The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe
It is Boston on the eve of World War I. Sibyl lost her mother and sister in the sinking of the Titanic and she visits a medium on the anniversary of the disaster attempting to find out what happened. Why were her mother and sister two of the four female first class passengers not to make it onto a lifeboat? As Sibyl explores her own talents through the murky glass orb she starts to have strange visions that aren’t anything she expected to see.
I’m surprised that this book hasn’t received as much attention as her debut The Physick Book of Deilverance Dane – especially since it’s so much better! Spiritualism was huge at the time as was the use of opium in its myriad of forms (including morphine and a large component in cough syrup) both topics not much visited in books today. Howe takes these two factors, family tragedy and a whole lot of what if? to craft an entertaining and mysterious novel.