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 is a novel of the highs and lows of friendship – how it can dip, dive and rise again. It is also about finding your way: as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a rebel. Most of all, it explores that liminal space between expectation and reality, the place – full of dreams, desires and pain – in which we all live our lives.
Published July 11th 2019 by DoubleDay (UK)
~ Review ~
As soon as I read the synopsis to this book, I wanted to read it. It felt familiar, like something I would very much relate to. Within a couple of pages I knew I was right.
Expectation tells the story of three friends, Hannah, Cate and Lissa and switches from their youth – when life is full of opportunity and promise, to their late thirties and early forties, where reality has turned out different to their dreams and expectations. We hear from each of three main characters in turn, as they face the disappointments of a struggling career, failed IVF and a marriage and family life that feels suffocating. And among all that, the changing dynamics of their friendship over the decades.
While I may not have had as an exciting and promising youth and twenties as these characters, I could definitely relate to some of their insecurities and disillusionment in the present. It’s strange how in youth, you are sure your wisdom and confidence will grow with age, yet at times I feel more uncertain and filled with self doubt now. I recognised this in the characters and was able to empathise strongly with them.
I really enjoyed reading the dynamics of the friendship. We all like the idea of friends for life, but I guess it’s true that we are different people at different times in our lives, and as the three women find, we might not end up being the person or living the life we thought we would be and relationships drift or grow apart. I loved reading about the time when the women lived together, at their peak and just enjoying life, it made me quite nostalgic.
The writing in this book is beautiful, and is definitely to be savoured. It evokes intense feelings of emotion at times, as we experience the heartaches and ups and downs alongside Hannah, Cate and Lissa. Expectation is a stunning portrayal of modern life and friendship – balancing reality with the high expectation we put on ourselves as we cross that point from youth to our middle age. It’s both nostalgic of the past and hopeful for the future. I really enjoyed this book and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the publisher