The House on Tradd Street Paperback – November 4, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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“There is a rhythm to the writing of Karen White. It has a pace, a beat, a cadence that is all its own.”— Jackie K. Cooper, The Huffington Post
“White’s dizzying carousel of a plot keeps those pages turning, so much so that the book can [be]—and should be—finished in one afternoon, interrupted only by a glass of sweet iced tea.”—Oprah.com
“White captures the true essence of Charleston by intertwining the sights and smells of the historic town with an enchanting story filled with ghostly spirits, love, and forgiveness…a once-in-a-lifetime series.”—Fresh Fiction
“This is storytelling of the highest order: the kind of book that leaves you both deeply satisfied and aching for more.”—Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Tiny Little Thing
“Readers will find White’s prose an uplifting experience as she is a truly gifted storyteller.”—Las Vegas Review-Journal
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If you can get past Melanie the Bitch, the story is a good one. I'll admit that I had parts of it figured out long before the author "revealed" certain parts, but there were still some surprises. The secondary characters are great: Sophie and Chad, Jack and Amelia, Mrs. Houlihan, Melanie's father, even Rich the plumber. Marc wasn't so great, but he was a two-dimensional character, and it's clear he was only thrown in the story to create some conflict. The story could have been told without him and would have been better. I wish we would have seen more of Susannah. It would have been great if she had turned out to be Melanie's grandmother. I thought that was where the author was going when she mentioned the color of Susannah's eyes. I think the author missed a really cool plot twist there.
Although I'd like to read the rest of this series, I'm put off knowing Melanie is the main character. I read the first chapter of the next book, and she's still the same whiny temper-throwing twit. I may see if my local library has the books, but if not I won't read them. Melanie Middleton isn't worth the money to buy them.
Top international reviews
Having said that I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
It's a fairly predictable story, for the most part, but it's perfect reading for a sick day or a long subway ride.
And, by the way, in regard to a previous reviewer's criticism that the book is badly written and full of "run-on sentences," I would have to disagree. It contains no run-on or fused sentences, which are a type of error that no editor would allow; but, like any educated person, White uses compound sentences, which are perfectly acceptable--and desirable!
I'm tempted to order the sequel, "The Girl on Legare Street," since I'm still in the mood for something light and funny (and well-written).
The plot is flimsy and repetitive and the denouement is so conventional and expected, all the more so as you have been waiting for some kind of subtletiy, novelty, and depth for some 200 pages
The heroine is given a house she does not like and will end up liking through some kind of link with her childhood, she will have to make up her mind between a "bad" man and a "good" man, this is not enough to make a story. The description of the "haunted" apparitions, one good, one bad, are always the same.
The writing is sloppy, I do not count the number of times the heroine "shrugged" or "rolled her eyes" within the dialogue narrative, or the number of times we are given details about her suit or the color of her pumps, or the brand of both.
Please, ghost stories are supposed to be subtle. Read Edith Wharton instead.