Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn

Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn (March 2010, Scholastic, ISBN: 1407115022)

First Lines:
Chapter 1
New York City, 1898


I edged behind a burgundy drape as my mother raised her arms wide and began to sway rhythmically, eyes shut, head thrown back.


Review: Distant Waves is narrated by Jane the second oldest sister of five. Her mum is widowed and makes her living through spiritualism and moves the family to Spirit Vale a town chock-full of mediums, tarot readers and the like. They have a good life there but eventually the older girls, Jane and Mimi are starting to want to explore the larger world. The chance comes when Jane is persuaded by Mimi to enter a journalism competition and for her entry, she decides to interview the inventor Nikola Tesla whose path the family crossed twelve years before.

Mimi and Jane sneak away from their home to make their way to New York City and the Waldorf-Astoria where Tesla is staying. The two girls proceed to meet a number of rich and famous people and Mimi seizes the opportunity to travel abroad and Jane meets a young man.

Jane returns to Spirit Vale, alone and in disgrace. Time passes, before the the story moves to England and finally on to the Titanic...

I have to say I was drawn to Distant Waves by the beautiful cover and I'm glad I was. It's a fascinating story which involves quite a few real-life people and events, though the main family is fictional. Jane is a likeable and strong character whom I enjoyed spending time with. There is a romance for her but it isn't the main theme of the story. It was the evocation of the early twentieth century, the pre First World War atmosphere and of course spending some time on the Titanic that kept me enthralled. An event takes place towards the end which I should have been prepared for - the clues are all there - but I wasn't!

(The US edition subtitles this book, A Novel of the Titanic which is a perhaps a little misleading as only about 1/3rd of the book actually takes place on-board but the ship is alluded to much earlier than that.)

26 comments:

  1. Great review Karen. I chose this for my Year 6 book group and some of the girls have come back saying it is one of the best books they've read. On the other hand some have said the beginning is too boring. I need to hurry up and read it and decide for myself.

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    1. Cool! Its not that good though. DONT READ IT AND LET YOUR CHILDREN SUFFER THROUGH READING THIS

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  2. my teacher used this book for summer reading and lots of kids loved it

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  3. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!

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  4. This book is truly amazing. Suzanne Weyn based her novel on five sisters, all connected in their hearts. Jane Taylor, the character in which the story is narrorated, hilights parts of her life in Spirit Vale, a haunted town in Buffalo, as she grows older. Later on in the book, Jane looks toward her future aboard the Titanic. Here, she meets the love of her life, Thad. In the end, she is torn from all she loves, running from the horrific Titanic as it plunges into the icy sea. Will she and her loved ones survive the tragedy of 1912, or will life as she knows end in the black water? Read "Distant Waves" to find out.

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  5. Becky is a retard.

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  6. This book was horrible. I don't see how the heck you all enjoyed it so much. It's all about crazy spirit people and creepy phycics that eventually - after like three fourths of the book is done - find them selves FINALLY on the titanic. Once there, the book just turns into a somewhat sad, and sappy love story that has a completly unrealistic ending.

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  7. Your opinion of this book depends on the type of books you like to read. For example, the anonymous that posted on november 13, at 10:02, you probably don't like the sappy love stories, but a lot of us do. I personally liked this book a lot, but please don't go posting on reviews that this book is horrible, just because your opinion is different. It's not horrible to everyone.

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  8. I really loved this book. Even though it was a little slow at the beginning it came to be one of the best books I have read this year. Also, I love sappy love stories.

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  9. I really love this book. I was drawn towards it when they spoke of the Titanic, seeing as it was one of my favorite pieces of history. Of course, I was even more thrilled when I found out Tesla was in it, seeing as he is one of my favorite inventors.
    Then the love story betwee Thad and Jane is perfect. Suzanne Weyn is a Historical-Fiction genuis. The ending was a little too good to be true in my opinion, but I would love for Suzanne Weyn to call up a Sequel of the story, Post-Titanic and during World War I.
    I love this book!

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    1. I agree with you. I am doing this book for a independent project for school.

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  10. I really wanna read ths book... where can i read it online for free?

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  11. i loved this book it was very good but every time i reread the ending i cry the people on the titanic were kind people that died esspecially the dogs i loved the sappy love storys.
    PLEASE WRITE MORE OF THE STORY ON THE NOVEL OF THE TITANIC DISTANT WAVES PART 2
    YOU ARE AN AWESOME WRITER SUZANNE WEYN !!!!!!
    I HAVE READ DISTANT WAVES 15 TIMES I STILL CRY AT SAD PARTS

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  12. loved the book sad in some parts but my new favorite i dont see how anyone could dislike it :)

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  13. loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!luv the book every one should read it!1!

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  14. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!Though the ending was to good to be true but,I'm glad it was! I really hope that she writes a sequel.

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  15. this shit is stupid!!!!

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  16. i read this book i kinda liked it but i still dont get wuhht its about.... im kinda lost;DD

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  17. Jane has a sweet perspective of Thad her one and only love. I think it was really sweet when a man was spying on them to keep Thad from talking Jane kisses him. Then later Thad "checks" to make sure that their first kiss was that enjoyable...hehe anyway this book was amazing.....I love romances!!

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  18. This has been my all time FAVORITE book for 3 years now! Suzanne Weyn's stories are amazing!......Crazy Romantic!!!

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  19. OMG!!! I love all of Suzanne Weyns books but this one is my fave. mimi and victor were ment to be together but Jane and Thad were put on this planet for eachother!!!!!


    _Hailey :)

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  20. OMG!!!!! I want a man like Thad!!!

    I'm still waiting..... Nope. life is not as good as a Suzanne Weyn book.

    Hailey Hatfield <3's Suzanne Weyn!!

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  21. i hate this book so stupid


    kai heller

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  22. This book sucks. I only enjoy educational crap from wester school's website!

    Tosin Klements

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  23. Where is my Thad? I need a Thad!!


    Hailey Hatfield

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  24. When you have nothing else to do in your spare time, I suggest reading this book. It's pretty entertaining and I gotta admit, I actually liked it a lot.

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