Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Review: The House on Tradd Street
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White is a fun, chick lit-esque ghost story/mystery set in Charleston, South Carolina, one of my most favorite places ever! (for numerous reasons. Though my family is probably recalling as they read this my "Mr. Hottie" chronicles....but that's a whole nother story and it's kind of too embarrassing to share on the internet. But I digress....) Melanie Middleton is a middle-aged woman who has a very successful career as a realtor. Her specialty-old historic houses. So when she suddenly inherits an old house with a ton of history on Tradd Street, you'd except her to be ecstatic. But there's a catch. Melanie has the unique ability to see ghosts, and she doesn't like it at all. That's why, while she sells beautiful old homes, she prefers to live in a brand new, plain white condo. With her inheritance, she must restore and live in the old house for at least one year, and she's not happy about the ghosts she keeps seeing in it. With the help of historical real-life mysteries writer Jack Trenholm, Melanie reluctantly starts to uncover the house's secrets. One major problem-one of the home's ghosts doesn't want her digging around in the past. What will Melanie uncover?
I truly loved The House on Tradd Street. It's such a fun book. It's light-hearted yet serious at the same time. This was my first experience with Karen White, and I really enjoyed it. I'm really picky about my ghost stories, but this one was perfect. The ghosts were mysterious and creepy, but no so involved in the story that they stopped acting like ghosts. I also enjoyed Melanie's psychic abilities. She really hates seeing ghosts, but sees them so often that it's normal to her.
Melanie herself was a really likeable character. She can be a complete bitch and is extremely stupid at times, but she's also very insecure and afraid to face her own emotions. She is almost 40 but acs like a child when she's with her parents because of the tension between them. I really loved how Melanie kept denying to herself her feelings for Jack. All of this made Melanie seem real. Her friends were all great too, and they were very funny.
One thing that annoyed me (in a good way though-not in a "OMG I need to stop reading this book" kind of way) was Melanie's relationship with the mysterious Marc Longo. He is the grandson of Joseph Longo, who the former owner of the house on Tradd supposedly ran off with. But there's much more to that story. Priceless diamonds and money problems are involved, and I kow Melanie was smarter than she acted, but I think she just wanted to make Jack jealous. I kept thinking, and so did Jack, that Marc was up to something, and Melanie just would not believe it.
I highly recommend The House on Tradd Street. Even though it deals with ghosts and an old mystery, it feels like it's a really story that could happen to any of us. I think that's because the characters all seem so real and the setting is in a place I'm familiar with and love. It's a heartwarming story about timeless love, loss, and uncovering the truth. A great book to bring on vacation or read in a hammock, you won't want to put it down. I can't wait to read the next book with Melanie Middleton, which also takes place in Charlston, The Girl on Legare Street.
Title: The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Date of Publication: 2008
Number of Pages: 352
Source: Personal Copy