It’s All in the Details: Dead Wake By Erik Larson Book Review


This post was inspired by Dead Wake by Erik Larson, a thrilling account of Lusitania’s last voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and the U-boat that attacked it. Join From Left to Write on March 26th as we discuss Dead Wake. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

I never thought that reading a non-fiction historical book would make me fall in love with reading and being nosy again. But that’s exactly what happened when I read Dead Wake.

As a mom, I don’t have tons of time to read but I used to love it. I’d get a book and read the whole thing overnight. My six year old has just started doing the same thing (with pretty advanced books!), and I told him I was so happy to that he had the same love of reading. That’s when he asked me “Why don’t you read anymore?” I told him, “I do, it’s just not when you can see because I’m busy when you’re around.” That wasn’t completely true. I have so many demands that I usually just drop out when I’m taking off my mommy/wife/work headband.

Right after the conversation, I made it a point for my son to see me reading Dead Wake over the weekend in my free time. Reading is something I want him to have as a lifelong habit, so I need to model the habits I want him to have. The truth is that I really loved the book and why I had no idea that I would have enjoyed it so much because it is a rather heavy topic area, it was an incredibly engaging story. Dead Wake is the perfect story for me because it includes so many small details that seem insignificant but together you really have a large part of the story for why the United States took so long to enter World War I and why the United States did eventually enter the war. The writing was so vivid and detailed that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. The author, Erik Larson, proved to me the importance of the details.

Reading Dead Wake prompted me to keep asking questions. I have been accused of being nosy because I tend to ask tons of questions. I want to know the full story about everything because that gives me a complete picture of who you are and/or the situation at hand. Larson’s inclusion of these details is exactly why I found the story so engaging and why I ask so many questions.  The way I see it, life isn’t made up of the big moments but rather the small details of each day. These details weave together the story of your life. I want to know all the details because if I’m interacting with you, I want to really know you.

Where do you come down on asking about the details? Are you a person who asks tons of questions or do you just take things at face value? Have you been reading any books lately that make you think beyond the obvious?


  1. says

    I love this! My husband isn’t a big reader and I’m always encouraging him to read around the kids. It doesn’t have to be books but it’s important that we model it.


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