Thursday, April 18, 2013

Alice's Review: The House at the End of Hope Street

Summary: 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 Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker, 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. ~ powells.com

Review: This is the kind of review that makes me wish I were more articulate and soulful.  I believe I do not currently possess the vocabulary necessary to describe how simply wonderful The House at the End of Hope Street is.  Magic is the base of this novel with the star being the house at 11 Hope Street.  It’s a home for women to go who need to escape, recover, heal, and move on from what life throws at them.  And many a great woman has crossed its threshold.  From famous writers, to doctors and suffragists each woman this novel is a who’s who of greatness that reminds us that at one time, they were just like us with their own struggles to go along with their triumphs.


This novel has so many facets.  It’s well written and flows nicely. Ms. van Praag gave us such wonderful characters.  And the house….the house is as much a character as Alba, Peggy, Greer, and Carmen.  I enjoyed how each woman is so diverse yet brings a unique aspect to the story.  It’s so well rounded. 

I liked that there was surprise around every turn.  Things happened that I didn’t expect.  I experienced some full on gasping moments.  It tugged at my heartstrings and made me laugh.  I loved that this is my favorite kind of novel, one that is read by the heart for the heart. 

There were a couple morsels of goodness I just loved.

About moving forward….“There is no going back in life.  No return.  No second chance.  When you waste your days, they are wasted forever.  So be honest about the things you really want, and do them, no matter how fearful you might be.”  Daphne du Maurier

Regarding the house and happiness… “It shows people the way, it gives them a little nudge now and then, but the house can’t do everything. And some people don’t have what it takes to be happy.  It’s not an easy thing, you know.  It takes great courage and determination, to keep looking for the light in all the darkness of life.” Stella

Even as I write this, I want to go back and read it again because I know this is the kind of novel that will give me something every time I pick it up.  It’s different, unique and I really enjoyed it. 

Thank you, Leyane Jerejian, for sending me this ARC.  I truly loved it.

Final Take: 5/5

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2 comments :

Monika April 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM  

I'm just skimming your review because I'll be reading/reviewing this one soon. But I'm so glad to see you say you loved it! :)

Jenn Just Reading April 19, 2013 at 7:08 AM  

So it looks like I really need to read this one.

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