Though the synopsis only mentions Alba and Peggy there are actually two other women in this book as well. We also have Carmen, who is hiding something dark in the garden of the house. And we have Greer, who is fresh off dumping her fiancee after finding him with someone else.
The house itself is an entirely other character. Seriously I wish this house existed and I could visit it.
When Alba wakes all she can see are books. Thousands line every inch of every wall and the ceiling, some drift through the air like birds, lifting off from one shelf and settling on another; precarious stacks are spread across the room like skyscrapers. For a moment, Alba thinks she is dreaming.
The house does mysterious things and we also have former residents who in Alba's case she can see and talk to via the portraits on the wall.
So here's the thing. I really did like this book a lot. I really love the magical realism genre and wish that there were more books out there in this genre. However, looking back at it a day later I realized there were a lot of execution problems with this book that made it veer all over the place. I think if we had just had Alba as the main character with Peggy it would have made the book flow better. However, including Carmen and Greer's stories just made the book feel like three books in one. I was not wholly invested in anyone's story's at all throughout the entire book. And in Greer's case I was tired of her storyline by the end.
That said, the epilogue also just kind of happens and everything was wrapped up way too neatly.
I wish we had seen some of the things happen that get mention in the epilogue occur naturally in the book.
I do have to give Ms. Praag kudos for totally fooling me on a plot concerning the next house caretaker though. Other than that, this was a quirky book that I liked. I still love Ms. Praag's The Dress Shop of Dreams much better though.