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The Hope and Anchor

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In the depths of winter in West London, Neely Sharpe’s life is turned upside down: not only has her career reached a dead end, but her girlfriend, Angela, has vanished.

In desperation, Neely scours the city to try and find out what has happened, travelling from London’s pubs and snowy streets, down to the depths of the sewers. As her hunt continues, networks of friends, f
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 8th 2018 by Unbound Digital
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A literary novel highly recommended for those who like a good mystery, and also a strong sense of place. This is definitely a story in which the setting is a character in its own right, and a very compelling one; at the same time, this reminded me of the TV series River (the British version), because while there's a lot of suspense and unanswered questions swirling around that keep the story moving, the real focus is on the characters, who are distinct and unusual and stay with you after the boo ...more
Taylor Holt
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I want to feel better, I read a book set in London. London is my happy place. This book brought me deep into sections of London both familiar and foreign. Julia Kite has crafted an intricate, complicated story of complicated relationships - all hinging on a missing girlfriend. I loved unfurling the layers of this novel; Neely's pain and want for companionship is relatable for all people. I'm so impressed with this being Kite's debut novel - I look forward to more of her delicate and thr ...more
Chris Hampson
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether you're familiar or not with the geographical setting, it's not hard to recognise author Julia Kite's affinity for the area within which The Hope and Anchor is set. Just a stone's throw away from the millionaire mansions of Maida Vale and Notting Hill exist the worlds of Neely Sharpe and her missing girlfriend Angela Archer who share a small one-bedroom flat off the Harrow Road in a markedly less affluent part of West London.

The Hope and Anchor - also the name of Neely and Angela's local
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neely and Andrea are linked by one woman that they love, but don’t actually know. It’s only when Angela goes missing at the beginning of Julia Kite’s The Hope and Anchor that they realize how little they know about her. Her absence is a huge hole in their lives, especially for her girlfriend, Neely. As Neely wanders the streets, looking for Angela and questioning their mutual acquaintances about where she might have gone, the novel grows ever more tragic. By the end, I was stunned at the emotion ...more
Patrick Kincaid
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Julia Kite's novel provides more evidence for the argument that it's best to write about your home town when you've moved somewhere else (see also James Joyce, for instance). A thrillingly contemporary London dominates this story of two young women whose lives are shaped by the city's apparent promises of freedom and its actual social and economic limitations. It's also about the stultifying effects of the misogyny which runs through our culture from top to bottom, and which erupts into physical ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are two things that will immediately jump out at you as you read Julia Kite’s excellent debut novel 'The Hope and Anchor.' The first is that Julia writes in the local vernacular with great expertise and it significantly enhances the authenticity of the experience. The second is that west London is recreated in meticulous detail and you can expect to read about Polish war memorials, canal pathways, and Harrow Road as you follow Neely Sharpe in her quest to discover what happened to her miss ...more
Kim Russell
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read The Hope and Anchor stave by stave with The Pigeonhole. The characters and setting are well-drawn and the plot is intriguing.
Ophelia Sings
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to believe that The Hope and Anchor is Julia Kite's debut novel. Twisting and gripping, it's never strays into hackneyed thriller territory; this is an altogether more literary, accomplished offering.

When Neely's girlfriend, Angela, goes missing, her search for answers results in the painful knowledge that the woman she lived with and loved is not the woman she thought she was. Kite takes us on a journey through the streets of London, an The Hope and Anchor is a love letter to that inc
Sherry Chiger
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a fabulously layered book, in which even seemingly inconsequential characters contain multitudes and London is a character in its own right. Nothing and nobody are as you first think they are, so that you want to zip through the story to reach the denouement, but at the same time you don't want to skim over any of the precise prose. I'm already looking forward to Julia Kite's next book.

I received a free copy from NetGalley and Unbound (thank you both!) in exchange for an honest review.
Tricia Z
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ll admit that I’m a slow reader and it usually takes me months to get thru a book, but I’ve sat and read that last 150 pages of this book in just a few hours because I was so caught up in the story. The details of all of the places transport you straight to London even if you’ve never been and it’s so easy to get lost in the characters themselves. I felt their anxiety and the urgency of each moment. Highly recommend this book, I could never predict what came next and I loved that about it.
Danielle P
Julia Kite's promising debut novel of storytelling, belonging and unsuspected strength reminds us that we're constantly weaving and re-weaving narratives about places and people — ourselves as well as others.

Shortly before Christmas, Neely comes home to an empty apartment. Her girlfriend Angela isn't answering her phone and has left her epilepsy medication on the kitchen counter. Until that moment, Neely had believed that they were happy together; could she have been mistaken? Confident that she
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A confident debut novel, which starts from a very simple point, somebody is missing and their girlfriend does not know why, and expands out into an examination of class, otherness, being an outsider, and how the past weaves its tendrils into everything that happens in your future.

There were stylistic things I didn't particularly get on with, such as the hammered repetition of the character's names, which got me to a point where the names were starting to lose meaning and I wasn't really making t
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you're not really a local, but have to get into everyone's business? Neely Sharpe definitely isn't from West London, but wound up in the arms of Angela, a local girl. Now, after a year of living together, Angela has gone missing, forcing Neely to push her way into her girlfriend's family, her friendships, and her past.

I thought this was really daring for a debut novel. It covers so many subjects--love, sense of self, life expectations, class, sexuality, belonging--all in the f
Richard Hensley
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE HOPE & ANCHOR is a suspenseful coming-of-age story in which two young women confront class and gender challenges as well as personal tragedy one dark winter—the West London setting itself a pivotal character. Neely and Angela love each other, but do they really know each other? They’ve only been together a year when Angela disappears. Family and friends have competing interests and provide little help as Neely strives to learn what has happened to her girlfriend. Several dramatic surprises t ...more
Donna Maguire

I loved the descriptive nature of this book and this really made me feel that the author was letting me in to parts of London I had never visited or seen before.

The characters are good and they work really well together to carry the plot through. I liked the writing style and it is a really good debut novel!

3.5 stars from me, rounded up to 4 stars for Amazon and Goodreads!
Michelle Taylor
Read via PigeonHole. Found it a little hard to follow in places, sometimes the jump in the character telling their part of the story threw me. But otherwise very descriptive in-depth writing of a place well known to the author. Great first book .
amanda eve
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars. Well-written, beautifully atmospheric, but the plot is stale.
Gail Wylde
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pigeonhole
Not for me, sorry. I didn't warm to the characters at all. ...more
Karen Cole
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Angela Archer and Neely Sharpe are in love. They've been girlfriends for over a year, and live happily together.

Or do they?

One day Angela goes missing, and as events unfold Neely learns a whole new side to Angela that she never saw herself. Can Neely trace what has happened to Angela?

For a thriller, this wasn't fast-paced enough for me, and neither were the characters particularly exciting or interesting. Therefore just an okay read, nothing to write home about.
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