"Great work. Marc Songini gives Sebastian Junger a run for his money in this novelistic take on real-life seagoing adventures that reads like suspense-fiction at its best. The Lost Fleet is rich in detail, broad in scope and brilliant in its ability to capture a lost era that eerily parallels some of the military misadventures of today. Simply stated, this is the best book of its kind since A Perfect Storm."
– Jon Land, best-selling novelist
"A Nantucket sleigh ride of a read, guaranteed to thrill and amaze…."
"Songini creates a lively and colorful picture of the later days of whaling and the dramatic events that led to the industry's demise."
– Judith Navas Lund, whaling historian and author of
Whaling Masters and Whaling Voyages Sailing from America Ports
"Marc Songini has crafted a magnificent tale of perseverance in the face of the declining whaling industry in the mid-1800s. It is the story of the tremendous loss of whaling ships in 1871 and the bold attempts of Captain Thomas William Williams, a young Yankee whaler, to endure despite horrific conditions. But even more, it is a love story of epic proportions; an account of Williams and his wife, Eliza Azelia Griswold Williams, who sailed with her husband for three years and bore him two children while at sea. The Lost Fleet is a narrative tour-de-force."
– Linda Rosencrance, author of
Murder at Morses Pond and An Act of Murder
"Mr. Songini does a fine job of describing this loving couple, and of how Eliza learns about whaling and sailing, about the relationship between captain and crew, and about what the life of a whaler was really like. Their story is told intelligently and feelingly. We see in part through her eyes how frightening her husband's career is, and yet how beautiful and exotic cruising the ocean can be."
– Tony Lewis, South Coast Today
"An epic tale of men facing great challenges by Marc Songini, whose facility with the language gives the story a flow missing from most books today. It is narrative history at its best! A sea story of interest well told."
– Sam Craghead, Civil War historian, researcher, and staffer
at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.
"This fascinating, sprawling, richly detailed book is as big and epic as its subject, the whaling era of New Bedford and Nantucket… The Lost Fleet revels in the triumphs and mourns the demise of the whaling era in America. It is a lively, suspenseful, mesmerizing book."
– Sam Coale, Providence Journal
"Bottom line: A thrilling true story of a whaling family's life and death on the high seas."
-Don O'Briant, AccessAtlanta
"The author has done a good job chronicling the events that took place during this period in whaling industry and in describing a ship's operation of hunting and harvesting the world's largest animal. But what will be of most interest to Civil War historians are the 150 pages devoted to that era. Those with books on the Confederacy's two most famous warships will find The Lost Fleet an excellent companion piece …"
-Richard W. Hatcher III,
The Charleston Post and Courier
"Songini's skill as a writer makes the connecting factual prose just as enjoyable as the personal insights of the participants– he recounts his facts in a comfortable, lyrical way, making for easy reading while you're soaking up the history."
-Robert Barboza, Dartmouth Chronicle
“The Lost Fleet is a fascinating and educational volume that would be of extreme use to those interested in the whaling industry and how the Civil War affected it. The author has done his research and provides a well-written volume filled with fascinating stories and facts.”
-Blake A. Magner, Civil War News
“What makes the book so gripping is that it’s all real—brutally and fatefully real. History buffs will love this book. Anyone researching the era will definitely want to include Songini’s The Lost Fleet“.
-Susan Sales Harkins, BookPleasures.com
“… a fascinating story expertly told.”
-Rebecca Rule, Nashua Telegraph