Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to share my review of this exquisite book!
Hannah, Cate and Lissa are young, vibrant and inseparable. Living on the edge of a common in East London, their shared world is ablaze with art and activism, romance and revelry – and the promise of everything to come. They are electric. They are the best of friends.
Ten years on, they are not where they hoped to be. Amidst flailing careers and faltering marriages, each hungers for what the others have. And each wrestles with the same question: what does it take to lead a meaningful life?
Expectation by Anna Hope follows three friends as they come to terms with the difficulties in their lives and find a way to move forward. This book is rich with emotional depth and beauty, it grapples several heart-breaking issues and slowly, subtly, draws the reader further and further into an exquisite story.
Hannah, after a miscarriage and numerous failed IVF attempts, is anguished, guilt-ridden and angry, with herself, with her distant husband, with the universe which so readily grants others’ wishes but will not grant hers. Although she has taught herself to ignore the many happy mothers and babies in the street, sometimes even she, practised and adept as she is, can’t resist looking, eyes wide to a sight that hurts a little more each time.
Lissa is an actress with no money and a long list of defeats. Her relationship with mother, Sarah, is strained and she has given up on falling in love after the catastrophe of her last egomaniac boyfriend. Despite all this, she keeps on keeping on and auditions for a new role. But her money is dwindling and she lives under a shadow, desperate to be more than she is.
Cate is a mother to baby Tom and wife to Sam, a talented chef with dreams of running his own restaurant. Despite knowing she is lucky to be alive and have a family, she feels lonely and trapped, any aspirations she once nurtured have been curtailed or abandoned. Doubts manifest about her choice of husband, her life, even motherhood. And the shaky foundations she has built, has been clinging to, begin to crumble.
Each women suffers through their heartbreak, fear, desperation and grief, all the while coming to the plummeting realisation that they are not who they were, they are not even who they thought they would be. Stricken by the absence of their old ambitions and desires, what they have fought for, striven for and what has now faded away, unclaimed or forgotten.
Jealousy and misgivings simmer within their friendship but Lissa, Cate and Hannah draw together in times of desperation, needing reassurance and words of comfort. The dynamic of their friendship was expertly explored. Following their journey was such a raw, inspiring and emotionally complex time for me. The author depicts her characters with so much heart and power, every drop of emotion and nuance drawing the reader far past the point of ever being able forget them! The prose is poetic and beautiful, you need only a single page to be utterly invested.
Expectation is a novel of fears, lost chances, survival, resilience and courage. It’s also about how sometimes, expectations are not met and living is only really living when we go on and move forward regardless. Fabulous! This isn’t just a book, it’s an experience, one you won’t ever forget!
To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:
About the Author
ANNA HOPE studied at Oxford University and RADA. She is the acclaimed author of Wake and The Ballroom. Her contemporary fiction debut, Expectation, explores themes of love, lust, motherhood, and feminism, while asking the greater question of what defines a generation. She lives in Sussex with her husband and young daughter.
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With thanks to Alison Barrow, Anne Cater for my ARC and blog tour invite, which I received in exchange for an honest review!