Sunday, April 21, 2013

The House At The End of Hope Street

The House at the End of Hope Street
by Menna van Praag

Genre: Women's Fiction

Synopsis: Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included George Eliot and Beatrix Potter, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life.

Filled with a colorful and unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom that is sure to appeal to fans of Jasper Fforde and especially Sarah Addison Allen.

Review: This book is not one that I would normally pick up.  I have very little time to browse library shelves (due to two 4 year olds!) so I grab books that look interesting to me (by the cover) after browsing the new fiction shelves for 2 minutes.  But I'm so glad that I picked up this book!   This book is about the stories of 3 women who lose their way in life and need some help.  Enter a magical house that only appears to women who have lost hope.  This house and the owner who has the gift of sight provide everything that the women need to set their life back on track even though the women don't know what they need. I thought it was fun that there were ghosts and women who talked from their picture frame like in Harry Potter. I loved reading the stories of the women's lives although it drove me nuts how the author hinted at the gory details of what drove them to lose hope and then left me hanging.  I was so glad that the ending gave me closure.

Rating: 4 stars

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