I can’t believe I didn’t pick up The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag sooner. I packed for my trip to Disney World, telling myself that I’d dig into after the kids went to sleep. Except I was just as exhausted as the kids each night. Instead, I pulled it out on the plane trip back home and was immediately wished I could move into the magical house at 11 Hope Street. This has to be one of my favorite novels so far this year.
As the youngest Ph.d. student at Cambridge University,19-year-old Alba Ashby is metaphorically lost. After a tragedy that involved getting kicked out of school, she finds herself in front of a special house at the end of Hope Street. Once she steps insides, she discovers refuge in the magical house. Peggy, the proprietress, informs Alba that she may stay in the house for 99 days and hopefully be able to turn her life around. Along with her fellow housemates Carmen, a singer, and Greer, an aging actress, Alba also befriends the talking portraits of those who stayed there before her: Dorothy Parker, Virginia Woolf, and many other now famous women.
I loved the human characters in the novel, but the house had a personality too. Each character (except for the house) had a different type of personal crisis. When you got down to it, each woman had to learn to embrace their true self, and in turn, to embrace their passion. The house was not shy about giving hints or nudges to help each lady achieve it.
Just like 11 Hope Street embraced its residents, the author had me under her spell throughout the entire book. The House at the End of Hope Street was such an enchanting novel that I was truly sad for it to end. I fell in love with Alba and the house at first sight. It was hard to let them go.
Congrats to Allison F who won the giveaway for a copy of this book!
I received a review copy of the book. This post contains affiliate links.