Rose Mary Achey's Reviews > The House of Velvet and Glass

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe
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Apr 28, 12

Read in April, 2012

Sybil’s mother and sister were among the Titanic victims. Living with her father, an old sea merchant, and her wayward brother, Harlan, Sybil attempts to grieve and keep the remaining family together in a Beacon street Boston Townhouse.

Each of the family members deals with the grief in a very different manner. Harlan was recently expelled from Harvard and is found betting away his fortunes at the card table in the company of Dovie, an actress from the West, scandalous! The Captain turns inward, almost cold against his remaining family. Sybil begins to visit a medium and attend seances in the hopes of connecting with her lost mother and sister. The medium gives Sybil a velvet lined box containing a small glass ball (hence the book’s title).

In the glass ball, Sybil begins to see the future….with a little help from Opium. Sybil has a gift which we later learn has been a curse for the Captain.

I found the writing very good. Sybil’s ability to see the future in the glass ball was somewhat farfetched, but after all this is a novel. If you enjoy a good tale with some interesting characters, you will enjoy this book.
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