Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review #68: The House on Tradd Street by Karen White

Title: The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0-451-22509-2
Format: Paperback from Publicist
Price/Pages: $14.00/339

My Description:

Set in Charleston, South Carolina The House on Tradd Street is a ghost story at heart.
Melanie Middleton is a 39 year old realtor who is good at what she does; practical, smart, sassy and has a "gift" for seeing ghosts. After a meeting about a listing with an owner of a beautiful historic house, Melanie finds herself inheriting it. The owner suddenly dies a few short days after they meet and after having a feeling about her, knows his house will be in good hands with Melanie.

The house holds secrets and ghosts that Melanie discovers right away. She is none too happy with the inheritance, disliking everything about old houses and the work that comes with them. But under the contract of the inheritance she is to live in the house for one year and use the money given to her solely in renovating it.

Along with her best friend (a professor of architecture) her father (an alcoholic trying to get straight), and a handsome new stranger, Jack (a former bestselling mystery author), she goes along with the renovation hoping to get it over and done with.

Jack needs ideas and research for his new book that will recharge his career and he is determined to find out the secrets of the house. The original woman of the house went missing along with a local businessman.
Did she desert her husband and son? Was she kidnapped and murdered?
The truth was never discovered.
Melanie agrees to let Jack "tag along" their renovation and help while poking around the big old house for clues. What she doesn't expect is the tingling feeling she gets when she's around him and the same goes for him.

My Review:

So much happens in this book that I can't really say more without giving too much away. I really, really, really enjoyed this one. Sometimes you just find a book that is completely and totally right for you. Karen White's storytelling ability is remarkable and so much fun to read.

I liked the ghost story aspect of it all. I generally do. Anything paranormal really interests me and especially if you can write about it well and not make it cheesy.
Melanie is a really interesting character. She is really good at her job and is very opinionated. She comes from a dysfunctional family; her father is a recovering alcoholic, her mother abandoned her when she was 7 and she lost her grandmother when she was quite young.

She is very tied to Charleston and the her community though because of her ability to "see" ghosts, she has a hard time existing in such an old world. Charleston is rich with history and every corner there is a different ghost to encounter. She prefers to live in her new, sterile, clean condo where she can relax and be still.

The owner of the House on Tradd Street could sense her abilities and felt she was the best person to inherit his house, which has a story to tell, but only to the right person.

Jack is a handsome, funny, charismatic character ( I kept picturing the actor Bradley Cooper because that just makes me happy!) and his flirting game with Melanie is really fun to read. They are both fierce and motivated and seem to enjoy getting in each other's way, even though they would never admit it.

The whole story is full of so much charm; the town, the old houses, the history, the architecture, the drama, the multiple love stories. I just fell in love with it. I immediately continued with book 2 in the series; The Girl on Legare Street.

Rating: 6 stars/ 6 stars
Highly recommended for fans of solid, character driven fiction with a charming story to back it up. I liked the ghost story aspect but I don't feel it overpowers anything. It's mostly full of family secrets, drama, history and love. If you are a fan of Adrianna Trigiani, I think you would like this one.

Thank you SO much to Joy at Joan Schulhafer, Publishing and Media Consulting for sending me this book to discover. I look forward to reading her newest novel, On Folly Beach and reviewing it for you all!

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Cheryl said...

sounds like a perfect one for me!

Jenny said...

Sounds good! I've actually read a lot of other great things about this and her other books as well... I should probably check this out sometime! I'm not usually into ghost stories, but Dismantled that I just read had one and I really liked that one! So maybe I was wrong, lol.

Staci said...

I loved this one too...especially the ghost part!! I need to read the sequel.

Alee said...

I love a ghost story that isn't cheesy. Thanks for the review. I will definitely be on the lookout for this!

Julie@My5monkeys said...

adding this book to the pile.sounds like good book.

Lisa said...

Luckily, I think the next book in the series will be coming out before too much longer. I believe she's already working on the fourth one even.

Marce said...

I have had this one as the next read for way to long, I think I will love it.

Great review.

BTW - I do love your colours, so you.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Hi Michelle! I was wondering if this would be a good one. I do like Trigiani so on to my wish list this goes :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

I've been meaning to try this author for ages. Great review :)

Unknown said...

So glad you enjoyed this one! I have plans to read it later this year with friends, can't wait.