by T.K. Welsh – I picked this one up because I love history and I love ghost stories, and this is both. I admit, I was also curious to see if Welsh could pull off what Katharine Weber couldn’t in Triangle — successfully combining authentic NYC history with a story that appeals to teens. I think Welsh has succeeded admirably here.
From the publisher:
Mallory Meer has just turned fifteen years old, and within an hour, thanks to the only boy she’s ever loved, she’ll be dead, a victim of the General Slocum steamship disaster. Bound by love to her grieving family, and outraged by the multitude of senseless deaths, Mallory haunts those responsible for the tragedy, determined to see that justice is served.
Young love doomed, a horrific tragedy, and a ghost bound to earth by the terrible event. What more could you ask for? I sped through the first few chapters and then read the end. This is the ultimate test of the “goodness” of a book for me — if I can read the end and then still want to go back and finish the rest of the book, it’s a good’un. The Unresolved is a great one. Mallory is the most well-developed ghostly character I’ve seen in a long, long time…maybe even since my Blossom Culp days. I can’t recall another story where I’ve felt so connected to the ghost, and I was particularly impressed with the way Welsh moved Mallory in and out of other characters and told their stories in that way. Welsh skillfully manipulates emotions and develops characters through the relatively short novel, and I found myself genuinely caring about these people.
My only quibble, and there’s always one, is with the names. We have “Mallory” and “Dustin” — both German, one Lutheran and one Jewish. The names just struck me as very WB and not in sync with the time (early 1900s). I did a little research and found the name Mallory is French, and didn’t come into regular use until the 1960s. Dustin is derived from the Scandinavian, but didn’t come into common use until the 1940s. It seems like Welsh just picked the names out of the air. But, this is a small quibble, and certainly not enough to keep you from reading this fabulous story.