Alba is at a low point in her life and while walking down a street when she notices a house. She is mesmerized by it and is compelled to go knock on the door. The lady that opens the door is Peggy. Peggy knows this woman needs her help and the house help to feel better. Peggy tells Alba she only has 98 days and nights to turn her life around. Can Alba do it?
I had a hard time getting into this book due to it having a multiple characters that showed up in the first chapter. That is until I found the “Introduction” pages that for some odd reason were placed at the back of the book under A Penguin Readers Guide to The House at the End of Hope Street. I didn’t stumble upon this section until I was half-way through the book. This type of readers guide might work in a print book…but it doesn’t translate well into the eBook format as readers can’t easily flip to the back of the book or even get a glance that it exists like you can in a print layout. I also found a chart of colors that explain what the colors meant to a main character in the story, Alba, when she was talking about colors she seen in the air. However, once I found the “Introduction” pages and the color chart the writing just flowed and I enjoyed the story more.
This book has other paranormal elements in it that I found intriguing and very interesting to read about such as ghosts (one of whom talks to Alba), a house that laughs, moans, and makes birthday cake for its female caretaker, and pictures of famous British ladies that express emotions just like the pictures in movies which told the story of a boy wizard in recent years.
I loved that this book has a lot of historical information about the famous British ladies in the paintings at the back of the book. The author even made jokes about some of the ladies that had me laughing a lot. This book also has an interview with the author and questions for discussion to ask at a book club or a class on important women figures of British history.
Special Notes: Make sure to check out the “Introduction” that is located at the back of the book before proceeding.
?Casts an enthralling spell, giving both characters and readers not only what they most want, but what they ultimately need.” ?Brunonia Barry, bestselling author of The Lace Reader
When Alba Ashby, the youngest Ph.D. student at Cambridge University, suffers the Worst Event of Her Life, she finds herself at the door of 11 Hope Street. There, a beautiful older woman named Peggy invites Alba to stay on the house’s unusual conditions: she’ll have ninety-nine nights, and no more, to turn her life around. Once inside, Alba discovers that 11 Hope Street is no ordinary house. Past residents include Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, and Agatha Christie, who all stayed there at hopeless times in their lives and who still hang around?quite literally?in talking portraits on the walls. With their help Alba begins to piece her life back together and embarks on a journey that may save her life.
Filled with a colorful, unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a wholly imaginative novel of feminine wisdom and second chances, with just the right dash of magic.