The answer depends upon the reader's point of view. After a slow start and getting used to the jumps in place and time, I found House of Velvet and Glass to be a compelling look at the early 20th century. I found the writing very good. Still reeling from the loss of her mother and her younger sister on the Titanic, Sibyl dutifully continues to meet with a medium in an attempt to contact her lost loved ones. I will most assuredly visit the site and peruse the suggested bibliography. I was finding myself putting it aside, or putting off even reading it. Sibyl takes Dovie under her wing; she fills the space in her heart left by her younger sister.
This time Howe sets her story in 1915 Boston. The elegant writing style, the rich language, and the masterful character development all added to the pleasure of reading. Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston's Back Bay. Helen's other daughter Sybil thinks she may be able to contact them through her psychic abilities in Massachusetts. Ultimately, it's just a series of stories about the life of a family in early 1900's Boston.
Plus, the book takes way too long to get anywhere, and Howe is very fond of hyperdetailed, overwritten descriptions. There were love sagas that crossed class and age; violent stories The House of Velvet and Glass began slowly, in a time of mourning. What is it like to revisit a death, the life of the passed one, to relive and remember, whether through dreams or through glass, the images and voice of the other? Culturally and individually, the ship of the Titanic was indestructible. But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Jones, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. Her journeys into the future are paralleled with flashbacks into the earlier lives of her father and mother, which provide clues into what's going on in Sibyl's head. This book describes the surviving family members' reactions to the loss: the stoic, dour father, a wealthy shipping magnate, with a secret he's held in for over 20 years; the elder daughter, the spinster Sibyl, and the college age, dissolute brother, Harley, expelled from Harvard for his indiscretions.
They could have died some other way and it wouldn't really change anything. Copyrighted in 2012, this is one of the spate of books issued the centennial year of the Titanic Disaster of April 1912. Everything seemed to build up so slowly and quietly, that the few plot twists that do appear seem anticlimatic. Preferably I would give this novel one and a half stars. Escape Rating B+: The story takes a little while to really get going, but the end races along. Unfortunately, I did not find The House of Velvet and Glass nearly as gripping as Howe's first book. I can't quite put my finger on why, for me, this book falls short of 4 or 5 stars when the plot was interesting, the words well-chosen, and all the elements I enjoy in place.
She grew on me though; I always felt sympathy but she was a bit boring. Whether or not spiritualism is real is about to become the least of anyone's problems in the U. Her characters feel as if they belong in the time of the book and you will easily recognize them and get to know them well. Sybil Allston is devastated by the recent deaths of her mother and sister aboard the Titanic. Still reeling from the loss of her mother and her younger sister on the Titanic, Sibyl dutifully continues to meet with a medium in an attempt to contact her lost loved ones. He's been thrown out of Harvard, and has taken up with a young actress. Katherine Howe's family has lived in the area around Salem Massachusetts for generations dating back to the 1620s.
From the beginning to the end of The House of Velvet and Glass, we are recalling, like in a Poe tale or Le Sang de Morphée, the life of the one s passed. As with the first book, it goes on wild tangents at times, but the characters hold it together and it is an enjoyable read. The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs, her new novel for adults, will be published by Henry Holt and Co in summer 2019. The early belief in spiritualism and clairvoyance add to the storyline. Sybil's usually practical nature has found refuge in the search for contact wit Originally published at The House of Velvet and Glass is Katherine Howe's second novel, after her fantastic breakout debut, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. Her stories can be daunting as they draw the reader ever so slowly into the plot.
There's something about a tale that waves between times which captures my attention. I should have used the fifty page rule and tossed it aside. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium's scrying glass. And forging connections with a fascinating community of readers has been one of the most wonderful parts of this experience for me. Chapter one opens on April 15, 2015, i What is it like to revisit a death, the life of the passed one, to relive and remember, whether through dreams or through glass, the images and voice of the other? The last 20 percent of it was very good. It seems like there was the potential for a truly gripping story, but Howe missed the mark. There is a plot involving Harlan, Sibyl's brother and you think oh, this is going to be exciting.
Perhaps I just couldn't get into the mind of the main character Sybil. We see the beginnings of the psychic story here, but otherwise don't learn much about Lan. I found the characters believable and t an upper class look at the early 20th century I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy slow, meandering, overly descriptive and near-plotless historical fiction, you may be among those who enjoy this book. And this story is no different.
Matriarch Helen and her youngest daughter Eulah are on Titanic when it sinks. . And Dovie takes Sybil to places Sybil might never have otherwise gone, and she does things that she might otherwise not have done. I'm trained as an academic, and started working on The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane while I was studying for my PhD qualifying exams if you happen to have read Physick Book, that's the exam Connie takes in Chapter 1. Both stories have a certain magic in them. This book is well worth a read and will certainly keep you up to the early hours wanting to know where the story is going to go.