From the back cover:
Practical-minded realtor Melanie Middleton hates to admit – even to herself – that she can see ghosts. But she’s going to have to accept it because an old man she met just days ago has died, leaving Melanie his historic Tradd Street home, complete with a housekeeper, a dog, and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her something…
Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that some diamonds went missing from the Confederate treasury a century ago are hidden in Melanie’s home. So he decides to charm the new tenany, only to discover that suddenly he is the smitten one.
But it turns out that Jack’s search has caught the attention of a possibly malevolent ghostly presence. Now Jack and Melanie need to unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak and even murder. And they must hurry…for an evil force – either dead or alive – lies in wait.
As you can probably tell by the rating, I enjoyed The House on Tradd Street immensely. First of all, the setting was wonderful. I was in Charleston, SC last year, and White really has a way of making the setting come alive. Her descriptions are vivid, and she manages to convey a sense of grandeur and history, coupled with the haunting quality that comes with these old houses. I thought she did a magnificent job with the setting.
The characters are definitely well-written. The reader can really understand Melanie’s need to control everything around her and her feelings towards her parents. However, she is not intransigent or annoyingly stubborn; it is wonderful to watch her relationship with her father heal throughout the book. Indeed, she evolves quite a bit as a character, and it is a satisfying journey to watch. Jack is a great character as well; he is obviously damaged, but manages to hide it incredibly well with his charm and good looks. It is obvious from the beginning of the book that these two are made for each other, but it’s not annoyingly predictable.
And finally, the mystery. This had me on the edge of my seat, reading frantically in an effort to finish the book before class (I knew that if I didn’t, I would end up skipping class to discover what happens to Melanie, Jack, and the house on Tradd Street). It really is that captivating. It unfolds very slowly; the reader is at the middle of the book by the time the real mystery is actually uncovered. Sometimes, this might be frustrating, but in The House on Tradd Street, that is not the case. Instead, it serves as a reminder that the mystery of Louisa’s disappearance is the underlying story to the novel and is one of the reasons that Melanie agreed to take the house. The fact that Melanie can see ghosts is also an interesting addition to the story. It can be disturbing and downright scary at times, but it is handled incredibly well, without any cheesiness.
The only disappointment in this book is that it ended. However, this was tempered by the fact that, upon turning the last page, I read the surprising and heartwarming words that read, “Melanie Middleton and Jack Trenholm will be back for a new adventure – turn the page for an exciting preview of their book, coming from New American Library in November 2009.” Just one more year. I can’t wait!
A big thank you to Pump Up Your Book Promotion Blog Tours for sending me this wonderful book to read.