The House on Tradd Street

October 22nd. 2011

This is the second novel by Karen White that I’ve read, and I’m already voting her to the top of a short list of authors who have a lyrical command of language, sentence structure, and pacing. The House on Tradd Street, was different from Folly Beach in the sense of the paranormal component, but her ability to instantly drop a reader into a dysfunctional family abyss is consistently perfect. The House on Tradd Steet was so engrossing I read it in between managing my chores in a recent family estate sale. Being a closet Charlestonian, I LOVED her ability to weave the city and its mysteries into the story as effortlessly as if it was a waft of espresso. And the architectural element of an old house, haunted by secrets, tragedy, history and diamonds was too good to let go of, even after I’d turned the last page. Funny enough, my favorite character wasn’t the main one–it was her heroic, wounded writer Jack. He might need his own story. If I do nothing else this fall, I’m going to read another Karen White novel.

Georgia’s Kitchen

October 3rd. 2011

The title to Georgia’s Kitchen, by Jenny Nelson, is also a big clue to the heart of this charming and delicious story about a top-notch NYC chef whose life gets tossed through a food processor. The three phases to this story (I call them Manhattan,Tuscany, Manhattan) play out a bit like three course meal and every bite is rich, chewy, and seasoned with just the right amount of salt –and sugar. I read the bulk of this novel on a lazy Sunday afternoon and highly recommend it to anyone needing needing a fun diversion.