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Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,012 ratings  ·  673 reviews
Chased by their pasts and drawn toward a more hopeful future, four sisters embark on the journey of their lives...aboard the Titanic. One is going to have her wedding during the voyage. Another has become involved in a feat of scientific intrigue that has the potential to alter the course of history. All of them feel out of place, and at least one of them will soon find he ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Scholastic
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I say this with complete sincerity: This is the worst book I've ever read.

If I had written this review last night after finishing it, I'd already be on my 11th curseword. But I've had time to calm down. So let's calmly(ish) discuss why this book sucks so hard.

It has no plot.
It's a jumbled mess of failed messages, kind of like it wanted to say everything but ended up saying nothing at all.
It's a big fat lie.

As for the lack of plot:
Well, it has no plot. There are some people. They do stuff. Nikola
Amy Jacobs
I will be honest in saying that the cover and the hint of The Titanic is what captured my interest in this book. Before I had even read the summary, the cover sucked me into the deep story of supernatural tales weaved into the historical tale of the Titanic.

Even with warnings of sinking of the famous ship Titanic, the sisters and mother still risk their life on sailing the seas in the hopes that someone will be watching over them. With famous names that you read about in the history books, you
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Nguyen
First off, I'm just going to say that the title is VERY MISLEADING! If you are thinking about picking up this book to enjoy a story that takes place on the Titanic, you will be dissapointed. The Titanic does not come into the story until the last hundred or so pages and by then, the story is nearly over.

Now, after I got over being upset with the book because of the lack of involvement with the Titanic, I realized that I actually enjoyed Distant Waves. It turned out to be a very interesting hist
This book was probably one of the worst I've read. Probably because my expectations were fairly high, but none the less, it was a disappointment.
I was hoping for a good book focusing the the voyage of the Titantic. When I opened the book and skimmed the first view pages, I was a bit intrigued by the spiritualist-aspect part of it. So I made the mistake of buying it.
I am about 115 pages in, but I am close to dropping it into the trash.
The beginning is very jumbled, like the author wanted to creat
Gwen the Librarian
This was a just okay historical novel that centers around a family of spiritualists around 1910. The mother and her five daughters move to Spirit Vale, a village full of mediums after their father dies. The mother becomes a famous medium after an encounter with Tesla, the scientist, inspires her to talk about "spiritual vibrations". The daughter at the center of the story, Jane, is not sure if she believes that her mother and her twin sisters can really contact the spirit world. She is more inte ...more
WOW! I really loved this book! It's "A Novel of the Titanic" but the Titanic doesn't happen until near the end of the book. It's a book that's interwoven with history, the paranormal, and a great story of five sisters and the events that lead up to them being on the Titanic on its maiden voyage. I loved the name dropping and the important people that Jane, the main sister heroine, meets. This includes the crazy inventor Nicholas Tesla, who fascinates me, the financier John Jacob Astor, author Si ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I saw the cover and the tagline of this book and immediately wanted to pick it up. Whilst I haven't read all that much, I have really enjoyed the historical fiction that I have read. The tagline of this book tells us that it's a novel of the Titanic, and so I though that would certainly capture my interest. In fact, the book only partly (and quite briefly) takes part on the Titanic. This didn't actually bother me at all as I did enjoy the rest of the setting of the novel, primarily in a place ca ...more
Jenn Estepp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug Beatty
This one takes some great liberties with the Titanic story and gets a little bit loopy. It is the story of five sisters, two of whom are clairvoyant, who all end up on the Titanic. There are mentions of almost every person who was every person of the time period, and it makes one wonder how an ordinary person would run into so many celebrities! It seemed like the mention of the celebrities were what set it in this historical period and not much was in the descriptive details which it could have ...more
The best book by Weyn - ever.
She's outdone herself completely! Maude, the mother, is such a complex character. She unconditionally loves her children, but she has some things happening in her mind as well :s My favorite character? Besides Jane of couse, was Amelie. I wanted to know why she didn't speak, and once I found out why, I was just so intruiged. I yell out with happiness everytime I think of Thad and Jane - they're perfect. You should read this if you haven't already. It's romance, it's
A quibble with the subtitle "a novel of the Titanic". It took 200 pages to get the characters ON the Titanic and then boom boom boom the ship sinks and the book wraps up quickly after that. But still - an interesting mix of themes - spiritualism, technology (Nikola Tesla is a character), wealth, poverty, race and class.
Oct 08, 2009 Dee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's a sucker for love stories... like me!
What do you get when you cross stories of love, science, heroism, mediums, and the worst martine tradgety of all time--the story of the "Titanic"?

You get "Distant Waves".

"Distant Waves" is quite unlike anything I've read before. Sure, I've heard the story of the "Titanic" many times--but this book focuses on more than just the tradgedy. The book is narrated by the main character Jane, a young, aspiring journalist who had survived the "Titanic" two years before. Her mother and twin sisters are me
Check out my review at my blog.

I was a little frustrated by this book because all it seemed to do was name drop. Every turn of the page these girls were running into the Guggenheims, Molly Brown, Nikola Tesla and John Jacob Astor. I understand that Scholastic likes to educate the younger readers, but really, Houdini? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? It was a bit too much. That and the Titanic doesn't even come into play until the last third of the book which I suppose is reasonable since how much time ca
Hmm so I don't really know how I feel about this book. I would give it 2.5 stars, kinda wanted to give it 3 stars but the beginning of the book was soooo boring. It was such a weird premise for a book and I didn't realize it was going to be about mediums and fake spiritual stuff. The characters were so one-dimensional and so it was really hard to care about the story. I feel like the idea of a fiction novel about sisters on the Titanic could have been so good and this was just eh. I did like the ...more
Sarah Evans
A more accurate subtitle would be A Novel of the Victorian and Edwardian Struggle Between Science and the Supernatural. Readers looking for a shipboard romance ala Jack and Rose will be disappointed. But those looking for historical fiction or a slightly skeptical dip into the paranormal will enjoy this brisk read. Our narrator is Jane, the second of five daughters of a potential clairvoyant, telling her life story two years after the fateful sinking. Suddenly widowed in 1898, her mother uses th ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club selection
Jane and her sisters have lived in Spirit Dale most of their lives, with their mother who makes a living as a psychic. While Mimi and Blythe believe their mother is a fraud, twins Emma and Amelie seem to have some psychic powers of their own. Jane isn't sure what to believe. Through the years Jane meets a number of famous people, including the inventor Tesla (she falls in love with his assistant, Thad), and during a visit to London for a psychic conference, she meets skeptic-turned-believer Sir ...more
Jasmine Barlow
I delved into the first few chapters with all my power to maintain a positive outlook, but my hopes came crashing down (pun intended) with one of the most dull, incoherent novels I have had the displeasure of reading. After some earthquake machine was mentioned, I immediately thought "nope!". Not to mention dialogue that made me want to strangle myself. It's just plain awful. The events pertaining to the tragedy of the Titanic have always been a fascination of mine, so once I spotted the gorgeou ...more
It was a very touching and powerful story. Still the best book i have read!
Lauren Kester
I really liked the book "Distant Waves". At first I wasn't too sure about it because of the spirits and mediums. However the story was good because it had romance and history in it.

Jane Taylor is a sixteen year old girl who was born in 1894. She has four sisters named Mimi, Amelie, Emma, and Blythe. The Taylor family lives in a town called Spirit Vale. Jane's mother is a medium. A medium is a person who speaks to the dead. Jane grows up to believe that mediums are real. When she realizes they ar
Spiritualism developed into a major phenomenon in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Science was hailed as the panacea for all ills. New inventions (electric lighting, telephones, telegraph systems) were changing business and society. Mankind felt invincible and believed industry could correct all problems. Psychiatry was in it's infancy, nutrition and eugenics offered a chance to create "super" humans, and the mystery of what happens after death was being explored. The Ouija board was invented, sean ...more
I had very high hopes for Distant Waves. The sinking of the Titanic is one of those historical event that has always fascinated me. I’m very sad to report that Distant Waves did even come close to living up to my expectations.

The thing that most annoyed me about Distant Waves is that the Titanic doesn’t even make an appearance until 200 pages into the book! The first 200 pages or so instead focus on Janet, her mother, and her four sisters. I found none of these characters to be particularly ende
Even though it takes about 21 chapters before the sisters in this story (with the subtitle A Novel Of The Titanic) finally get on the Titanic I really enjoyed this book.

Most books that use the Titanic either do not use it enough or can't stand on their own, but this is an intriguing story all of its own while also using the Titanic in a way that I could admire.

To be honest: It wasn't the Titanic that stole the show in this book. It was Tesla, the scientific genius who seems to be an influentia
Okay, the story for this book was really cool. I think the author could've built on a lot of things, but she kept her description of circumstances pretty brief, but not TOO brief where you always feel like your missing something. It honestly could've been a series or atleast a trilogy with the amount of material involved.

DISTANT WAVES is mainly told in Spirit Vale, a small town in New York where the majority of the population are 'spiritualists', people who believe they can communicate with ghos
As a longtime history buff of things Titanic, it always bothers me when authors use it and either make the story dull or silly. This book calls itself "a novel of the Titanic," but let the reader beware - that's only a small part of this story. What this book IS about is the spiritualist movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. A self-proclaimed medium and her five daughters go to live in Spirit Vale, New York, a town full of those with "the gift." The six women manage to have run-ins w ...more
Distant Waves was an interesting read, but did not make much sense at times. It was not the kind of book where you would keep flipping the pages because you were interested in the book. It was the kind of book where you had to interest yourself in flipping the pages, and finish the book.

What I did like about the book though was how it has a different flow of themes, mood, and patterns than regular books do. For example when Jane thinks she is in Love with Thad she doesn't run off and get marrie
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

What would you do if you had foreseen the sinking of the Titanic?

DISTANT WAVES is one of many re-tellings of the mysterious happenings surrounding the greatest shipwreck of all time, but Suzanne Weyn's version stands out with its breadth of historical research and, most importantly, with its allusions to the paranormal.

Maude Oneida Taylor is a famed psychic, one of the most respected clairvoyants in Spirit Vale, a small liberal town teeming with spiri
Elizabeth Ham
I received Distant Waves three years ago as a gift from a friend who was not a reader at the time. Those of you who are still suffering through it or recently finished it can be assured, your view of this tree-waster will not improve with time, if you're anything like me. That said, I resold my copy to a (very, very popular) local used bookstore over a year ago and it is still sitting on the shelves.

3 Reasons I hated this book:

1. Extreme plot contrivances to let the ending work. It seems as if M
Emma Albertz
The book was really interesting and is a great book to read for people who like history, romance, and adventure. Suzanne Weyn, the author of Distant Waves: A Novel of The Titanic, is the oldest of four siblings from Long Island, New York. Which might have inspired her to write a story about five sisters. Suzanne is a bestselling author of multiple young adult novels such as, "The Invisible World: A Novel of Salem witch Trials," "Reincarnation," "Diamond Secret," "The Night Dance," and many more ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 17, 2015 12:58PM  
MORE 1 2 Mar 06, 2015 06:20PM  
Did anybody else feel that this book could have gotten more to the point? 17 50 Jan 09, 2015 09:16AM  
Do YOU believe in spiritualism? 1 3 Jul 24, 2012 08:40AM  
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Suzanne Weyn grew up in Williston Park, Long Island, New York. She has three sisters and a brother. As a girl she was very interested in theater and in reading. Louisa May Alcott was her favorite author, but she also read every Sherlock Holmes story. Suzanne lived pretty close to the ocean and going to Jones Beach was one of her favorite activities Even today, if she goes too long without seeing t ...more
More about Suzanne Weyn...
The Bar Code Tattoo (Bar Code, #1) The Night Dance (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) Water Song: A Retelling of "The Frog Prince" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) The Diamond Secret (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)

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