In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

Review published on April 8, 2016.

Imagine the nightmare if things are not as they seem and your memories are a lie? That’s what faces Bella when her mother’s death sets into motion a series of events that cause her to question her identity and relationships. She heads to the Cornish coast seeking answers but what if she doesn’t like what she discovers? What if her previous comfortable existence was preferable? Is there any going back?

The book’s claustrophobic start builds a sense of foreboding and the compelling story takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride – no sooner do you think you are on firm ground than off you go again.

The excellent plotting is accompanied by fantastic characterisation. Jennings doesn’t portray cardboard cut-out characters, she brings them to life in such a way that allows the reader to get inside their heads. To enable the reader to feel empathy for the worst of characters demonstrates powerful writing that is not easily achievable. Her examination of the motivation of individuals is incisive in making sense of events.

There is a real poignancy to Jenning’s writing and her handling of perspective is excellent. There are interesting glimpses into the way the subconscious works to allow people to rationalise events that don’t apparently make sense.

While occasionally credulity is stretched, on the whole the story is authentic and scarily imaginable in portraying the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love.

This is a real page-turner of a book that quickly sucks the reader in – I was so engaged with all the characters I genuinely cared about what happened to them.

There is fantastic scope for reading group debate but it’s also a really rewarding personal read.

Clare Donaldson
Personal 5
Group 5

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings
Orenda Books 978-1-910633-29-8 pbk Mar 2016

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