Top critical review
Good story, but I HATED the main character
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2018
It's hard to like a book when you utterly hate the main character, but I guess it's a testimony to the author's story-telling skills that I liked The House on Tradd Street despite Melanie Middleton. For a supposedly uber-successful realtor and respected businesswoman of thirty-nine years old, Melanie is incredibly rude, tactless, and immature. Her specialty is selling historical old houses to her clients, but she describes people who buy old houses to restore as "stupid." Nice, huh? In addition, she thinks all old buildings, even those in residential neighborhoods, should be razed to make way for parking lots and convenience stores. I hated this character from page one. Add in her intolerance (the way she criticizes her best friend's clothes and the fact that Jack has female friends), and the way she treated the dog whose owner died (trying to give the dog to anyone, even threatening to dump him at a shelter just so she wouldn't be inconvenienced by him) and by the end of the book I was rooting for the malevolent spirit to take her out. I won't even go into her teenage-girl-drama temper tantrums, complete with "I never want to see you again!" pronouncements. The fact that she had a crappy childhood didn't even soften my dislike for this horrible woman.
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.