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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,702 ratings  ·  267 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by Doubleday
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  • Expectation by Anna Hope
    Release date: Apr 14, 2020
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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…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)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.05  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,702 ratings  ·  267 reviews

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    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

    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
    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
    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
    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 calledFeminisms,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
    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
    Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
    Shelves: 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.
    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 ...more
    (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 ...more
    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.
    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
    Laura King
    Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Anna Hope sets a comfortable, richly detailed tone in the beginning pages of the book; a hazy memory of a perfect picnic on a sunny day shared by three best friends. The rest of the book, shunting backwards and forwards in time, flipping through three different narrators, brings us into some of the happiest and darkest moments of the characters lives, moments that did not seem possible when they were in the easy, neverending happy days of their late twenties. All three women are faced with hard ...more
    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 ...more
    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.
    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 twenty-five
    Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
    Shelves: audio-books, fiction
    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
    Lady R
    Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
    A perfect holiday read that I read in almost one-sitting. It’s an absolute page-turner that is perfect for women of my age (40-something) but ultimately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I loved her other novels; maybe because, for me, this felt more like “chick lit”. Idea summer read.
    Ellie Crisp
    Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
    I wasn’t as gripped by this as I wanted to be, however Anna Hope is a lovely writer and I always love stories that show the complexities of women in their twenties.
    Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book was just as good as I hoped. Raw, emotional, heartbreaking. Real characters with flaws and feelings. The writing style is almost lyrical, switching between present day and flashbacks of the past.

    Hannah looks like she has her life together. Good job, nice house, husband. Except they're struggling to conceive. Lissa is a struggling actress who has never had a big break. She and her mother have a difficult relationship. There is no significant other in her life and she struggles to pay
    Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: read-2019
    An evocative, relatable novel about friendship, youth, hope, expectations and the fruitless pursuit (aka the lie every woman is told) of "having it all", especially once the biological clock starts ticking. As a woman in her late thirties I could really identify with the three central characters - Cate, Hannah and Lissa - and their struggles as they transition from their carefree and hopeful twenties into their thirties, and the quite startling mismatches between what they thought their lives ...more
    Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Wow wow wow. I loved this. So beautifully written, these stories, entwined together so spontaneously yet deliberately that you are enraptured from beginning to end. This book ponders life, happiness and how to find yourself, sewn together like patchwork pieces, completing each woman's story in a coherent, beautiful piece.
    Joanne Schofield
    A beautifully written tale of three woman and their friendship which has spanned decades. Cate, Hannah and Lissa become a close knit group in their twenties, back in the late 90’s. Time passes, life happens and fast forward and they are all struggling in their own ways.

    I don’t think the plot was anything outstanding, what made this book so special for me was the author’s detailed minutiae of these women’s lives - the reflections, the thoughts, and the decisions that shaped them made this such a
    Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: kindle
    I devoured this book in one glorious all-consuming sitting – and when it finished, I allowed myself to cry. The emotional impact of this book is immense, the way you become enmeshed and immersed in the story unusual in its intensity – and the writing is absolutely exquisite. It looks at friendship, at life’s twists and turns and the way they often disappoint and fail to live up to their promise, at betrayal and its impacts – and explores the emotional responses of its characters with a depth and ...more
    Lisa Bywell
    Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
    If you are a woman in your 40s who went to uni in the 90s (in this case an English degree - ha!) and are now maybe starting to question some of those life choices, then this book is targeted at you. It’s an easy read, not trying to be a literary masterpiece, funny and sad, very enjoyable.
    Mistress  #darklings
    Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
    Well, I seemed to have missed all the hype surrounding this novel, as the first time I’d heard of it was right here, on Netgalley.
    As a grown woman in her late 30’s, I felt an immediate affinity with the 3 lead characters.
    Unfortunately, it also sort of ended there. I found their personalities a bit two dimensional & predictable. Always complaining about things they don’t have. (I’m as cynical as they come but they even tested me).
    Personally, I found it all a bit negative, and repetitive.
    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)
    Carmen JV
    Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Written from the point of view of our main protagonists, I felt this book was like life itself. We find Hannah and Nathan, who are trying to become parents, Lissa and her failed career as an actress and Cate, who married Sam and cannot understand why. At the beginning of everything, they are hungry for adventure and desperate to live their lives but ten years on, they have all followed different paths and ended up in separate places.

    This is a novel about the highs and lows of friendship, a novel
    Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: netgalley
    I was given a free e-Arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review:

    I though I was going to love this - a book about 3 women in their early 40s whose lives haven't gone quite to plan? yes please. The idea was great, unfortunately the execution was not well done. Here's a list of things that I did not appreciate about this book:

    1) It moved around in time, with no apparent pattern
    2) All parts of it were written in present tense
    3) The characterisation was weak, and even at the end I had to
    Emily Beh
    Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    ate this one up in one sitting . brilliant book; but maybe I'm biased as a woman living in London - it's hard to not to 'relate' to the women in the book .
    Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
    Hannah, Cate and Lissa are three young friends in their twenties. Hannah and Cate have known each other since school, and Hannah met Lissa when they were both at university in Manchester - while Cate successfully made it to Oxford.
    They now live together in an elegant, crumbling, Victorian house on the edge of London Fields, in East London.

    The friends' lives are full of parties, fun, art and romance and they see themselves as activists - worrying about the future of the world. They are young and
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Expectation is a novel that asks one important question: what happened to the person you were supposed to become?

    It’s a question that certainly resonated with me and will, I think, resonate with many other readers too. We all have those regrets about roads not taken, and the occasional self-doubt about whether we’ve failed to live up to youthful dreams. Certainly, the three women at the heart of Expectation are asking this question.

    For Hannah, successful at work and married to her sweetheart,
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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
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    “The afternoon deepens. The light grows viscous.” 0 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.” 0 likes
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