I saw some reviews of The House on Tradd Street by Karen White throughout the book blogging world and decided to pick it up from Amazon when it was selling for $3.99. I love good books at cheap prices! I was pleasantly surprised by this book and often found that I couldn’t put it down or wanted to read just one more chapter before bed.
Melanie Middleton is a woman who sticks to the rules and lives life pretty conservatively. She is a real estate agent that specializes in historic homes in Charleston, S.C. The funny thing is, Melanie hates old homes. She prefers stark modern architecture and brand-new condos to old houses with rotting porches filled with antiques. For one thing, she thinks older homes suck way too much money for repairs and upkeep. But the biggest reason, which she doesn’t reveal to anyone, is that she can see ghosts- Sixth Sense style. When Melanie inherits a historic home from an almost-stranger, she is forced to confront a mystery that has been buried for a generation. The inheritance stipulates that she must live in the house for a year, and provides her the money to do renovations. A journalist, Jack Trenholm, decides that the house’s mystery would be perfect for his next book, and so comes to stay and work on the house. Other, more sinister people are also interested in the house, and Melanie must solve the secrets of the home before she or someone else gets hurt.
Now, I am a huge scaredy-cat. And my number one fear is ghosts. So at first I thought this was probably a bad choice of books for me. At first, reading alone at night, I was a little spooked, but after a while the book become more fun and less frightening. The characters were well-developed with past-histories that propelled their actions and made them very real. There is a great dynamic between Melanie and Jack, as well as Melanie and her hippie best-friend. And the beautiful home almost becomes a character itself. It seems to breathe and grow and feel, with the help of some ethereal beings. I love the ambiance of Charleston too, it reminded me of the way Savannah was described in The Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The book wasn’t profound, but it was definitely fun, unique, and a little spooky. This is apparently the first in a series by White, and I look forward to the next Melanie Middleton story.