Picture if you will a woman whose life has fallen apart. She is wandering down the street, desperate and sad, and comes upon a house she’s never seen before. She’s drawn to the house in a way she can’t explain, and after knocking on the door, is welcomed in as if expected. She finally feels like she’s home.
Hundreds of women have found refuge at the house on Hope Street, and the latest to do so is Alba Ashby. She’s left her graduate studies at Cambridge University, but has a distant relationship with her family and is unable to tell them what has happened. Alba has 99 days to figure out what to do next, and then she must leave, as per house rules.
While the story is mainly that of Alba, perspective occasionally switches to the other current residents. The house has informed Peggy, the current caretaker, that this is her last year in that position, which she assumes means she’s going to die. The position of caretaker is one that has been passed down through her family, but with no living relatives, she’s unsure who the next person will be.
Also staying at the house are Carmen, a voluptuous Portuguese singer who has left her husband under mysterious circumstances, and Greer, an actress who finds her wardrobe in the house suddenly filled with glamorous clothing. Carmen’s and Greer’s stories are intertwined with Alba’s, as well as Peggy’s, as she struggles between her allegiance to the house and her relationship with Harry, a man she has loved for 20 years but cannot marry.
The house is quite magical, as it provides what the current residents need, but not until the right moment. The walls are adorned with portraits of former residents — Florence Nightingale, Agatha Christie, Doris Lessing, and many more, who speak to each other and to the house’s residents. When the house needs to pass along information, it appears in the form of notes that fall from the ceiling. Peggy’s sanctuary, the back garden, is hidden from the other women in the house by windows that show only trees. And the house provides an unending supply of ginger biscuits.
In the last few years I’ve come to enjoy the magical realism genre and The House at the End of Hope Street fits right in with Sarah Addison Allen and Alice Hoffman. While parts of the story were a bit thin, I enjoyed the overall idea of the story and the strong female characters, both the living and the ones in frames on the walls. This was a fun read about the power of hope, friendship, and love.
Enter to Win
Follow the instructions in the widget below to enter to win!
Jenna Evans says
I keep hearing about this book and it sounds so neat. The idea of the famous women authors etc who appear in this book sounds especially interesting!
Magic realism perfect for me.
Stacie Gorkow says
I actually ended up really liking this book and typically don’t like “magical” type of books. Avid readers will like the author connections. Feel free to check out my review by clicking on my blog name above.
magic is an additional idea which sounds appealing.
The mysteriousness of the house makes me want to find out more!
Christine L. says
Magical realism is a favorite genre and I’m a fan of both Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen. THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET is near the top of my TBR.
Melissa Mc says
I’m enchanted by the PB cover.
What interests me most is the magical aspect of this book… I love books that incorporate magic or the paranormal into the story
Anita Yancey says
I am interested in the characters and the mystery about the house.
June S. says
The story behind the house sounds interesting to me.
I love historical fiction and magical fantasy books. I would love to hear what Florence Nightingale and Agatha Christie have to say! Thanks for the chance to win!
Ashley Fryer says
I’m interested to see who becomes the next caretaker.
The characters interest me. I’m also intrigued by the magic. I could use some magic right about now!
Janice Crespo says
I like that the house gives you what you need WHEN you need it – and that it has a never ending supply of cookies. LOL Can I be the next caretaker? LOL
I’m interested in the author connections.
This seems like an interesting plot point to look at a bunch of intersecting lives, so I bet it would be a good read.
Tatiana Bartlett says
it sounds like an interesting light read!
Hailey L. says
I LOVE stories with strong, courageous female characters. Would love to add this to my book shelf.