The House At The End Of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag
|The House At The End Of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Kerry King|
|Summary: An enchanting, magical read; evocative, wise and beautiful… the chapter that you promise you will read before bed, will turn into more and see you wide awake at 3am, unable to stop.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 350||Date: April 2015|
|Publisher: Allison & Busby|
|External links: Author's website|
Alba Ashby is a wallflower of a girl; studious, bookish and excruciatingly shy, so when tragedy wields its ponderous bolt, she is less able than most to adjust to life as she now knows it. In one of her midnight walks around historical Cambridge, she finds herself at the door to Number 11 Hope Street. It is house that she has never before seen; quirky and turreted with a wild garden and grandly Victorian in hue and Alba is enchanted by it. So she does something that she would never normally do, in a million years. She knocks on the door.
When Peggy Abbot opens the door, Alba sees the face of the most captivating women she has ever laid eyes on. At 82, Peggy has lived in the house for almost all of her life and welcomes Alba inside with little more than a smile. Alba is instantly rapt; she knows this house is different to any other that she has set foot it. It feels alive – literally – and when Peggy offers her an invitation to stay under the proviso that she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around, Alba does not hesitate to accept.
The House At The End Of Hope Street is a gem of a book. It is quite utterly beyond delightful and I fell preposterously in love with it from the first page. I adored the characters – the other occupants of the house; Peggy magically stoic - a surrogate mother to those that need it the most, Alba as fragile as a Robin’s egg, Carmen so soulful, vivacious and vibrant and Greer just desperate to find what is missing from within. As the tale progresses we see the bond of sisterhood begin to form in spite of the individual circumstances of each houseguest and whilst some readers might turn their nose up at traditional happy endings, to be honest, The House At The End Of Hope Street would be incomplete without one. As the cover blurb says a story of … second chances… and what is a second chance if not the opportunity to get it right? I found The House At The End Of Hope Street to be a captivating and beguiling story, satisfyingly obscure in its plot that I didn’t feel like there were no surprises. On the contrary, there were certainly a few oh? moments and the sheer Harry Potter-ness of the house itself cannot not fail to excite even the most impassive amongst you.
I found myself absorbed. Totally and unreservedly submerged in fact… 3 hours start to finish. I became swept up in the arms of the tale and was carried gently to its conclusion. All I can tell you about the end is that I did not want it to arrive.
In summary, you must buy this book. You must buy it for yourself, for your best friend, for your mum and for your aunties. It’s a beautiful story, beautifully told and will sit on the top of the pile of your holiday reading stack.
If the above sounds like you might want to give it a try, you may also enjoy A Funny Thing About Love by Rebecca Farnworth which we at Bookbag hold in high esteem, or perhaps The Sisterhood by Emily Barr is more your thing; we certainly found it to be ours!
Finally, a huge thank you to the kind folks at Allison & Busby for providing a copy of The House At The End Of Hope Street to review.
The House At The End Of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag is in the Top Ten Women's Fiction 2015.
You can read more book reviews or buy The House At The End Of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The House At The End Of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag at Amazon.com.
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