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Expectation

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  10,533 ratings  ·  831 reviews
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 hun
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by Doubleday
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Hannah Not really. For one of the main characters we hear about her feelings for a woman she was previously in a relationship with, but she describes it hers…moreNot really. For one of the main characters we hear about her feelings for a woman she was previously in a relationship with, but she describes it herself as being in love with just one woman and not being attracted to women more generally. One of the characters also develops a friendship with a woman in a f/f relationship but this isn't explored in much detail.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,533 ratings  ·  831 reviews


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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Do you ever feel the pressure to do it all? I’m sure we all do at times, probably even more so right now. Expectation is about three women: Hannah, Cate, and Lissa.

It's a thoughtful, compelling story of friendship and finding happiness. In many ways Expectation is a story of ordinary life and the triumphs we can find in each day. I found it realistic and thought-provoking. I read this slowly and chewed on it, and I sincerely appreciate the author’s messages.

I received a gifted copy. All opinions
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Elyse  Walters
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read two other books by Anna Hope, “Wake”, and “Ballroom”.....( both WWII stories) and now “Expectation”, (contemporary women’s fiction), which explores the dynamics of women’s friendships.
Add extended families, ( flashback memories), marriages, careers, infertility struggles, cheating & betrayal, loss and love.

Where as Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series revolves are two friends: Elena and Lila -
Anna Hope’s novel revolves around three friends: Cate, Hannah, and Lissa.

“Much of their liv
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Jessica
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Perennial) in exchange for an honest review.

This was an incredibly fascinating novel.

First off, this novel is a slow burn. The book starts off on the slow side and then gradually gets more and more interesting as it progresses.

The three women in this book are all very complicated and complex. I found them to be utterly riveting. They’re all morally grey which makes them feel more real and raw. Sometimes they make decisions that
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Emma
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.75 Stars

Full review here

Expectation
is a novel that explores the highs and lows of friendship. There are three main characters that we follow throughout the book. The three women used to be very good friends but now, due to several reasons, they have kind of drifted apart a little bit and nothing is how it used to be when they were younger. This book surely shows what happens when people take di
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Rachel Bridgeman
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: july-2019
This has rocketed its way into my top 10 books of 2019-it recalls a time I am all too familiar with and themes of feminism, female desire and hopes for thee future.

The three friends meet in the mid 90's , Lissa and Hannah at a course called Feminisms,and Cate who joins their group , sleeping on Hannah's sofa when she has nowhere else to go.

Starting in the early Millennium, with a portrait of 3 young women at ease with their lives, not rocking the boat but not conforming either, appearing as grac
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Roman Clodia
This is a surprisingly unambitious novel from Anna Hope after her wonderful Wake and the unusual The Ballroom. I certainly enjoyed reading it, pretty much gulped in down in one session, but the whole thing replays stories that have been done before many times.

The three girl friends: the one who is so obsessed with having a baby that she drives her husband away; the lost drifter who falls pregnant and marries too fast; the beautiful, wild one who has never settled down. Fundamentally, a sort of
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Anni
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Female friendship is put to the test in this three-way narrative set over ten years. Anna Hope has brought a time-worn theme up to date: thirty-something, ex-college friends looking back over their life choices and facing the realisation that previous generations of women have had to accept - that they can't easily ‘have it all’ when the biological clock is starting to speed up.
Hope's novel is being compared to Sally Rooney's award–winning 'Normal People', but I personally found this author’s lo
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Natalie
Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF.

I'm so bored. I'm reading this book and realising that I'm not paying attention anymore. I just dont care for the characters, they're constantly complaining and rather uninteresting. Also the time frame just keeps jumping around everywhere which confuses me and I keep forgetting who is who. They all just blend into one.

My colleagues loved this book and let me borrow it so naturally my expectations (I had to) were quite high. Sadly, it was not for me.
H.A. Leuschel
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best fiction story I have read in a long time that tackles the difficulties women face when trying to embrace career, family life and friendships. It's a book I also found very compelling, as gripping as the best thriller around yet there are no crazy twists or grizzly happenings, just three very realistically drawn female characters whose lives are portrayed through flashbacks and their struggles and successes in the present. I say 'just' but really mean to say that this book shows ...more
Alaina
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
I’m conflicted about this book. Mostly, I enjoyed reading it – the focus on female friendships was great, the story lines were all interesting and felt realistic. I enjoyed the setting, the dialogue, and the prose is occasionally really lovely...
But, there is an aspect of the narrative that I am incredibly angry about. And, sorry to say that is pretty much all that is going to follow in this review. (view spoiler)
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Jess
Elliptical, elegant, devastating.

Perhaps this is a narrative that’s been done before – but I doubt any forerunners spoke so powerfully from personal experience. I need not rattle off in detail the spiel of the pressures faced by modern women; the expectation to juggle marriage, motherhood, a high-flying career, adhere to beauty standards etc. What is original in Hope’s approach is the intimate and yet dispassionate elegy to what might have been.

It’s been a while since a novel has spoken to me qu
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Erin
Mar 28, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Giveaway win!
Laura
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna Hope writes well, as ever, but I was disappointed by how clichéd this story of three women reassessing their lives in their thirties became. It promises to explore female friendship, but is yet another story of women who don't really have each others' backs; all of them screw the rest over at one time or another. Cate has the most potential of the three, but gets the least screen-time, and the most intriguing aspects of her past are barely explored. And without giving anything away, I was d ...more
Rachel
The back-cover praise tells me that this book will 'resonate with 99 percent of women'. Well, Red Magazine, call me the one percent.

Let's start with the timeline in the blurb. It's supposed to be 'ten years later'. But Cate spends her early twenties in activism in Brighton. At thirty-three, she marries a man who impregnates her within three months of their meeting. Hannah is with her husband thirteen years by age of thirty-six. She appears to be thirty-six at the same time that Cate is thirty-t
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Claire Fuller
While the story didn't feel particularly new, something about the way Hope writes just pulled me in and I ended up reading this in any spare moment, even standing up cooking the dinner. The author doesn't show herself in even the tiniest way and so it was as though I wasn't reading at, but walking along the London streets with these women, lying in the park in the dusk, smoking in their flat with them. Hannah, Cate and Lissa are in their mid 20s and best friends who live together in London. They ...more
Rebecca
(3.5) Hope makes a successful crossover from literary fiction (she previously published two WWI-set novels, Wake and The Ballroom) into commercial women’s fiction. This story of three best friends and their struggles to find lasting relationships and purpose spans several decades but focuses on 2010, when Cate, Hannah and Lissa are 35. Cate lives in Canterbury with her husband Sam, a chef. She’s a new mum to Tom and is feeling adrift and overwhelmed. In London, Hannah and her academic husband Na ...more
Pip
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(2.5/5 stars)

Really surprised by how much I didn't enjoy this. Listened to on audiobook which didn't really help. I feel like this book perpetuates the idea that your 20s are fun, carefree, joyful, full of colour, and your 30s are droll, exhausting, disappointing, depressing. There weren't any moments of happiness or hope to balance out the hopeless and grey in this novel, which for me was difficult to get through. Also struggled with just how terrible all of these characters are to each other -
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Stephie
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, audio-books
2.5 stars.

‘Expectation’ has been compared a bit to Sally Rooney’s writing. I finished both of Rooney’s novels before reading this, and I can definitely see why people make the comparison. Both authors deal with frustrating characters and their inane and complicated relationships with each other. But where Rooney knocks this out of the park, Hope’s writing falls a bit flat for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think Rooney is able to subtly reveal the absurdity of the situations and c
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Jen
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tale of three women as they navigate their friendship and life events was a fast and easy read. The women were very relatable in the beginning of the book and I enjoyed the first half. The second half went to a place I wasn’t expecting it to go and it was no longer relatable. The ending brought it back around a little bit but the detour made me lose my interest and it was hard to get back. My thanks to the publisher for sending this free review copy my way!
Nevena
People compare this to Sally Rooney's work a lot, and frankly, I don't see it. Expectation doesn't feel nearly as intense nor intimate as Rooney's writing does. Needed more friendship, needed more emotion. It was an okay novel, but it just didn't get to me and wasn't what I wanted it to be.
Finja
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, novels
Wow. What an amazing book. Best 2020 read so far. ♥️ (Oh London...)
Madeline
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expectation was the satisfying, complex yet somehow airy, read that I want right now. We follow three friends from college, Hannah, Lissa and Cate, who are now in their late thirties. Chapters alternate perspectives between the three women. There are also a few chapters interspersed throughout the book that tell how they all met, and memories from when they were younger.

This story chronicles around a year in their lives, and the changing dynamics between each of them. Hannah and Cate were best
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Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Three women in their mid-thirties navigate friendship, love, motherhood and their sexuality in Anna Hope’s third novel, set between the mid-1990s and 2018. It was beautifully, carefully done - pristine, crisp and infinitely readable - but full of echoes of half a dozen novels I’ve read before, about the lives of women in the early 21st century. It was utterly and completely unsurprising. Which was a disappointment for me, given how much I loved both of Hope’s previous novels, Wake and The Ballro ...more
Sahil Javed
Expectation follows three friends: Hannah, Cate and Lissa, who, through flashbacks, are shown to be close friends but ten years on, when the story starts, none of the girls are where they hoped to be in life.
''Your generation,’ her mother says quietly. ''Honestly. You baffle me, you really do.''

''And why is that?''

‘'Well. You've had everything. The fruits of our labour. The fruits of our activism. Good God, we got out there and we have changed the world for you. For our daughters. And w
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Stephanie
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Anna Hope is an author whose books I am always eager to read. They are the type of fiction that you are still thinking about days after finishing, there are scenes in her book Wake that I still think about a few years after reading it.

Hannah, Lissa and Cate have been friends for years. The reader sees their relationship develop throughout the novel through flashbacks. You see their dreams, first love, career, life choices and disappointments. Y
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Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Expectation is a book for all of us who have turned round at some point in our lives and wondered “how the hell did I get here?”
⚜️ This is for the school girl me who wanted to do as well in English as my friend Catherine and was scared that I was failing
⚜️ This is for the teenage me who wandered aimlessly around town on a Saturday wanting desperately for life to start
⚜️ This is for the student me when summers still felt endless and afternoon drinking seemed like a good idea
⚜️ This is for the twe
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Reyes
Jul 08, 2019 marked it as dnf
ARC kindly provided by Random House UK via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

DNFed @ 40%


I’m sorry to say that this book was not at all what I expected… I’m not rating it because I haven’t finished it and I don’t think it would be fair, but I’ve read enough to have an opinion about it and it’s not a positive one.

This is not a bad book, just not a book for me. It’s like the author took the worst parts of being single, the worst of being married and the worst of being a mom and cr
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Tracey (Life and Literature)
Working in a bookstore means I have access to a lot of books that I may not normally come across. As soon as Expectation arrived in store I was immediately drawn to that cover. It was so different to anything else we had on the shelves. And I do love a story based around female friendships.

Expectation delves into the hopes and dreams of three friends, Hannah, Cate , and Lissa, and explores how different our lives can turn out compared to how we hoped. I loved how real these friendships felt. No
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Helen Carolan
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This was so disappointing. I loved her previous books historical novels "Wake" and "The Ballroom. This is a move into contemporary and it really doesn't work. I found myself not really caring about or engaging with her characters. Late 1990's and 3 young women face the future with optimism. Ten years later they're in a rut and not where they expected their lives to be. Wasn't as haunting and didn't have the depth of her previous books. The ending was a bit meh as well.
Rachel Hall
Expectation focuses on the lives of three women who are friends from childhood or university and the contrast between the lives they imagined themselves living and the reality of where they actually are. The novel opens with a snapshot of 2004 when Cate, Hannah and Lissa are twenty-nine-years-old and live together in a shabby Victorian townhouse and “life is still malleable and full of potential... They still have time to become who they are going to be”. Fast-forward to 2010 when each of them a ...more
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Anna Hope is an English writer and actress from Manchester. She is perhaps best known for her Doctor Who role of Novice Hame. She was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and Birkbeck College, London.

Anna's powerful first novel, WAKE, sold to Transworld Publishers in a seven-way auction. Set over the course of five days in 1920, WAKE weaves the stories of
...more

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You’d think that with, well, everything this year has had in store for us, readers would flock to sweet stories with happy endings. But as...
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“Life is still malleable and full of potential. The openings to the roads not taken have not yet sealed up. They still have time to become who they are going to be.” 3 likes
“This, to Lissa, seems to be the main thing that university teaches you – how to bullshit convincingly. The better the university, the better the bullshit.” 1 likes
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