Books Reviews

The House of Velvet and Glass Book Review

By Angela Youngman Oct 29, 2012, 21:58 GMT

The House of Velvet and Glass  Book Review

Katherine Howe, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, returns with an entrancing historical novel set in Boston in 1915, where a young woman stands on the cusp of a new century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball. Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston ...more

Set in Boston, US during the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, this novel looks at the impact it had on the lives of those who lost family members.  Sibyl Allston lost her mother and sister in the disaster.  Now she is seeking to contact them via a medium. Overcome by visions in a crystal ball, Sibyl finds herself challenged mentally and emotionally.  What is she seeing? Are they past events - or events which are still to come? What does it mean for her family and friends?

Convinced she is the victim of a fraudster, she seeks the help of an old friend, psychology professor Benton James.  The situation is complicated by additional problems being caused by Sibyl's brother who is in trouble at his college.  Will he be able to graduate? There is an intriguing back story concerning Sibyl's father which at first seems a bit confusing, but does manage to eventually make sense.

Sibyl is an interesting character, full of conflicting emotions and trying hard to make sense of the way her world has changed - and is changing yet more very rapidly.  With the onset of the American involvement in the First World War the challenges facing Sibyl can only get greater.  Overall an interesting and different read.



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