“I think the pressure for women to have a perfect home is one of the greatest heists of capitalism.”
Why Did I Read This Book?
This was the September pick for Beth’s Book Club and I luckily had a brilliant copy due to it being one of Richard and Judy’s Summer 2020 Book Club picks too!
I had heard very good things about the book and whilst I was reading it, it seemed that everyone else on my social media was too!
What Did I Think?
What I liked the most about this book was that it portrayed the modern woman’s life perfectly. There was no beating around the bush that Anna Hope wanted to create a story that shows the pressures of womanhood in these modern times.
If you are unaware, Expectation follows Hannah, Cate, and Lissa who are young, vibrant, and inseparable. They live on the edge of a common in East London, and 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 is hungry for what the others have. And each is wrestling with the same question: what does it take to lead a meaningful life?
Expectation honestly depicts female friendship and how it changes with age and milestones. All three women lead different lives but each woman has something in her life that she wishes she could change. One is desperate for a child, one is regretting ever having a child and the other is desperate to for that BIG break in her dream career. I think throughout the story, you feel for each character but you find yourself disagreeing and becoming angry with the choices they make.
It feels like each woman is having a mid-life crisis and is questioning whether the life they are leading was what they wanted. It was extremely refreshing to hear the problems that these women were facing are problems that we all face from time to time. Questioning whether you’re leading a meaningful life is something I suppose everyone questions at some point in their life and it was refreshing to see this from a female perspective.
Anna Hope does a fantastic job of playing with societal ‘expectations’ (excuse the pun) of what women need in their life to be considered ‘successful’ or ‘happy’. I think the title works fabulously in a bunch of different ways, whether that be society’s expectations or the expectations that each character holds when they are young and fresh out of uni with their whole lives ahead of them. Each character ‘expected’ their life to be completely different from the one they eventually end up leading but is that always a bad thing?
I enjoyed this book, but I feel like the first part of the book is a lot more enticing than the second part. I did find myself losing interest towards the end but I think that also may be because I started to dislike one of the characters in particular and reading her narrative did become unbearable. Apart from that, I did enjoy it and I enjoyed discussing it with Beth’s Book Club too as it was extremely poignant discussing the expectations that we as women feel we are bound to.
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Black Swan
# of Pages: 324
Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Trigger Warnings: Miscarriage, IVF, depression, sexual scenes, post-natal depression, adultery, job rejection
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells