Science, spiritualism, history, and romance intertwine in Suzanne Weyn's newest novel. Four sisters and their mother make their way from a spiritualist town in New York to London, becoming acquainted with journalist W. T. Stead, scientist Nikola Tesla, and industrialist John Jacob Astor. When they all find themselves on the Titanic, one of Tesla's inventions dooms them...and one could save them.
Weyn's historical novel climaxes with the sinking of the Titanic, but it begins in 1898 when narrator Jane, the second of five sisters, is four years old and observing her mother, a medium, contact the spirit world for the first time. That same life-changing day, on their way to a spiritualist community outside Buffalo, N.Y., the newly-fatherless family is caught in an artificial earthquake caused by real-life scientist Nikola Tesla. The beginning of the novel centers on the girls' mother's spiritual work, with Jane unsure of her mother's clairvoyance. Science has an equally important role, as Jane becomes obsessed with Tesla, following his career in the paper and then seeking him out. The story's pace is slow, but it picks up as the years pass, and Jane falls in love with Tesla's assistant, Thad. After a trip to England, the sisters find themselves on the Titanic-the author uses a touch of the fantastic to provide a (mostly) happy conclusion. The interplay of science, spirituality, history and romance will satisfy. Ages 12-up.
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