The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag is a spirited fictional novel which delighted me in many ways. Set in England near Cambridge University, the story centers on the lives of four women. All are at a crossroads in their lives and with the assistance of an enchanted house on Hope Street, find the courage to begin life anew.
One of the things I particularly enjoyed was the magical aspect of this book. Reading it, I thought how lovely it would be to have a safe haven for 99 days in which to sort out life when the going gets rough as three of the women in this book do. I also enjoyed the many literary references in the book. The back of it contains an informative biographical list of famous real life women who “spent time” as guests of Hope Street during their careers.
One passage in particular moved me deeply – “It’s not just the books Alba craves, it’s standing inside a place that houses millions of them. Libraries are Alba’s churches, and the university library, containing one edition of every book ever published in England, is her cathedral.” Yes, I can relate to that!
If you are looking for an uplifting tale, take a trip to Hope Street. You’ll be glad you did.