Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic

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Overview


From the author of REINCARNATION, another historical, supernatural romance, this time focusing on five sisters whose lives are intertwined with the sinking of the Titanic.

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 ...

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2011 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 330 p. Audience: Children/juvenile; Young adult.

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Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic

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Overview


From the author of REINCARNATION, another historical, supernatural romance, this time focusing on five sisters whose lives are intertwined with the sinking of the Titanic.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

* "Weyn's take on the infamous disaster is wholly original."
- Booklist, starred review

"Told in gripping first-person narrative, this novel features interesting characters and creates a strong sense of time and place, while exploring the mysteries of the spirit world."
- School Library Journal

"Weyn weaves fantasy together with factual threads of the Spiritualist movement, Nikola Tesla's inventions and the celebrity-studded passenger list of the doomed ocean liner....A page-turner."
- Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Caitlin Augusta
Sixteen-year-old Jane Taylor arrives on the Titanic by a circuitous route. Her mother is a famous spiritualist who raised her five daughters in the seance capital of the United States, Spirit Vale, New York. Jane and her mother were both influenced by scientist Nikola Tesla, who proclaimed to them that, "Everything vibrates." Her mother incorporated the saying in her career while Jane was enthralled by Tesla's enigmatic personality. In London for a spiritual conference, two of Jane's sisters predict the Titanic's fate, and all five sisters become trapped on board trying to find Jane's eldest sister, Mimi. Tesla, also on board, tests his earthquake and time machines with notable results. Weyn creates a well-researched novel full of notable historic figures. Jane is a thorough narrator whose depiction of unusual phenomena is straightforward and sincere. Tying together spiritualism, the Titanic, Tesla, and racism is, however, possibly more than one story can comfortably hold. Because historical fact grounds much of the plot, the author is obliged to use coincidence more than is desirable. Dialogue is a large part of the novel, and Jane's romance with Tesla's assistant is a refreshingly light touch in a dense story. The sinking of the Titanic seems somehow less interesting than Jane's desire to probe the interconnectedness of humanity. Nevertheless Jane makes for an appealing narrator, and Titanic addicts will want to sink their teeth into Weyn's shipboard expose on the spiritualist movement. Reviewer: Caitlin Augusta
Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
A novel about family, love, technology, and the Titanic is sure to draw some attention. Jane Taylor, the second oldest of the five Taylor sisters, and the glue that seems to hold them together is sure she is destined for something, though she is not sure what. At the turn of the 20th century, Jane's mom, a famed clairvoyant, moves her family to Spirit Vale, a community of people like her. The girls grow up with a sheltered existence in the small town, but Jane still manages to dream big. An aspiring journalist looking for a big story, she begins to follow the life of inventor Nikola Tesla after an intriguing meeting with him prior to moving to Spirit Vale as a young child. When she learns that he will be staying close by, Jane and her older sister travel into the city so that Jane can conduct an interview with the famed inventor. This trip serves as a catalyst that changes the course of all of their lives and ultimately leads to all five sisters boarding the Titanic. Though this newest book by Weyn promises "a novel of the Titanic," only the culminating events of the story take place aboard the ship. Those hoping for a remake of the "Jack and Rose" love story will be sad and disappointed—though two of the Taylor sisters do indeed find love aboard the ship. Rather, the novel delves into many of the historical events leading up to the embarking of the great ship and the book is peppered with historical names and places and intriguing questions about the real work of Nikola Tesla and the role he played in shaping the American economy. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Jane begins her tale with her childhood, as her recently widowed mother struggles to care for her family. While in New York City, they are assisted during an earthquake by the scientist Nikola Tesla, who explains that he caused the event with his latest invention, a device based on the concept that "everything vibrates." Inspired by this idea, and the possibility that it applies to the spirit world, Jane's mother decides to move her daughters to a community of mediums in upstate New York and support them by pursuing her "gift." When Jane is 16, she travels to New York City with her older sister to interview Tesla for a journalism contest and meets his assistant Thad, adding a romantic interest. Several months later, Jane's family travels to England for an international convention of spiritualists. Afterward, two of her sisters board the Titanic, and when their mother hears a prediction that the ship will sink, Jane tries to retrieve them, but is stuck onboard. She makes the ill-fated journey along with Thad and Tesla (who has brought several inventions that could either save the ship or destroy it). Told in gripping first-person narrative, this novel features interesting characters and creates a strong sense of time and place, while exploring the mysteries of the spirit world. An author's note separates fiction from fact and shares further details about real people and events.—Samantha Larsen Hastings, West Jordan Public Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
As a clever and independent young woman, Jane is skeptical of her mother's work as a renowned spirit medium but not willing to write it off completely; her fate hinges on her agnosticism. Despite multiple predictions of disaster, Jane and her four sisters wind up aboard the Titanic as it departs England on its maiden voyage, and she faces a choice: Should she believe the prophecies and get them all off the ship when it stops in France or Ireland, or should she have faith in science and proceed with the transatlantic crossing? The well-researched story relies heavily on dialogue to impart rich historical detail, resulting in stiff, unnatural exchanges. But Weyn weaves fantasy together with factual threads of the Spiritualist movement, Nikola Tesla's inventions and the celebrity-studded passenger list of the doomed ocean liner to produce a tale that is half history-textbook and half science-fiction-thriller. The author's note clarifies where she has taken liberties with real people and events. For readers who can accept the premise, this is a page-turner. (Historical fantasy. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545085847
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Suzanne Weyn has written many books for young adults including Distant Waves, Reincarnation, Empty, and Invisible World. She lives in New York, and you can find her at www.suzanneweynbooks.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 156 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(104)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 157 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Distant Waves

    I've been in love with the Titanic since I was 4. I'm a huge Titanic buff and I love reading about and studying the ship, so I was thrilled to see this book came out...until I actually read it. It was rediculous. There are many times when it's historically inacurate, and the ending was just silly. But if you're looking for a book that hardly makes any historical sense, by all means, read it. Though, I must give it this: I loved the character Thad. He is to me what Edward Cullen is to fan girls.

    11 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    This book was the best book i've ever read

    This book is so intense, it made me cry. I love the fact that it relates back to a real event, and has that intense wonder of what is to happen next. I think this is a great book for any person of any age to read. This book is one of few that i have a hard time to put down after i begin to read.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com

    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 spiritualists and feminists. Mrs. Taylor's five daughters grow up in rather unusual circumstances, and none of them are typical American girls.

    Mimi, the oldest, is stunningly beautiful, leaving home to pursue a more luxurious lifestyle and travel through Europe, though she can never truly escape her heritage. Jane, a budding journalist, is the most logical of the bunch, and the story is told through her perspective. Emma and Amelie, twins, seem to have inherited some of their mother's powers. Blythe, the youngest of the group, is completely mesmerized by the power that accompanies fame and fortune.

    Growing up in Spirit Vale, the Taylor girls have seen so many clairvoyants, some who perhaps really have the gift and others who are clearly frauds. Jane has even seen her mother cheat, scribbling her own messages during "automatic writing" that are supposedly from loved ones that have passed on. There have been times though, when even Jane's jaded self doesn't know what to believe, such as during her sister Amelie's dangerous sleepwalking episodes.

    Jane's life is influenced greatly by the ideas and attitudes of physicist Nikola Tesla. After a chance meeting in a man-made earthquake in New York City when she was only four, she has followed his career carefully, regarding him as a father-figure of sorts. Tesla's manipulation of electricity and inventive mind are incredible, only eclipsed by his generosity and lack of capitalist greed. Though Jane admires Tesla, it is his handsome assistant, Thad, who captures her heart.

    As the Titanic sets sail from London, all five sisters find themselves on board, despite multiple predictions of its sinking. Sailing toward what might very well be their demise, Jane and her sisters must hope that somebody or something is out there watching out for them.

    Weyn clearly understands the time period thoroughly, though occasionally the incorporation of facts seems slightly forced and almost weighs the story down. Readers do gain a wealth of knowledge, including little-known trivia about many celebrities of the era.

    This book is a must-read for anyone who remembers Leonardo DiCaprio's "I'm king of the world!" line from the movie, or for anyone who has ever entertained the idea that maybe clairvoyancy isn't so far-fetched after all.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Love Titanic

    I own this book like a hard copy. Should I read it or not?

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2011

    I think it is a good book for what it is

    I thought that this was a book that would be souly about a group of girls who experianced the Titanic sinking. Let's just say I was wrong. I dont think that it lived up to my expectations but she is the author and getting the big royalties so I can't talk. It spent half or more than half of the story on land. But it was not such a bad book, let's just say I don't realy regret reading it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2011

    i loved it.

    i found this book when i was obsessed with the movie titanic so i thought why not. best choice i ever made. now i am obsessed with this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    not so great

    When I first saw the cover, I immediately wanted this book, it was so beautiful. The idea of this book is great, but it honestly took about 200 pages for them to actually arrive on the Titanic, which annoyed me.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Intresting Book!!!

    This book is a must read for readers intrested in romance, history, Titanic,and family love. It begins of with a girl named Jane who has 3 other sisters and one on the way. Her father just previously passed away and her family is left living with their Aunt. The mother on the other hand hates it living at her sister and laws house and the 4 sisters and mother move to Spirit Vale. The mother their takes a job and works as someone who speaks to the dead. The five girls grow older and Mimi one of the sisters (the oldest) and Jane (the second oldest) run away to New York to interview a scientist Tesla. There Jane meets Thad and instantly is drawn to him. Also, Mimi is brought into rich society by being a companion for a wealthy man's girlfriend. Mimi's birth is a issue when she falls in love as the story progresses. All the sister's fates converge on the Titanic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    I very much enjoyed this book. I first read it in 2009 and wasn'

    I very much enjoyed this book. I first read it in 2009 and wasn't sure what quite to expect. I was delighted by its fresh new twist on the Titanic, the war between Edison and Tesla, and  the feminist mother of the narrator, a clever medium who is left widowed and pregnant but  manages to give her daughters a good life. The heroine, a young woman named Jane who grows up in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She is a very unique choice to narrate the book and she has a fresh yet historically accurate view of events in the late 1890's to the mid 1910's. Fair warning, the characters do not get involved with the Titanic until about 2/3's of the book but it's there all the previous events in the story are perfectly blended together. This book is a personal favorite of mine because it is very well written. In fact, I hope someday they will turn into a film. Until that day, I'll just enjoy this amazing book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    I love it

    I'm only 11 and I love this book . This story is one of my favorite. I wish it was sequel. ******************************************************** stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Awesome!!

    I absolutely LOVE this book! I bought it at a book fair this year and i honestly believe that was the best choice i made that day. I myself am only 12 years old and i think it was very good. But it is the perfect combination of science, history, and fantasy with just the right amount of romance!! :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    I thot it was great

    I thot most of the book was amazing and stuff. What i hated the most was the ending tho. I thot it was sorta silly. And the girls acted a little childish for their age throught almost the entire thing. But despite all that, it used to be my all time fav book. And i have to give it some credit too cuz it WAS the book, and Suzanne Weyn WAS the author, that/who showed me that i was going to be a writer. I am 13 and i now have written one book about Greasers and im writing another one about Greasers as well. I love writing and i love reading and Distant Waves has shown me that. Crazy as it sounds, its true. BUT Suzanne isnt my inspiration anymore. Theres another author who is an evn BIGGER inspiration to me now: S.E. Hinton. Shes my fav now. Heh, ok, i know my review was boring and long and irrelevant at some points :), so sorry if i bored u.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    I really like learning about the Titanic, but it seems like all

    I really like learning about the Titanic, but it seems like all books on
    this topic are non-fiction. I was very excited when I saw that this book
    was about the Titanic, and it was also a fiction story. I thought this
    book was really good and intense in many parts. I would recommend this
    book to anyone who actually wants to read a story about the
    Titanic...not just facts about it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Amazing

    Some parts were creepy but its really good!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Amazing

    This is the besy bookihave ever i cried sooouo hard i love this book soooo much it is amazing i could read it 1000 times over and over IOVE THIS BOOK i would giveit 810000000000 stars if i could

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    READ IT

    I read this book a few years back when it first came out and I still love. Suzanne brings history, romance and science togather beautifully!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Distant waves

    I love this book it is awesome

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Not Worth it!

    I read this when it first came out. Im a huge Titanic fan, and had high hopes. But it wasnt worth it. The girls were way too modern for thier time, and the story seemed to jump around and be very unrealist. Not what i wanted or thought. Unless you're going to rent it, don't waste your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    Would i like this?

    I LOVE the movie titanic (story of jack and rose is this like it?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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