The House At The End Of Hope Street

April 4, 2013

The House At The End Of Hope Street
By: Menna Van Praag
280 Pages

There is a special house for women to go when they hit their rock bottom. A house that has helped them put the pieces back together. A house that has guided them onto the right track. A house like no other. With pictures of past visitors lining the walls to talk to, notes floating down with messages, the house at the end of Hope Street is there to help change a life- if you let it.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I wish this house was real because I want to walk through it! I'd love this book to be the first of a series. Very reminiscent of Sarah Addison Allen, this book is full of the wonderful magical touches that gently nudge a character into the direction they are meant to go.

Alba Ashby is a 19 year old intellectual prodigy. But that's not the only setting her apart from the world. Alba has the ability to see what most other people can't. The ghost of her dead Grandmother has been known to join her at the table; she can see the paw prints of cats who are no longer alive. Alba can see scents before she can smell them, and she feel the vibration of sounds prior to hearing them. But all of that has stopped. 

Alba is from a prominent family. The youngest of successful siblings, Alba's life has taken a downward spiral. When her mentor Professor betrays her, Alba is left lost and confused. Wandering the streets in the middle of the night, Alba has no idea how she ended up in front of house. Nor does she remember ringing the door bell. She may not remember how she got to the doorstep, but she will never forget what happened when she passed through the door.

Peggy is the magical home's caretaker. She lives in the attic and is there to great Alba. Knowing all about Alba's special gift, Peggy welcomes her in. Alba sees hundreds of pictures hanging on the wall and is surprised to learn they are of past guests of the house. Florence Nightingale among them. Peggy informs Alba of the house's gift: it can help you put the pieces back together and guide you in the direction you need to go- if you let it. However, this wonderful ability isn't without drawbacks. Guests can only stay 99 nights and can never come back. Alba agrees.

Alba isn't the only current guest letting the house work it's magic. Carmen is running away from the past she shared with her ex-husband. Greer is an actress who is trying to mend her broken heart after the death of her newborn daughter and finding her fiance in bed with another woman. 

With the help of the talking pictures and notes the house gives to the women, they each set out on their journeys. The house is the only source of comfort for Alba when she discovers her bipolar Mother has finally made good on the threats to kill herself. The death sets Alba on a journey she never expected and she learns that her family held secrets from her.

The house was my favorite character in the book. I loved reading about the pictures coming to life and talking. I loved reading about the other famous women who stayed at the house. I wish the house was real so I could visit. Menna van Praag creates an amazing world for you to crawl into. The magical element isn't dark, but comforting and gentle. I didn't want the book to end. I'd love to read more books involving the house at the end of Hope Street. This is a book I will be buying. 

Rating: Buy It!


Ms Mb's Blogs on April 21, 2013 at 5:33 PM said...

good one..

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