Posted By trish on October 13, 2009
They had her at hello. From her first moments on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, novelist Karen White was in love. Was it the history—especially that of Charleston and Savannah—the architecture, the sound of the sea, the light, the traditions, the people, the food, the lore? Check all of the above. Add Karen’s storytelling talent, her endless curiosity about relationships and emotions, and her sensitivity to the rhythms of the south, and it seems inevitable that this mix of passions would find its way into her work.
Known for award-winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Book of the Year Award finalist The House on Tradd Street, the highly praised The Memory of Water, the four-week SIBA bestseller The Lost Hours, Pieces of the Heart, and her IndieBound national bestseller The Color of Light, Karen has shared her appreciation of the coastal Lowcountry with readers in four of her last six novels. In her newest, The Girl on Legare Street, she’s back in Charleston, embracing its lore, its history, its architecture, its ambiance, and its ghosts as she revisits Melanie and Jack, the protagonists of The House on Tradd Street.
Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a storyteller by birth, Karen has made her home in many different places. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), Karen notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.”
Karen’s novel The Memory of Water was a WXIA-TV Atlanta & Company Book Club Selection. Her work has been reviewed in Southern Living, Atlanta Magazine, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and by Fresh Fiction, among many others, and has been adopted by numerous independent booksellers for book club recommendations. Last year her 2007 novel Learning to Breathe received several honors, notably the National Readers’ Choice Award and the Booksellers’ Best Award, which in 2009 was again presented to Karen, this time for The Memory of Water.
Southern novelist Karen White’s The House on Tradd Street was nominated for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Book of the Year Award (Fiction). Now, a year later, in a return to Charleston and the people of Tradd Street, Karen White shares the story of The Girl on Legare Street, published by NAL and on sale November 3, 2009. There the tension continues between Melanie Middleton and Jack Treholm, the house on Tradd Street is still being renovated, and there are messages from the spirit world waiting.
Just as Melanie begins thinking her life and her career as a realtor are finally back to—if not normal—a routine, Jack invites her to join him for coffee. No sooner does she sit down than she’s confronted by both an architectural masterpiece and the mother she hasn’t heard from for thirty years. Said mother, famous soprano Ginette Prioleau, has returned to Charleston and is insisting on buying back the family’s home on Legare Street. Melanie has no interest in even seeing Ginette, let alone in helping to restore the 1755 three-story Georgian double house. It appears that the mother and daughter reunion is about to fail, until a more serious agenda emerges—Ginette has had deadly premonitions with Melanie and the house at their center.
Ginette is determined to protect her daughter from the danger she sees approaching. The question is not simply who wishes Melanie harm but why? The mystery has few clues—the discovery of a portrait whose subject bears a striking resemblance to Melanie, the appearance of a locket marked with an “R” that matches one seen in a painting and a possible connection with Melanie’s great-great grandfather’s sail boat, missing since 1886, which has just been recovered along with a trunk containing the remains of an unidentified girl. Despite their psychic abilities, Ginette and Melanie struggle to make sense of it all and to prepare for the enormous power of a malevolent spirit bent on vengeance.
Karen White’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Wedensday, December 2nd: Luxury Reading
Thursday, December 3rd: Life of a Southern Belle
Monday, December 7th: Natalie’s Sentiments
Tuesday, December 8th: Literary Feline
Wednesday, December 9th: Bibliophile by the Sea
Monday, December 14th: Gracious Southern Living
Tuesday, December 15th: Jenn’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, December 16th: Southern Hospitality
Thursday, December 17th: Stacy’s Books
Monday, December 21st: From the Land of Cotton
Tuesday, December 22nd: Lit and Life
Tuesday, December 29th: Write Meg
Date TBD: The Tome Traveller