In this second installment of the Tradd Street series by Karen White, we return to Charleston and follow Melanie Middleton through another exciting journey through her ancestral past and encounter more ghostly presences, some harmless and some very dangerous.
We take up with Melanie having to face the return of her mother, Ginette Prioleau, a world famous opera singer, who walked out of Melanie's life when she was a young girl, leaving no explanation. Her re-entry into Melanie's world is as abrupt as her departure was over thirty years ago. Melanie has no desire to spend any time with her famous mother but feels cornered when Ginette asks for help in purchasing the old family home on Legare Street that once belonged to Melanie's beloved grandmother. Reluctantly, she agrees and before she knows it she is staying there with her mother while her own home is under renovation.
Although Ginette isn't very forthcoming about why she has returned to Charleston, it doesn't take long for spirits to appear with threats against both Melanie and her mother. More questions arise when a sunken sailboat belonging to Melanie's ancestors is discovered off the coast of South Carolina. When the remains of a young girl are found in a steamer trunk on the boat, Melanie and her mother try to find out who she was and if she is connected to the spirit that has been residing in the house on Legare Street for decades. The closer they get to the truth, the more dangerous it is for them to stay at the house. With the help of Melanie's friends and Rebecca, a reporter Melanie just can't seem to trust no matter how helpful she is, the pieces of the family puzzle slowly start coming together. But Melanie wonders at what cost those answers will come.
THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET brings back the original cast of characters we first met in THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET and also introduces us to a few more that play pivotal parts in this story. Like the first book, there is a combination of mystery, family drama, paranormal activities and a little bit of romance. although the ghostly presences in this book are more intense and more dangerous than in the previous book.
I do like the addition of the new characters and was glad to see the old ones return, but there were times during the book that I didn't really care for Melanie Middleton, the protagonist of the story. She's a difficult person to get close to, mainly because of the abandonment issues regarding her mother, but sometimes I felt she pushed it a bit too far. I'm not a big fan of romance novels but I did get irritated at how she continued to push Jack away and then sulk about it afterwards. I wanted to say 'Enough already!'
One criticism I have is that there are a lot of ancestors to keep track of in this story. Maybe it's just me but I sometimes got a bit lost in keeping all of the dead ancestors and their relationship to Melanie's family straight. It wasn't so much so that I didn't enjoy the book, because I did. I simply felt flustered at times. That being said, I do plan to continue reading this series once the next book comes out. However, that may be awhile because the third installment hasn't been written yet. I will just wait patiently and see what Ms. White comes up with next.
Author: Karen White
Publisher: NAL Trade
Published: November 2009
Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
Other books by Karen White: