Popular Spiritualism Books

22+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Spiritualism

Discover the list of some best books written on Spiritualism by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Spiritualism highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.3/5

Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism by Barbara Weisberg

A fascinating story of spirits and conjurors, skeptics and converts in the second half of nineteenth century America viewed through the lives of Kate and Maggie Fox, the sisters whose purported communication with the dead gave rise to the Spiritualism movement—and whose recanting forty years later is still shrouded in mystery. In March of 1848, Kate and Maggie Fox—sisters a A fascinating story of spirits and conjurors, skeptics and converts in the second half of nineteenth century America viewed through the lives of Kate and Maggie Fox, the sisters whose purported communication with the dead gave rise to the Spiritualism movement—and whose recanting forty years later is still shrouded in mystery. In March of 1848, Kate and Maggie Fox—sisters aged 11 and 14—anxiously reported to a neighbor that they had been hearing strange, unidentified sounds in their house. From a sequence of knocks and rattles translated by the young girls as a "voice from beyond," the Modern Spiritualism movement was born. Talking to the Dead follows the fascinating story of the two girls who were catapulted into an odd limelight after communicating with spirits that March night. Within a few years, tens of thousands of Americans were flocking to seances. An international movement followed. Yet thirty years after those first knocks, the sisters shocked the country by denying they had ever contacted spirits. Shortly after, the sisters once again changed their story and reaffirmed their belief in the spirit world. Weisberg traces not only the lives of the Fox sisters and their family (including their mysterious Svengali-like sister Leah) but also the social, religious, economic and political climates that provided the breeding ground for the movement. While this is a thorough, compelling overview of a potent time in US history, it is also an incredible ghost story. An entertaining read - a story of spirits and conjurors, skeptics and converts - Talking to the Dead is full of emotion and surprise. Yet it will also provoke questions that were being asked in the 19th century, and are still being asked today - how do we know what we know, and how secure are we in our knowledge?

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4.7/5

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her? Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

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3.2/5

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse , Hilda Rosner (Translator)

Herman Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies--Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism--into a unique vision of life as expressed throug Herman Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies--Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism--into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man's search for true meaning.

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4.4/5

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu , Gia-Fu Feng (Translation) , Jane English (Translation) , Toinette Lippe (Translation) , Jacob Needleman (Translation)

'Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.' Stephen Mitchell's translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way) has sold over half a million copies worldwide. In this stunningly beautiful edition of the fundament 'Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.' Stephen Mitchell's translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way) has sold over half a million copies worldwide. In this stunningly beautiful edition of the fundamental modern Taoist philosophy text, Mitchell's words are set against ancient Chinese paintings selected by Asian art expert, Dr Stephen Little.

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3.5/5

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle's clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who's ever wondered what exactly "living in the now" means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to Eckhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle's clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who's ever wondered what exactly "living in the now" means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container--more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he's added markers that symbolise "break time". This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles--a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. --Gail Hudson

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3.2/5

Affinity by Sarah Waters

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by an apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by an apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a séance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.

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3.1/5

A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz

Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone.

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4/5

Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death by Deborah Blum

What if a world-renowned professor of psychology at Harvard University, a doctor and scientist acclaimed as one of the leading intellects of the time, suddenly announced that he believed in ghosts? At the close of the nineteenth century, to great public and professional astonishment, William James-the great philosopher, a founder of the American Psychological Association a What if a world-renowned professor of psychology at Harvard University, a doctor and scientist acclaimed as one of the leading intellects of the time, suddenly announced that he believed in ghosts? At the close of the nineteenth century, to great public and professional astonishment, William James-the great philosopher, a founder of the American Psychological Association and brother of Henry James-did just that and embarked on a determined, lifelong pursuit of scientific evidence to prove it. James came together with two other brilliant and charismatic thinkers of the day-Richard Hodgson, a converted skeptic, and James Hyslop, a natural grandstander who would often visit mediums unannounced, a hooded mask covering his face-to form the core of the American Society for Psychical Research. They eventually merged with the British Society for Psychical Research, adding to the group the Cambridge philosopher Henry Sidgwick and his tiny, ferociously smart wife Eleanor, as well as the mythically handsome Edmund Gurney and others. While studies of ESP and ghostly visitations have occurred since the days of the society, at no other time have scientists of the caliber of James and his colleagues devoted themselves in such an ambitious and driven way for evidence of a life beyond. James and his band of brothers staked their reputations, their careers, even their sanity, on one of the most extraordinary (and entertaining) psychological quests ever undertaken, a quest that brought its followers right up against the limits of science. This riveting book is about the investigation of the ghost stories-the instances of supernatural phenomena that could not be explained away-and it is about the courage and conviction of William James and his colleagues to study science with an open mind. At the heart of the story is the ongoing tension between empiricism and spiritualism-between a way of explaining the world that is grounded in the purely tangible and a way that is grounded in a mixture of the evident and the hidden. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Deborah Blum uses her extraordinary storytelling skills and scientific insight to explore nothing less than the nexus of science and religion. It is a territory as fascinating to us now as it was to William James and his colleagues then.

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4.1/5

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho , Alan R. Clarke (Translator) , Özdemir İnce (Translator)

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read t Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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4.2/5

Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn

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 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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4.6/5

We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni

It started out as a harmless prank. But soon enough, spiritualism was the fastest growing movement of the nineteenth century, and Maggie Fox was trapped in a life of deceit. Meticulously researched by the author, We Hear the Dead reveals the secret of how the Fox sisters faked their rapping sounds and their motives for inventing the séance and founding spiritualism. Maggie: I It started out as a harmless prank. But soon enough, spiritualism was the fastest growing movement of the nineteenth century, and Maggie Fox was trapped in a life of deceit. Meticulously researched by the author, We Hear the Dead reveals the secret of how the Fox sisters faked their rapping sounds and their motives for inventing the séance and founding spiritualism. Maggie: I began the deception when I was too young to know right from wrong. No one suspected us of any trick, because we were such young children. We were led on by my sister purposely and by my mother unintentionally. Only with the passing of time did I come to understand the consequences of my actions. As Doctor wrote to me: "Weary, weary is the life by cold deceit oppressed." Kate: My sister has used the word "deception." I object to her use of that word, for I do not believe that I have ever intentionally deceived anyone. Maggie has a different understanding of all the events that have happened since that night in Hydesville forty years ago. To her the spirits were always a game. For my sister Leah, they were a means to an end. For my mother, a miracle. And for me, they were my life's calling. I have no regrets.

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4.2/5

Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America by Ann Braude

..". Ann Braude still speaks powerfully to unique issues of women's creativity-spiritual as well as political-in a superb account of the controversial nineteenth-century Spiritualist movement." --Jon Butler "Radical Spirits is a vitally important book... [that] has... influenced a generation of young scholars." --Marie Griffith In Radical Spirits, Ann Braude contends that th ..". Ann Braude still speaks powerfully to unique issues of women's creativity-spiritual as well as political-in a superb account of the controversial nineteenth-century Spiritualist movement." --Jon Butler "Radical Spirits is a vitally important book... [that] has... influenced a generation of young scholars." --Marie Griffith In Radical Spirits, Ann Braude contends that the early women's rights movement and Spiritualism went hand in hand. Her book makes a convincing argument for the importance of religion in the study of American women's history. In this new edition, Braude discusses the impact of the book on the scholarship of the last decade and assesses the place of religion in interpretations of women's history in general and the women's rights movement in particular. A review of current scholarship and suggestions for further reading make it even more useful for contemporary teachers and students.

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3.5/5

Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead by Christine Wicker

In Lily Dale, New York, the dead don't die. Instead, spirits flit among the elms and stroll along the streets, sometimes dressed in garb more common 120 years ago, when Lily Dale was founded and suffragette Susan B. Anthony was a frequent guest. According to Spiritualists who have ruled this Victorian hamlet for five generations, the dead don't go away and they stay any In Lily Dale, New York, the dead don't die. Instead, spirits flit among the elms and stroll along the streets, sometimes dressed in garb more common 120 years ago, when Lily Dale was founded and suffragette Susan B. Anthony was a frequent guest. According to Spiritualists who have ruled this Victorian hamlet for five generations, the dead don't go away and they stay anything but quiet. Every summer twenty thousand guests come to consult the town's mediums, who can hang out a shingle only after passing a test that confirms their connection to the spirit world. On the hot June day when reporter Christine Wicker comes to the world's oldest and largest Spiritualist community, she is determined to understand the secret forces -- human or otherwise -- that keep Lily Dale alive. She follows three visitors: a newly bereaved widow; a mother whose son killed himself; and a beautiful, happily married wife whose first visit to Lily Dale brings an ominous warning. Are the mediums cold-hearted charlatans, as Sinclair Lewis wrote of them? Or are they conduits for a hidden world that longs to bring peace and healing to the living, as psychologist William James and muckraker Upton Sinclair once hoped to prove? Investigating a movement that attracted millions of Americans in the 1800s and now barely survives, Wicker moves beyond the mediums' front parlors and into the lives that tourists never see. She follows the mediums to a place where what we know and how we know it is the greatest mystery of all.

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4.4/5

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran , جبران خليل جبران

Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics of our time. Published in 1923, it has been translated into more than twenty languages, and the American editions alone have sold more than nine million copies. The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divid Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics of our time. Published in 1923, it has been translated into more than twenty languages, and the American editions alone have sold more than nine million copies. The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

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4.3/5

The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England by Alex Owen

A highly original study that examines the central role played by women as mediums, healers, and believers during the golden age of spiritualism in the late Victorian era, The Darkened Room is more than a meditation on women mediums—it's an exploration of the era's gender relations. The hugely popular spiritualist movement, which maintained that women were uniquely qualified A highly original study that examines the central role played by women as mediums, healers, and believers during the golden age of spiritualism in the late Victorian era, The Darkened Room is more than a meditation on women mediums—it's an exploration of the era's gender relations. The hugely popular spiritualist movement, which maintained that women were uniquely qualified to commune with spirits of the dead, offered female mediums a new independence, authority, and potential to undermine conventional class and gender relations in the home and in society. Using previously unexamined sources and an innovative approach, Alex Owen invokes the Victorian world of darkened séance rooms, theatrical apparitions, and moving episodes of happiness lost and regained. She charts the struggles between spiritualists and the medical and legal establishments over the issue of female mediumship, and provides new insights into the gendered dynamics of Victorian society.

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3.3/5

The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith

Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists—until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London’s supernatural underbelly and learns that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners. Can Jess fight these powerful for Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists—until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London’s supernatural underbelly and learns that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners. Can Jess fight these powerful forces? And will the group of strange children with mysterious powers she befriends be able to help? As shy, proper Jess transforms into a brave warrior, she uncovers terrifying truths about the hidden battle between good and evil, about her family, and about herself.

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4.6/5

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin

A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly. In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found. This maritime mystery lies at the center A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly. In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found. This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste. These three elements—a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor—converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.

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3/5

Mrs. Houdini by Victoria Kelly

A captivating debut novel, meticulously researched and beautifully imagined, about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini—a love story that defied death itself. Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. When a widowed Bess begin A captivating debut novel, meticulously researched and beautifully imagined, about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini—a love story that defied death itself. Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. When a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey. Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pair’s extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood. When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, she realizes that her husband’s magic may have been more than just illusion. In surprising turns that weave through the uncertain days of the dawn of the twentieth century and continue into the dazzling 1920s, Mrs. Houdini is a thrilling tale that will take you deep into the heart of one of history’s greatest love stories—asking what drives people to believe in something bigger than themselves—even as it reveals the famous magician’s most remarkable feat of all.

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3.5/5

The Confabulist by Steven Galloway

From the beloved, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, a beautiful, suspense-filled novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a magical tale of intrigue, love and illusion. The Confabulist weaves together the life, loves and murder of the world's greatest magician, Harry Houdini, with the story of the man who killed him (t From the beloved, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, a beautiful, suspense-filled novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a magical tale of intrigue, love and illusion. The Confabulist weaves together the life, loves and murder of the world's greatest magician, Harry Houdini, with the story of the man who killed him (twice): Martin Strauss, an everyday man whose fate was tied to the magician's in unforeseen ways. A cast of memorable characters spins around Houdini's celebrity-driven life, as they did in his time: from the Romanov family soon to be assassinated, to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the powerful heads of Scotland Yard, and the Spiritualists who would use whoever they could to establish their religion. A brilliant novel about fame and ambition, reality and illusion, and the ways that love, grief and imagination can alter what we perceive and believe.

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3.3/5

Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life. Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern others’ suffering, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child. Sadie can commune with the dea The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life. Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern others’ suffering, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child. Sadie can commune with the dead, but until she makes peace with her father, she, too, cannot fully engage her gift. Searching for his missing family, Hemp arrives in this northern city that shimmers with possibility. But redemption cannot be possible until he is reunited with those taken from him. In the bitter aftermath of a terrible, bloody war, as a divided nation tries to come together once again, Madge, Sadie, and Hemp will be caught up in a desperate, unexpected battle for survival in a community desperate to lay the pain of the past to rest. Beautiful in its historical atmosphere and emotional depth, Balm is a stirring novel of love, loss, hope, and reconciliation set during one of the most critical periods in American history.

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4/5

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn

Postbellum America makes for a haunting backdrop in this historical and supernatural tale of moonlit cemeteries, masked balls, cunning mediums, and terrifying secrets waiting to be unearthed by an intrepid crime reporter. The year is 1869, and the Civil War haunts the city of Philadelphia like a stubborn ghost. Mothers in black continue to mourn their lost sons. Photograph Postbellum America makes for a haunting backdrop in this historical and supernatural tale of moonlit cemeteries, masked balls, cunning mediums, and terrifying secrets waiting to be unearthed by an intrepid crime reporter. The year is 1869, and the Civil War haunts the city of Philadelphia like a stubborn ghost. Mothers in black continue to mourn their lost sons. Photographs of the dead adorn dim sitting rooms. Maimed and broken men roam the streets. One of those men is Edward Clark, who is still tormented by what he saw during the war. Also constantly in his thoughts is another, more distant tragedy--the murder of his mother at the hands of his father, the famed magician Magellan Holmes...a crime that Edward witnessed when he was only ten. Now a crime reporter for one of the city's largest newspapers, Edward is asked to use his knowledge of illusions and visual trickery to expose the influx of mediums that descended on Philadelphia in the wake of the war. His first target is Mrs. Lucy Collins, a young widow who uses old-fashioned sleight of hand to prey on grieving families. Soon, Edward and Lucy become entwined in the murder of Lenora Grimes Pastor, the city's most highly regarded--and by all accounts, legitimate--medium, who dies mid-seance. With their reputations and livelihoods at risk, Edward and Lucy set out to find the real killer, and in the process unearth a terrifying hive of secrets that reaches well beyond Mrs. Pastor. Blending historical detail with flights of fancy, Things Half in Shadow is a riveting thriller where Medium and The Sixth Sense meet The Alienist--and where nothing is quite as it seems...

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3.5/5

The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost by Peter Manseau

A story of faith and fraud in post–Civil War America, told through the lens of a photographer who claimed he could capture images of the dead. In the early days of photography, in the death-strewn wake of the Civil War, one man seized America’s imagination. A “spirit photographer,” William Mumler took portrait photographs that featured the ghostly presence of a lost loved o A story of faith and fraud in post–Civil War America, told through the lens of a photographer who claimed he could capture images of the dead. In the early days of photography, in the death-strewn wake of the Civil War, one man seized America’s imagination. A “spirit photographer,” William Mumler took portrait photographs that featured the ghostly presence of a lost loved one alongside the living subject. Mumler was a sensation: The affluent and influential came calling, including Mary Todd Lincoln, who arrived at his studio in disguise amidst rumors of séances in the White House. Peter Manseau brilliantly captures a nation wracked with grief and hungry for proof of the existence of ghosts and for contact with their dead husbands and sons. It took a circus-like trial of Mumler on fraud charges, starring P. T. Barnum for the prosecution, to expose a fault line of doubt and manipulation. And even then, the judge sided with the defense — nobody ever solved the mystery of his spirit photography. This forgotten puzzle offers a vivid snapshot of America at a crossroads in its history, a nation in thrall to new technology while clinging desperately to belief.

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