Saturday, April 5, 2014

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

Reviewed by Charlotte Lynn

Publish Date April 4, 2013 by Pamela Dorman Books

From Goodreads  

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.

My Review:

This book had so much going on, I loved it!   The House at the End of Hope Street was a fun read.   It is a story of women who are feeling hopeless being able to have a safe place to go to get the help they don’t even know they need.  Little do these women know that they are entering an enchanted and magical house.  
  The fact that all the characters were able to share their point of view made this book that much more enjoyable.  I am not sure that I can choose a favorite, but I did really like Peggy, the landlady of the house.   I enjoyed watching her try to help each of her “girls” become their own person and find out what they are suppose to do with their lives.   It was also interesting to watch her realize that there was to be more to her life than just being a landlady.  

The use of important literary and historical figures throughout the story was great.  I loved hearing their voices and their advice on what they different characters should or should not do.   Even just bantering between themselves made me smile.   This was a great addition to the story.  Although, I still don’t know why anyone would hang pictures of people in the bathroom and then have conversations with them while in there.  

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The House at the End of Hope Street was a great book for me to read on a snowy day.  It kept me entertained from the very beginning.   I will be looking for more from Menna van Praag.  
Praise for The House at the End of Hope Street

“I entered THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET and was enchanted—literally under the spell—of Menna van Praag's tender, playful, beautiful writing, and the ghosts that inhabit the house and the pages.  These are wise and sensible ghosts who know the secrets of a woman's heart—I wish I could borrow a few from this lovely novel.  It fulfills my book lover's dream of an English literary landscape, in the most surprising and magical way.”
—Luanne Rice, author of The Lemon Orchard and Little Night

“Menna van Praag has created a magical book about an enchanted house and the notable women who inhabit it, both living and dead.  Richly atmospheric, literary, and textured, THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET casts an enthralling spell, giving both characters and readers not only what they most want, but what they ultimately need.”
—Brunonia Barry, New York Times  bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places

“When Alba Ashby arrives at THE HOUSE ON THE END OF HOPE STREET in despair, it’s clear that some very unusual things are about to happen. The people she meets—both earthly and unearthly—help her to uncover the secrets that have haunted her all her life. The story offers a wonderful mix of all-too-real problems in a fantastical setting. And who couldn’t use a Hope Street at some point in her life?”
—Juliette Fay, author of Deep Down True and Shelter Me

“This fresh, whimsical book is as is full of heart as the house at its heart is full of fascinating women. We should all have such friends and such a refuge!”
—Marisa de los Santos, bestselling author of Falling Together and Love Walked In

With its magical house and yet feet-on-the-ground realism, this exceptional novel enchanted me from the first beautiful page. If only I could stay a spell myself at the house at the end of Hope Street.”
Melissa Senate, bestselling author of The Love Goddess’ Cooking School
“THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET is a sunrise of a novel, so fresh and lovely, whimsical and original that it will enchant and surprise even the most jaded of readers.  I am besotted with this house, and with Menna van Praag, and you will be, too.”
—Barbara O’Neal, author of The Garden of Happy Endings

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I have this book on my to read list and have read other positive reviews.


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