Review: The House on Tradd Street

The House on Tradd Street

The House on Tradd Street
By Karen White
(NAL Trade, Paperback, 9780451225092, November 2008, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

Full of Southern charm but sadly, the story never grabbed me.

The Rest of It:

Melanie Middleton sells houses. Old houses. But she doesn’t really like them and can’t understand why anyone would ever want to restore one. This becomes a bit of a problem when an old man leaves his home to her with a slew of conditions that must be met. She has to live in the house for year, restore it and only then can she sell it.

Well, you know where this going, right?

It’s haunted and Melanie has, how can I say it…a special talent.

I know that Karen White has a huge following and really, there were parts of this novel that I liked quite a bit. I adored the parts about the house and I grew to like Melanie quite a bit, but in the end it was too much of a good thing. There’s romance. Actually, quite a bit of it and as charming as Jack Trenholm is, the whole relationship was formulaic (think, woman in peril).

Plus, it took way too long to set-up.

Having said this, I took a peek at the other books in the series as this is only book one and I have to tell you that book two looks to be a bit more my style. Everything is more established, the newness of the romance is gone and the story looks pretty good.

Would I give Karen White another shot? Yes, but I prefer a story with a little less romance and a bit more meat on its bones and frankly, more about the house and its inhabitants.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains IndieBound affiliate links.

24 thoughts on “Review: The House on Tradd Street”

  1. I like this series…it’s entertaining. I like the ghost story aspects and I did prefer the second book in the series more. I have the third one and I hope to get to it this month.

    I just noticed on the sidebar that your classics book club is reading Edgar Allan Poe — I just want to say he rocks and I can’t wait to see what you think.

    1. I’ve read Poe in school, but never this much of his work. This new club I joined chose about a dozen works, we watch a classics lecture on the works and then discuss. It’s more formal than what my other club does.

    1. The writing reminded me of Nicholas Sparks. The romance aspect was a bit cutesy for my taste. I wanted more ghost and house stuff. Most readers describe the series as fun. I agree with that.

  2. I am not a huge romance reader yet I didn’t mind that part of this book. It did take me a long while to warm up to Melanie though. I liked the character of Jack and felt sorry for the way Melanie treated him. I did like the book but I liked the second one even more. I’m hoping to read the third soon. I’m glad you’re giving the series another try.

    1. I hated that Melanie got stupid in the presence of Jack. I know a lot of women that do that in real life but READING it was another thing. For example, I don’t mind it so much in romantic comedies. Actually, I prefer those movies sometimes.

  3. This is such an odd selection for you, I’m not surprised you struggled with it. I haven’t read any novels by this author but am glad to know you would consider another title.

    1. I’ve been trying a lot of new authors this year. White came highly recommended so I gave her a shot. I think I would have like this book a lot better had I read it years ago…before blogging. My current taste in reads is a lot heavier.

  4. I’ve never read this author … but I don’t suppose I shall be reading this book. On a totally different note, you’ve inspired me to try Haruki. I’m starting with his memoir (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) and then shall venture forth into his fiction.

    1. I wanted to slap her too. She had a good head on her shoulders and then became a complete airhead when Jack walked into the room. Maybe I will read one of her stand-alones.

  5. I haven’t tried this series yet, but have had some people tell me that it’s great. I actually am really excited about the third book, which features a haunted dollhouse. That floats my boat for some reason.

  6. You know as I was reading your thoughts on this one I remember feeling much the same way, but in the end I really enjoyed it. I still have yet to read the other ones though. But I do know that one day I would love to visit the city and explore some of those historic homes!

  7. Ti,

    I like the way you present your review: The short of it, The rest of it. Lovely. And this one, I can hear what you’re saying… and this line is so direct: “…I prefer a story with a little less romance and a bit more meat … ” Thanks for an honest review.


  8. I have often looked at Karen White’s books and thought the covers clever and comely, but feared her writing was not my style. You have confirmed this. Sad but true.

  9. I liked this book a lot because even though I don’t like ghost stories per se, we just fixed up an old house and so I could relate to that aspect of it but I can see your point of view too!

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