Book Snobs's Reviews > House on Plunkett Street

House on Plunkett Street by Lorena Bathey
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May 09, 12

Read in May, 2012

I'd like to start off by saying that this story has a lot more to offer than what you'll read about in the blurb. Romance, mystery, intrigue, paranormal, and EDUCATION! I'm not one of those reviewers who speaks details of the story .. if you want that, pick up the book. Here, you'll learn how I FELT about it! This review is a bit of a struggle for me because as a general rule, I only review what I CAN'T keep to myself. While I'm not so in love that I'd personally shove it down your throats, I do respect the work that went in to House On Plunkett Street, and wish to share my experiences about it.

I must admit that the story began kind of slow for me. I had started and stopped several times as it just didn't hold my attention. I believe that this was intentionally written by the author as a way to project to the reader just how mundane and blah the main character Phoebe's life really is. It finally began picking up for me around chapter 3 or 4. The paranormal aspect came in kind of abruptly and without that "holy shit" moment that one would expect if suddenly faced with a ghost. Phoebe just accepted it as she does everything else in her life. At this point in the story, The author read my mind when she mentioned The Scrooge Story - A Christmas Carroll. I kind of got that feel, what with the three different ghosts making their appearances and serving each an individual purpose. It was a little cheesy, but still pleasant. We're first taken back in time to an era where women had to work for everything that we take for granted in todays age. Humility and modesty were also strong practices of those days and the author took me on an educational journey and I learned a lot, and felt empowered to have the rights as a woman gifted to me that so many worked for NOT so long ago.
The second ghost Polly was my FAV! She was truly the bee's knees! From the 1920's, I can really tell that Lorena did her homework when preparing this character for the story. The energy, soul, and lingo were so accurate and well reflected that I could really picture her materializing right before my eyes. Polly didn't have a happily ever after in the traditional sense and I loved that! That's REAL! Not everyone gets a fairytale. The final ghost didn't make much of an impression on me, but that may just be my own personal opinion.
Let's move onto the romance shall we? This is where it gets tricky.. you see... Phoebe has a boyfriend. A two year long BLAH relationship that's more a matter of convenience than love. Said boyfriend stays the night. No big deal right? I personally don't think so but it left me with questions. I'm wondering what audience/genre this book was intended for. I had originally thought YA but while the overnight visits were 'fade to grey' ... midway through the story, a very intimate sex scene pops up out of nowhere and shocked the hell out of me. Because of that, I would NOT recommend this for younger readers. One act of descriptive intimacy can change everything. Add that to the occasional curse word and I just really couldn't put my finger on what the author was going for.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be talking about romance right? Well, there wasn't much for the longest time. When it did finally come about, it happened so fast, so STRONG that I had kind of a hard time with it. The author explained all this away, so I know that it happened that way intentionally, I just felt that it could have been fleshed out with minute details a bit more. That being said, when the road got rocky, I got pissed! I KNEW it was coming, but when Phoebe got hurt, so did I! So I guess it goes to say SOMETHING that I was inspired enough to feel empathy for these people.

Much of this story felt very bland to me, a little elementary but that could very well be a reflection of my personal reading tastes, so I can't fault the writer for that. She was VERY thorough and while I like having the picture painted for me, I also really like to get down to the meat of a story. I've got to give it to Lorena however... the girl's got an amazing vocabulary! Aside from frequent pronouns, she really uses the English language to her benefit. I caught on to that right off the bat, so I'm sure writing must be a real passion for her.

I feel like Lorena took a conventional story and modernized it. I really appreciated the way that she brought us to a place where we could see what WAS, and compare it to what IS. All in all, I enjoyed the read even though it wasn't my personal cup of tea. It didn't sing to my heart but that's not to say that it won't sing to YOURS! I'd recommend giving it a go and finding out for yourself. I'm impressed enough with the ambition alone that I intend to follow up in the future with more of her work.

I know that I've skimmed over much of the story-line here, but these are the points that speak to me. I'm sure in reading, you'll find your own and I hope that you'll share them with the rest of us as well. If you enjoyed my review, and would like more.. please visit book-snobs.blogspot.com.
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