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?
I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Occasionally I read a book that reminds me why reading means so much to me. Much as that special song comes to represent to others an event or moment in their lives, it’s reading that has always defined the stages of my life.
It’s not that you haven’t enjoyed the other books you have read, but some books just speak to you with an exquisite tenderness and Expectation is one of those books.
It is a quietly told story about friendship, love, loss, hope and redemption. It is also about the expectations we have of our lives when we move from the innocence of childhood, into the heady embrace of adulthood; how a life once so full of expectation, can crash on the reality of unsatisfying marriages and careers, yet also thrive on hope and resilence.
There is so much to adore about this book, from the perfect characterisation, to the brilliance of the story and the intimate depiction of the friendship between Hannah, Cate and Lissa. Anna Hope in her first contemporary novel takes their relationships and weaves them into the very fabric of the story, giving a masterclass on how to write about about love and friendship and the very thin line that divides the two. For me the emotional connection between myself and these three women felt real, almost as if I was there in the moment, so vibrant were they. I’m extremely lucky to have a group of close female friends and reading this book gave me an insight into what happens when those connections become frayed. The emotions felt raw, the hurt tangible and friendships powerful and enduring.
It’s the power of the storytelling that I loved so much. My heart felt wretched for them all one moment and the next it sang in happiness for all they were and could still be. It gave voice to how I imagine my life would be shattered without those bonds of female friendship that sustain me and give me the strength to endure. It gives voice to the way friendships alter over time, buffeted by the ebb and flow of a tide of emotions and events that are part of lifes natural cycle. All three of the main characters, represent all the women we each know and when they feel pain, when they feel joy, we feel it with them. The power of this novel for me, lies in the normality of their lives and ultimately how it voices the oft ignored idea, that as women, it’s okay to we can decide what a meaningful life means to us.
I read on one of the reviews for Expectation by Erin Kelly, that this is a generation defining book, a sentiment I want to shout from the roof tops. All of Anna Hope’s books are defined by the quality of the writing, the quiet power of the story, the richness of the characterisation and Expectation is this and much more. It is for me her best book yet, in which she surely should be lauded as having reached the top of the literary ladder.
About the author.
ANNA HOPE studied at Oxford University and RADA. 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.
You can follow Anna Hope on Twitter