Sunday, July 18, 2010
Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn
The titanic, spiritualism, sisterhood, famous Americans and romance all play a role in this book. Jane Oneida Taylor has a rather odd childhood. She is the second of five sisters, the plain and practical one. Her father has just died as the story opens and her mother is striking out on a new path - one of becoming a famous seance leader, spiritual guide, 'ghost whisperer' we might even call her today. The family ends up in the town of Spirit Vale, New York, an entire town dedicated to speaking with those who have passed on - never 'the dead.'
On a whim Jane and her older sister Mimi run off to New York City to meet the famous scientist Tesla for Jane to interview for a journalism contest. While there, they both meet the characters who will change their lives and history. Mimi decides to become the maid and traveling companion of the mistress of Guggenheim ( one of the richest men in America), Jane meets Tesla, the eccentric inventor who created an earthquake machine and Thad his assistant.
Through a series of convoluted events - Mimi and the youngest sister Blythe end up on the Titanic returning from Europe. Due to bad vibes and impressions Jane and her two remaining sisters - Amelie and Emma - sneak aboard the Titanic to get Mimi and Blythe off. The are not able to accomplish this before the ship sails...so all five sisters are on the ship.
Only three will make it to New York. There will be a wedding, an experiment which goes awry and a bit of time traveling.
This is one of those books that I had decided was just too cheesy to like. I mean, we all know the Titanic sinks. But, Jane is a very likable narrator and Tesla is a pretty unusual scientist. His inventions sound like things that we should be researching right now! So - it was a fun and predictable read. The old Titanic story with a twist for YA audiences.