May 19th 2016
Genres: Fiction, General, Thrillers, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary
ARC provided by BEA 2016, Little Brown Books
My name is Hope Arden. I am the girl the world forgets.
It started when I was sixteen years old.
A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.
No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.
That makes my life tricky. It also makes me dangerous . . .
The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of a girl no one remembers, yet her story will stay with you for ever.
Praise for Claire North:
'Just extraordinary' Claire Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go
'Beautiful and gripping' Guardian
'Little short of a masterpiece' Independent
'North's talent shines out' Sunday Times
'One of the fiction highlights of the decade' Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Book Club
This is was such a great read. Hope is the kind of character that will stay with me for a long time. Hope has a unique condition. People forget Hope almost as soon as she leaves the room. Her words and deeds can only be recorded electronically. It started when she was only sixteen years old, her parents couldn’t imagine why their little girl, Hope’s sister, had two rooms. As an adult she finds honest work nearly impossible, so she became a thief. She is one of the best because no matter what sort of evidence she leaves behind, no one can remember her. There is a freedom Hope enjoys by being forgotten, but there are also major drawbacks. She can’t date, she can’t work, she can’t really function as a normal person in society when no one remembers her. She repeats herself a lot. Every time she meets someone it is the first time, for them.
In Hope’s world there exists something called Perfection. It is a lifestyle app that helps you to become perfect. Perfection will tell you what to eat, how to dress, where to shop, and how to live. Do what Perfection asks and you can become Perfect. Who doesn’t want to be perfect? The users who live Perfection can become part of the elite 106. Members of the 106 are indeed perfect, with over a million points on Perfection. They look perfect, they think perfect, they are perfection. Hope infiltrates the 106 and meets a woman so miserable being “perfect” she commits suicide. Destroying Perfection becomes Hope’s goal.
Oh how I loved Hope. She is utterly alone in the world, and her thoughts reflect someone who has a lot of time to think and plan. There are many layers to Hope and I loved seeing how she functioned in the world. Most of this book is told as Hope is living her life, but there were a few flashbacks so we could see how she got here.
Having no one to define the limits of me, I have to define myself, otherwise I am nothing.
The language in this book is fluid. We are right there inside Hope’s mind. She is cunning and intresting. I loved her crusade against Perfection. Her cause is noble, although her methods may not be. She makes a few “friends” in her pursuit. These people live with Hope just out of mind, carrying her photo and recording their interactions. Hope may be alone in the world bit she has a will to leave a legacy no matter what.
I write this to be remembered. Will you judge me, in reading this? Who are you? Liar, cheater, lover, thief, husband, wife, mother, daughter, friend, enemy, policeman, doctor, teacher, child, killer, priest? I find myself almost more excited by you than I am by myself, whoever you might be.
Whoever you are: these are my words.
This is my truth.
Listen, and remember me.
When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. I was thinking in the prose the author wrote Hope’s story in. That is the mark of a truly great story in my opinion. I devoured this book, but found myself milling over how to review this. I finished this book days ago and it is still very much with me. The author is able to really defining “identity” for the reader. If you can’t be remembered, how will you prove that you have lived? I need to read more from this author. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a well written and provocative character.