Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"The House of Velvet and Glass"

Katherine Howe was born in Houston, Texas, and holds degrees in art history and philosophy from Columbia and in American and New England Studies from Boston University. She is the author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and which has been translated into more than twenty languages.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, The House of Velvet and Glass:
On page 69 of the paperback edition of The House of Velvet and Glass, Sibyl Allston and Benton Derby are having an argument. Sibyl, a cosseted Boston Brahmin woman hovering on the knife-edge of spinsterhood in 1915, and Benton, a young psychology professor in Harvard's Department of Social Ethics, are ostensibly arguing about Sibyl's brother, Harley. Harley's been abruptly booted out of college and, after stopping at home to absorb his due allotment of criticism from his family, has disappeared. Since her mother and younger sister were lost on Titanic in 1912, Sibyl has struggled to keep her family together. but the world is changing around her, and she feels overpowered and unprepared. Sibyl is accustomed to having to pick up the pieces of her wastrel brother, and she's angry. But she's not actually angry at Harley - or at least, she's not only angry at Harley. She's angry at the narrow life her social world forces her to lead. She's angry at her father for making her responsible for her brother. She's angry at her mother and sister for being dead. She's also viciously angry at Benton, who had seemed on the point of marrying her years ago, and who backed away for reasons she'd doesn't understand.
Learn more about the book and author at Katherine Howe's website.

--Marshal Zeringue