The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter
This is quite a chunky book so Tranter has given herself plenty of space and time to build up a nice level of suspense here as well as putting some flesh on the bones of her central characters. The book opens - towards the end of the story. So we have firm, but platonic friends, Julia and Ralph both very concerned about their mutual friend, Ingrid. She supposedly died on 9/11 - but with no remains, no burial, their grief hasn't an outlet. They need (to quote that much used word) closure.
|The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter
|Category: General Fiction
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie
|Summary: Young, beautiful and everything-going-for-her Ingrid leaves her native Australia for a glamorous new job in New York. She then 'disappears' on 9/11 - presumed dead, but some of her close friends still have questions they want answered.
|Date: August 2011
|External links: Author's website
As Ralph's health is not up to travelling, he asks Julia to fly to New York to be his eyes and ears. Ingrid and Ralph were related and had enjoyed a close bond. So much so, that at times Julia had felt a bit of a gooseberry. She must have a generous heart, I'm thinking if she's willing to drop everything at a moment's notice and travel to the States, even if Ralph is footing the bill. I can't put you up at the Plaza ... but I have a place for you to stay. Julia is a poor student, after all.
We get lots and lots of background on the family dynamics concerning Ingrid, Ralph and the other members. Due to a recent death, Ingrid, used to being poor and having to count the pennies, is now rather well-off. She's elated. What's more, she's talented and is also quite ambitious. So heading off to another country will be a huge and welcome adventure for her.
It seems that her time in the Big Apple is limited. In no time at all, it seems she is no longer. Is she dead (as most think) or has she disappeared for some reason?. Ralph has instructed the rather meek and pliable Julia to become almost a modern-day Miss Marple in trying to track down Ingrid's last days/weeks/months.
As we learn more about student Julia's character, we see that it's not so much her generous heart but simply that she's tired of her life in Sydney and fancies a change - even if it's only temporary. Tranter does a nice line in geographical descriptions. They're all over this book which gives a soft, unhurried pace. I was able to grasp and appreciate the natural beauty of Sydney, especially the iconic harbour area. And then we're on to the urban pavements of New York. Julia fits right in. She's always on the go, popping into the nearest deli for a coffee or a quick breakfast, for example.
But I have to say that it's an extremely slow and steady build-up to the main event. A little too slow for me. I could have done without some of the detail. I wanted some but I also wanted to get to the heart of the book. Where is the gorgeous and gifted Ingrid? For me personally, Tranter's style was okay but it didn't blow me away. I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. Overall, a slow-burner of a book.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might like to try Fall by Colin McAdam.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter at Amazon.com.
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