Shapiro’s sequel to Miriam the Medium (2007) explores family issues with a supernatural twist.
Professional psychic Miriam Kaminsky is back, awaiting the birth of her first granddaughter. Miriam secretly hopes that her paranormal abilities will be passed on after skipping a generation, but her daughter Cara isn’t so sure. After all, Miriam’s Aunt Chaia was institutionalized for most of her life because of a similar “gift.” As her granddaughter Violet grows up, Miriam encourages her to explore her ability to see into people’s minds, and Violet pinpoints classmates’ illnesses as well as their parents’ cheating spouses—much to the parents’ chagrin. Miriam, however, becomes increasingly frustrated as her abilities cause a rift in the family. When a young woman named Kaylee dies due to Miriam’s actions, she believes that it may be time to stop using her powers. But when Kaylee’s spirit returns after her dramatic demise and begins haunting 5-year-old Violet, all bets are off. Will Miriam manage to save the day, or will Kaylee’s influence drive Violet insane? The book gets off to a slow start, setting up Miriam and Cara’s tense relationship, but the action picks up when the two team up to focus on rescuing Violet. Some readers may also feel that the story’s happy ending, despite its internal logic, seems a bit forced. That said, Shapiro effectively immerses readers in a world of spirits—a milieu in which Miriam’s dead Bubbie talks to her on a daily basis—and keeps the proceedings from ever feeling over-the-top.
An intriguing mix of family drama and contemporary fantasy.