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.
©2013 Menna van Praag (P)2013 Recorded Books
This rich and beautiful tale that follows Alba’s journey from despair to self-discovery is a feast for the senses. Populated with compelling characters, House at the End of Hope Street practically invites the reader to sit down at the table and have a soothing cup of hot cocoa with them all. My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to a book signing where the author, Menna Van Praag, actually read the first chapter aloud and she was so brilliant that we were hooked! All of her books were immediately sold, with many people buying multiple copies to give to their friends. But that was all right because I really love listening to something this magical and filled with fantastic word pictures as an audio book, so we got our copy on Audible.
Ms. Van Praag’s imagination is extraordinary and with it she has populated the house with characters that I would like to meet, rooms I would like to visit and an invisible cat I would love to have wind itself around my ankles. One of my favorite storylines was that of the aging Peggy and her lover Harry. After reading and listening to legions of books where love and physical intimacy seems to be reserved only for those in their 20s and early 30s, bravo for creating a reality that gives a whole new perspective on aging and having love and sex, even when one is well seasoned. I wholeheartedly suggest that you buy this book and taste the magic for yourself.
Not sure if I would recommend this one. It was a little too chick lit for me. I also felt that the ending was just too convenient, everything neatly wrapped up, and a little unsatisfying.
My favorite character was Peggy, and I wish there had been more emphasis on her. I got really tired of Alba, she seemed just too wishy-washy to be a solid heroine.Elizabeth Sastre's narration was outstanding. Next time, I hope she has better material to work with.
This wonderful novel is reminiscent of Hoffman's Practical Magic and Livesey's Eva Moves the Furniture. Magical. Tragic. Ultimately uplifting. the notion of a house full of historical and literary women who help lost souls find themselves is an enchanting one. Sastre's reading is dynamic, insightful, and entertaining.
Books, and words, and information are my treasures.
Definitely! A lovely combination of women's history and coming of age with some magic thrown in for good measure!
I. loved the bits of women's history that you can't help to absorb and I always love a sprinkly of magic in everday life!
With the help of other women, both here and gone & a little magic nothing is impossible!
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