Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Review: The House at the end of Hope Street - Menna Van Praag


A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

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 George Eliot and Beatrix Potter, 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.

My thoughts:
Magical realism, do I need to say more? The words themselves are magical and so is this book.

Alba is a young woman, smart, but troubled. We do not know what exactly happened with her supervisor, but something did and now she feels that her beginning academic career is over. So she finds the house, the magical house that invites her in. There Peggy tells her she can stay for 3 months but that's it. There she will learn to know herself, find out things about her past and hopefully find a future. There are more secrets but those are Alba's and the readers to find out. 

Other characters are the house, the house with talking paintings and notes that it leaves around. Peggy who owns the house are having a love affair with a neighbor and he wants more. Gree who also is staying in the house has a failed acting career behind her and she wants more. Then there is Carmen who has secrets, and has lost that which she loves the most.

The book was magical, I said it before and I can say it again. I loved seeing the women finding new paths in life. For them finding strength, happiness and love. And the magic was great and real, because that is how the book was made to be. That is why magical realism works so well.

Conclusion:
Highly recommended

Cover
Works for the  book

Magical realism /Fiction
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Pamela Dorman Books
For review


36 comments:

  1. This one sounds so good. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

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  2. How much magic and how much realism in this one?

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    1. It's mixed. It's all real, but then there is the magic house and how she see colors

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  3. wow it sounds really good, really magical. I'm curious about this house and it's not everyday you recommand a book. I'll have to really check it out!

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    1. No, I save it for when I truly mean it :)

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  4. This sounds awesome and I love the house and talking pictures!!

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  5. Wow, what a cool premise! A magical house that changes the lives of its inhabitants sounds like a wonderful setting for magical realism. I don't read magical realism that much, but I've always enjoyed it. I think I read another review of this ages ago and it was really positive too. I definitely want to read this now, great review!

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    1. I do love magical realism and the books have not disappointed me so far. And they always makes me want more

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  6. I love magical realism. It makes me immediately think of a Sarah Allen Addison book. Have you read her stuff? I would definitely like to read this one. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. I have read 2 of her books :) and if you like those then you will totally like this one

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  7. Kind of reminds me of Sarah Addison Allen. If that is the case, I do need to read it. Plus, you said it's magical. Love that!

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    1. It does remind me of her, though different as these are different worlds. But just as lovely

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  8. LOVED IT! and your review of course :)
    Also, because i am a sucky blogger friend, I love the re-do of the blog. I came by a while back but don't think I commented.

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    1. One can't remember everything :) Sometimes I visit, visit and then on the 3rd visit it dawns on me that something has changed on said blog

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  9. Wow. I like the sounds of the magic here. :) Thanks!

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  10. I don't know that I've ever read a book that would qualify as magical realism! Sounds fabulous:)

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  11. I like magical realism when done well - and you've convinced me that it is in this book. Adding it to my TBR list.

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  12. I do love magical realism. :)

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  13. Man B....you keep finding interesting books with great plots! I adore this!

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  14. Talking paintings - cool. I think I'd like this book.

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  15. I love magical realism and I've seen nothing but good for this one. Onto my wishlist :)

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    1. Yay, yes you must must must read it

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  16. I've read nothing but fantastic thoughts on this one!!!

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  17. I have this one and I really need to make time for it. Your review makes me want to pick it up right now but alas I must read my bookclub pick first. Lol.

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  18. I don't usually like magical realism, but this one appeals to me for some reason. I'd read it for the cover alone!

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    1. No? I love it :D And you can hear the cover calling, it's fate

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