Charleston, South Carolina is one of my favorite cities. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been there. It is no wonder I fell in love with RETURN TO TRADD STREET. The descriptions of Charleston are so vivid, I instantly recognized places I have been. I’ve stayed at the Charleston Place Hotel, and it’s every bit as elegant as Karen White portrays it. The Palmetto Café where the main character Melanie (Mellie) Middleton and her best friend meet for lunch is not to be outdone. I don’t think there is a museum I haven’t visited, and Tradd and Legare, East Bay Street, South Battery, and Broad are streets I have walked.
Mellie has inherited a beautiful stately old Charleston home, as well as a housekeeper, and a dog named General Lee from Nevin Vanderhorst after only meeting him once. She is a realtor that specializes in old homes, and she met him to discuss putting his house on the market. She is pregnant and has told the father Jack Trenholm she won’t marry him. Jack has a teenaged daughter, a talented musician, who has the typical teenage clashes with her dad. Nola and Mellie have bonded, and Mellie often finds herself in the role of “mother”.
The story was fantastic. I could hardly put it down. There are several conflicts in the story that Mellie needs to solve. Mysteriously, she hears a baby crying while in her house. Is she in love with Jack? Will she get to retain ownership of the house? Does she even want the house? How will she and Jack work out the details of parenthood after the baby is born? There is a lot of action to keep you turning the pages.
The characters were fascinating. Do Mellie and her mother have psychic powers? Can anyone be as handsome as Jack? The Gilberts come into the story, and in the beginning I disliked them, but as Mellie learned more about them and came to like them herself, so did I. Sophie, Mellie’s best friend, has a very colorful way of dressing, not at all stylish, but is what everyone wants in a friend. I could describe these characters and more in greater detail, but I don’t want to spoil the book for other readers.
This is the first book by Karen White that I’ve read, and it definitely won’t be the last. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance with a bit of a mystery as well.