus
    • Former congressman and co-owner of Macy’s Department Store
    • Sailed with his wife of forty years, Ida, from whom he’d never been parted.
  • Colonel John Jacob Astor
    • The wealthiest man on board the Titanic and believed to be one of the wealthiest men in the world.
    • Returning home from a honeymoon trip with his pregnant second wife, Madeleine, who was almost thirty years younger than him.
  • Mark Fortune
    • A self-made millionaire from Winnipeg, Canada who takes his family on a grand tour of Europe and the Mediterranean and decides to sail them home on the Titanic as one final treat.
    •  Husband to Mary. Father of Flora (Ethel), Alice, Mabel, and Charlie.

Based on the true story of the Fortune sisters, three young women each at a crossroads when they boarded the RMS Titanic in the spring of 1912 – and how that maiden voyage would transform their lives in profound and unexpected ways.

Fans of The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abé and Patricia Falvey’s The Titanic Sisters will be captivated as USA Today bestselling author Anna Lee Huber expertly weaves real historical figures and events into this vivid, surprising, emotionally powerful novel about the longing for independence and love—and the moments that irrevocably change even the best laid plans . . .

“Lush with sumptuous historical details and riveting as the events of that fateful voyage unfurl, readers will love this one!” Madeline Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Keeper of Hidden Books and The Last Bookshop in London

“Vividly detailed and painstakingly researched, Sisters of Fortune threads fact and fiction into a compelling story.” —Bryn Turnbull, author of The Paris Deception and The Woman Before Wallis

Filled with luscious detail of the Titanic’s maiden voyage and spot on depictions of its many passengers, from the grand to the ridiculous…absolutely riveting until the very last page!” —Shelley Noble, New York Times Bestselling author of The Tiffany Girls

April,1912: It’s the perfect finale to a Grand Tour of Europe—sailing home on the largest, most luxurious ocean liner ever built. For the Fortune sisters, the voyage offers a chance to reflect on the treasures of the past they’ve seen—magnificent castles and museums in Italy and France, the ruins of Greece and the Middle East—and contemplate the futures that await them.

For Alice, there’s foreboding mixed with her excitement. A fortune teller in Egypt gave her a dire warning about traveling at sea. And the freedom she has enjoyed on her travels contrasts with her fiancé’s plans for her return—a cossetted existence she’s no longer sure she wants.

Flora is also returning to a fiancé, a well-to-do banker of whom her parents heartily approve, as befits their most dutiful daughter. Yet the closer the wedding looms, the less sure Flora feels. Another man—charming, exasperating, completely unsuitable—occupies her thoughts, daring her to follow her own desires rather than settling for the wishes of others.

Youngest sister Mabel knows her parents arranged this Grand Tour to separate her from a jazz musician. But the secret truth is that Mabel has little interest in marrying at all, preferring to explore ideas of suffrage and reform—even if it forces a rift with her family.

Each sister grapples with the choices before her as the grand vessel glides through the Atlantic waters. Until, on an infamous night, fate intervenes, forever altering their lives . . .