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House of Velvet and Glass, The CD: House of…
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House of Velvet and Glass, The CD: House of Velvet and Glass, The CD (edition 2012)

by Katherine Howe

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5873226,896 (3.36)17
Her Boston family shattered by the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl attempts to contact her departed loved ones at a medium's table before reconnecting with former flame Ben, with whom she tackles a harrowing mystery.
Member:mmefaucon
Title:House of Velvet and Glass, The CD: House of Velvet and Glass, The CD
Authors:Katherine Howe
Info:Voice (2012), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD, 432 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe (Author)

  1. 00
    A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: Two ladies travel in Europe during the Edwardian Era.
  2. 00
    Daughter of fortune : A novel by Isabel Allende (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: Parts in both novels are set in China.
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» See also 17 mentions

English (31)  Italian (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Ok, liked her first one better. ( )
  Jandrew74 | May 26, 2019 |
The House of Velvet and Glass tells the story of the Allston family in Boston in the early 20th century, mainly through the eyes of eldest daughter Sibyl, but also through interludes into the past for fragments of her mother, sister and father's history.

The story revolves around the sinking of the Titanic and Sibyl's foray into the world of scrying, with a romance plot to boot. The main themes of the novel seem to focus on the debate of whether it's better to know what's in store and live life accordingly, or whether you should always live each day as if it's your last.

It's an intriguing premise, but unfortunately, the novel as a whole didn't quite work for me. The writing isn't particularly sophisticated and gets bogged down in historical detail, and the story doesn't properly get moving for ages. The characters also have a habit of privately recalling lengthy memories in the middle of conversations, meaning that I usually forgot what they were talking about by the time they'd finished internally reminiscing.

It's a shame, as I normally love historical novels with a good, strong female lead. But this definitely fell below expectations for me. ( )
  mooingzelda | Dec 24, 2018 |
Boston in 1915. Story moves back and forth from a mother and daughter on the Titanic to their family back in Boston to the father's youth in Shanghai China. Main character is daughter Sibyl who discovers she can see in a crystal ball while under influence of opium. She can see into the future.
Novel is interesting and an enjoyable read. ( )
  Smits | Nov 6, 2018 |
Blah. Lost interest after a while. Not badly written, just sort of...boring.
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
This novel starts out slow, but it's well paced and creates a solid fictional world where it is easy to suspend one's disbelief long enough to accept that psychic mediums might actually be doing something more than parlor tricks. The switching back and forth between past and present was a bit confusing- this seems to be a very popular way to write a book anymore, but even in a book that is otherwise really good, this structure really does make the story harder to become immersed in. Had the sections in each location and time been longer, the result would have been a stronger book, because reading it would not require shifting gears every chapter or so. But, within the books I've read that do this sort of thing, this was one of the better ones I've read this year.

Sibyl is a practical woman, a spinster in a world before women's rights meant much, but still strong-minded enough to not alienate modern female readers. Her one 'weakness' is attending an annual seance, a comfort to her in her grief that she doesn't dare question too closely. Unfortunately events soon lead her to explore the true nature of psychic gifts. Her mother and sister, who died when the Titanic sank, seem to be actually communicating with Sibyl through a psychic medium, and maybe her mother can still offer guidance as to how Sibyl might help her wayward younger brother. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
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For my favorite.
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Somewhere below the hubbub of the dinner hour, under the omnipresent vibrating of the ship's engines, a clock could be heard beginning to chime.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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