If you’re a regular reader of this blog, this might at first appear to be a bit of a left-field choice for me to read, but I like to keep my reading tastes broad and try all genres from time to time.
The House of Hopes and Dreams is about a glass architect named Angel who suddenly finds herself bereaved – and simultaneously out of a job. She moves in with her best friend – TV host Carey who has just unexpectedly inherited a large country estate. Mossby is an old house in desperate need of some love and attention, and the two broken-hearted friends set about fixing it and uncovering the house’s many secrets.
I was really surprised about this book, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Initially, I thought it was going to be largely a love story, and while there are elements of this in there, it ended up – as the title suggests – being more about the house itself.
It becomes a character in its own right throughout the story, and as a reader, you start to feel satisfaction with each step they take in restoring it to it former glory.
The two main characters Angel and Carey are engaging and you really start to root for them, even if perhaps Angel does move on from the death of her partner perhaps a little too quickly. That may be my biggest criticism of this book, but it is indicated early on that since his stroke eighteen months previously, Julian wasn’t really himself, and that in reality she had been grieving for him since then.
It was a bit of a stretch for me, but if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and see past the small things, you can enjoy the story for what it’s meant to be.
This is a story about moving on, about love and friendship. And about a house.
Some of the books I would say are my favourites (A Little Life, Tin Man)are those thay have made me cry, dug into the emotion inside and opened the well.
This isn’t that sort of book, but it taps into a different kind of emotion. It makes you feel good, positive. It digs into you in a different way and still worth a read.
The House of Hopes and Dreams is available now from Bantam Press