Monday, September 30, 2013


Velvet is a young orphan in London in the year 1900.  Her mother died long ago, and even though she feels guilty about her father's death, she is still relieved to be rid of the horrible man.  She supports herself by working in Ruffold's laundry.  She is on the verge of being fired for fainting in the super-heated steamy laundry when she gets the opportunity for a promotion.

Velvet doesn't know it at the time, but that promotion will change her life.  She will leave her backbreaking job, her tiny shabby bedroom, and her nights of going hungry behind for a life of relative luxury in the home of Madame Savoya, one of the most famous mediums in London.

Velvet is happy with her life of comfort in a nice house with beautiful clothes, a full stomach, and the attentions of a handsome young man.  She is grateful to Madame for saving her life and trusts her explicitly.  Other mediums may be false, but Madame would never perpetrate such a fraud.  Would she?

Mary Hooper's new novel is set in the world of spiritualism in the year 1900 when it was fashionable to attend seances and seek guidance from "the other side" with the help of a medium.  But are these mediums really communing with the spirits, or are they clever tricksters preying on grieving people?

This book has a great start, and the ending is good, too.  It just got a bit bogged down in the middle for me.  Velvet was just a little too vain and stupid there for a while, but all in all it was an interesting book set in a fascinating time!  And it got me interested in reading some of the author's other books.

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