Distant Waves : A Novel of the Titanic
Distant Waves
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub. Date: April 15, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780545085724
Age Range: 12 and up



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.

Copyright © 2009 by Suzanne Weyn


Booklist - Starred Review

Plenty of fiction has been set aboard the Titanic, but Weyn’s take on the infamous disaster is wholly original. For starters, the doomed ocean liner doesn’t appear until the book is two-thirds finished. Instead of using the tragedy as a plot engine, Weyn employs it as but one of the historical forces she juggles to propel her unusual story. Most central is the turn-of-the-century spiritualist movement: Jane is one of five daughters born to a well-known spirit medium, and although she wants to believe in the practices of her mother—and particularly her eerie twin sisters—she finds herself constantly struggling at the intersection of faith and science. The latter camp is represented by real-life scientist Nikola Tesla; his inventions indirectly lead to Jane meeting her true love (and, in a neat bit of historical revisionism, even have something to do with the Titanic’s fate). Various other luminaries drift in and out of the story, and only occasionally do their appearances feel forced. The ending, too, requires a leap of faith some readers may not be willing to take, but the sweeping action, mysticism, and romance should ensure that most will gladly take the plunge. A wonderful author’s note clearly sifts fact from fiction. --Daniel Kraus - Booklist