Our book club read Karen White's The Lost Hours in November and we picked The House on Tradd Street for January. The two books had a very different feel to them, although they both contained White's very descriptive style of writing. I have to say, overall, I believe I enjoyed The Lost Hours a bit more (mostly because I really enjoyed the historical fiction part of the book).
Tradd Street finds realtor Melanie Middleton inheriting an old historic house in Charleston after meeting with its owner only once. She's not sure why she inherited the house, but agrees to live there for a year and oversee its restoration before she plans on selling it. Before she realizes it, Melanie stumbles into a bit of a historical mystery. She has a gift and can see ghosts (there is even a quote that seems to poke fun at the Sixth Sense's famous quote "I see dead people".) :-) Melanie and her friends come across information both in reality and through clues from the spirit world that solve the decades old mystery of a woman's disappearance.
This book is actually listed as a "romance". I can see why it was categorized as such because Melanie gets involved in a bit of a love triangle. However, I see this book more as general fiction. It has much more to it than just the romance. This is also the first in a series by White, followed up by The Girl on Legare Street (which I seen reviewed very well around the blogosphere).
Overall, I found the book very difficult to get into. It didn't move fast enough for me. The first half to two-thirds were rather dull. The last third or so really picked up and left me liking it overall just because the book ended so well. I probably will take a gander at the second book, but not sure I'll continue reading the series. Maybe eventually, but there are plenty of other books I'll get to first.
Source disclosure: Borrowed this book from the library.
Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know served as our book club pick for October. I read this one pretty quickly. It was well-written and a good story, however, the subject matter is a bit disturbing. The book opens with a woman claiming to be a girl who disappeared decades earlier with her sister. The authorities pull her over when she appears to be involved in a hit and run accident and disoriented. They are not sure if they should believe she is who she says she is. The book is written both in present day and through flashbacks explaining what happened to the two sisters.
You spend much of the book thinking one thing is going on only to do an about-face at the end of the book and something completely different was really happening. The interesting thing is that when you finally find out the truth about what really happened, the rest of the story seems to be a little less disturbing than you thought while reading it (does that make any sense?).
Source disclosure: Off my bookshelf, originally given to me by a friend.