- Paperback: 340 pages
- Publisher: Orenda Books (22 Mar. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1910633291
- ISBN-13: 978-1910633298
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 220 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
In Her Wake Paperback – 1 Apr 2016
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'Hauntingly beautiful' - Clare Mackintosh
'Atmospheric and moving... deserves to be a bestseller' - C. L. Taylor
'A twisty, clever exploration of identity... an unsettling read - Elizabeth Haynes
'A gripping concept powers this emotional, sinuous thriller in which one woman's life is played out against what might have been' - Fanny Blake, Woman & Home
'Amanda Jennings is making a mark as one of the most persuasive and engaging of psychological thriller writers around today... it is with the new book that [she] really comes into her own as a writer with a real command of her craft, demonstrating demonstrates the perfect balance between creating psychological veracity for her troubled heroine and the mechanics of thriller plotting' - Barry Forshaw'In Her Wake is a beautifully observed portrait of one woman's quest for identity, family and the truth about her past. Thoughtful, atmospheric and deeply immersive, it wields an almost mesmeric power over the reader from the first page to the last. As a story about the love and hope between sisters, parents and children it's both wise, sensitive and intelligently drawn. I loved it' - Hannah Beckerman
'Delicately weaves loss and grief with threads of hope in a very human story with a strong heart' - Sarah Hilary
'A gripping and powerful read... will keep you turning the pages' - Simon Kernick
'In the crowded field of domestic noir it takes a very special book to stand out, but In Her Wake is such a book. Beautifully written and emotionally charged, Amanda Jennings has created compelling exploration of self, memory and the slippery bonds that tie a family together' - Eva Dolan
'Amanda Jennings is a writer of rare and exceptional talent' - Steve Cavanagh
'Amanda Jennings really hits her stride with this one. In Her Wake is an assured, evocative, rites of passage tale that will captivate readers of psychological suspense' - Mari Hannah
A haunting and compelling read, charged with perfectly observed emotion and a poetic gift for language' - Iona Grey
In Her Wake is one of those novels that you know is going to stay with you for a very long time after you finish it. Bella is a brilliantly flawed protagonist, but you root for her all the way and travel with her on every step of her journey for answers. This is credit to Amanda Jennings' excellent writing gripping, moving and mature everything you want in a good read. Loved it' - Louise Voss
'Gripping and emotional, with enough twists and turns to give you whiplash, In Her Wake is a finely drawn exploration of identity and memory, and one woman's journey through her own shocking past' - Tammy Cohen
'Captivating and beautifully written, In Her Wake explores a truly devastating and disturbing subject, yet somehow manages to leave the reader with hope. This is a subtle type of psychological thriller, a compelling tale of a shattered family interwoven with a spattering of expertly timed twists and turns. I absolutely loved it' - SJI Holliday
I have fallen head over heels in love with this compelling and beautiful book. Already one of my favourite authors, Amanda Jennings has created something outstanding. In Her Wake is one of my favourite reads of all time' --Louise Douglas
'In Her Wake is a captivating and compelling read. A damaged protagonist, who feels more real than any other character I've read in a while. A gripping tale of grief and rediscovery. Above all, it is beautifully written, with every twist and turn thought provoking and evocative. Amanda Jennings propels herself into my list of favourite writers I'd read her shopping list' - Luca Veste
'Mesmerising storytelling a tale of love, loss and trying to belong that will connect deep within' - Mel Sherratt
'Moving, compelling, and heartbreaking, Amanda Jennings writes beautifully about the things people do for love and how the villain isn't always the monster outside the door. I read this in a couple of sittings and was furious when real life pulled me away from the pages. Simply exquisite' - Jenny Blackhurst
'Beautiful, seamless writing, Jennings has a magic warmth and addictive quality that keeps you reading on and on' - Lucy Atkins
In Her Wake is a moving, perceptive and beautifully written story with a devastating conclusion that will stay with you. Amanda Jennings deserves all the plaudits this book is destined to receive - Howard Linskey
'Star quality in Amanda Jennings' books comes from her ability to put her characters' behaviour and motivation under a microscope and magnify the darkest, most unpalatable workings of the human psyche whilst balancing a clever sympathy for the main characters - Kerry Fisher
'Gripping and hauntingly beautiful, with a totally unexpected twist in the tail, In Her Wake is simply brilliant I loved it' - Jenny Ashcroft
'A beautifully written, emotionally charged novel that stays with you long after you read the last page' - Jane Isaac
Beautiful, haunting, thought-provoking and page-turning. It will stay with you long after you finish it' - Rebecca Bradley
'Jennings drops you into a dark, twisted and tortured world and then pulls you out again, page by page, until you find yourself in something completely beautiful and evocative' Amanda Keats, Novelicious
In Her Wake does it all: it tells of extremes endured in the name of love in honest, searing, beautiful prose. Amanda Jennings is a consummate storyteller; she unravels layer upon layer of complexity and darkness until you arrive exhausted but enchanted into the light. It's a stunning rollercoaster of a ride' - Claire Dyer
'In Her Wake is one of those rare books that touches not just on your emotions, but your soul. Never one to shy away from difficult subject matter, Jennings really puts her characters through the mill here and steps up her game, taking her prose to the next level. The style of the story is lyrical and melancholy, which suits the story perfectly as it grasps the reader in its dream-like haze, while Bella's world fragments around her. In Her Wake draws on strong themes of responsibility, identity and bereavement, so the characters' plights feel authentic and their motivations are believable. The haunting visuals of Cornwall and Morveren's namesake will echo in your mind long after reading. A truly exceptional book that's destined for great things' --Lucy Hay
'In Her Wake, the mesmerising new psychological thriller by Amanda Jennings, shudders with suspense from the opening pages... Jennings presents the reader with a bag of fat, wriggling worms from the outset. She shows how it is possible to take a popular theme unearthing family secrets and put a completely fresh spin on it. A wonderful read, which will drag your head and heart through the wringer, while all the time making you believe in mermaids and human redemption' - Vicky Newham
'The writing is sublime, just beautiful in its simplicity. With a captivating story, who could ask for more?' - My Reading Corner
'In Her Wake is psychologically chilling, but it is also a beautifully observed story of a journey of self-discovery. Amanda Jennings' words are alluring, persuasive and so incredibly elegant, the reader is carried along effortlessly into Bella's world. Her characters scream with realism, her settings are well observed and precise and the insight into the human mind and the power of family relationships is both unsettling and convincing... a powerful page-turner from an author who goes from strength to strength' - Random Things Through My Letterbox
'In Her Wake is a profoundly moving story of loss, grief, depression, acceptance, forgiveness and renewal that is beautifully written and deeply humane. Jennings dives beneath the surface of her characters to reveal heart-breaking and tragic moments of self-awareness that lead to the decisions they make, characters who have no concept of the waves of physical and emotional devastation that they will leave in their wake at the time. It's one of the most subtle and immersive psychological thrillers I've read in long time' - Pam Reader
'I'm ever so slightly speechless. This is an utterly compelling, completely addictive read that is extremely beautifully written. There are several books that are being heralded as 'psychological thriller of the year' and I've read these books... In Her Wake blows all of them out of the water. This, people, is the psychological thriller of 2016' - Reading Room with a View
'Every now and then, I come across a book that is so perfect, and that moved me so deeply, that I doubt I'll ever be able to find the right words to write about... The depth the author brings to her characters is really exceptional real people, people you know, people you feel with and hurt for. This was a very special book one that will stay with me for a long time to come. It's not often I'm lost for words, but this book was absolute perfection...' - Being Anne Reading
'In Her Wake is an outstanding novel, a triumphantly tense and spellbinding story of what makes a family and how those secrets you try so desperately to keep, always find their way out, sometimes with the most tragic of consequences. Full of sharply observed emotions, complex characters and an exquisitely depicted Cornwall setting, this is easily one of the best and most powerful books I ve ever had the honour of reading' - Reviewed the Book
'In Her Wake is beautifully written, an emotionally stunning story that envelops you in a kind of reading madness, as you follow Bella down the rabbit hole. Distinctive, descriptive and psychologically chilling, this is bound to be one of the standouts of the year' - Liz Loves Books
'Amanda Jennings has raised the bar and cleared it effortlessly. A truly captivating, gripping read that touched my heart. The hurt, pain and raw emotions were so vivid I could feel my chest tighten with emotion at every page turn. A book I devoured, but the story still resonating a week later' --Crooks on Books
About the Author
Amanda Jennings lives just outside Henley-on-Thames with her husband and three daughters. In Her Wake is her third novel. She is a regular guest presenter on BBC Berkshire's weekly Book Club, and enjoys speaking at literary festivals, libraries and book clubs. When she isn't writing she can mostly be found walking her dog and dreaming of being up a mountain or beside the sea. She writes a blog and is an active user of social media.
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‘In Her Wake’ is beautifully written psychological thriller. The premise of the story is grounded in reality, and while the concept is maybe not entirely unique, the manner in which Amanda Jennings tells Bella’s story is both beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. Written in first person, from the points of view of Bella and her father, Henry Campbell, the story is full of twists and slow building tension. The language and description used are superb, almost poetic, painting a wonderfully clear picture of Cornwall, of the sea and the legends surrounding it which play as large a part in the story as any of the characters.
This is not a fast paced thrill ride and if that is what you are seeking, this may not be the book for you. What it is, is a book that in spite of this is still capable of delivering surprises and twists, and the overwhelming sense of dread and astonishment as you start to realise the full nature and, at times, horror of the situation which unravels within this book. You feel the guilt, the emotion, the bewilderment and the exhaustion of the characters as they live it, the confusion of Bella as she struggles to understand what has happened and how her life has changed, and the ultimate betrayal she continually feels throughout the novel as one by one, people who she felt she could trust let her down.
There is a certain amount of inevitability which is skilfully built into the story, and while some revelations are not truly unexpected, they still manage to surprise and perhaps bewilder the reader, such is the skill of Jennings in creating the scenes. It is a sign of good writing that, in spite of what he has done, as a reader I was still able to feel for Henry, a man who gave up everything he believed in in order to protect the woman he loved so fiercely. A man who had to suffer in silence over a heart wrenching loss, one which is perhaps the most shocking and moving reveal in the whole novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is one which I would advise you savour rather than rush through. It is not that kind of story. If you rush you may miss the beauty of the setting, the calm of the sea to contrast against the out of control whirlwind which is Bella’s life. There are so many facets to this book, the way in which it covers the full chain reaction from an event which had taken place some twenty-five years earlier, dipping from past to present seamlessly and so completely and thoughtfully details the life of the central characters after that fateful day. I know it is classified as a crime/thriller and yet I’m not sure that title fits as it is so much more than that. Is there a crime element? Yes. Is it a psychological drama? Yes. Were there times that I felt frustrated and wondered why Bella didn’t just go to the police and let them sort the whole mess out. Yes. Oh yes. Bella is naïve and makes mad choices but then this is a reflection of her wholly introverted upbringing and, for me at least, very believable. Is it a tragic tale of the sacrifices and choices that people make in the name of love? Absolutely. But however you paint it, whatever genre you choose to place it in, this is a brilliant piece of writing and I highly recommend it.
From the outset the book is layered with sadness, guilt and the thousand other things which make up a family. The Old Vicarage whilst beautiful, has the underlying feeling of claustrophobia coupled with walls that hold a myriad of secrets that, rather cocooning Bella in safety, seemed to constrain her like a straight-jacket.
The characters are crafted exquisitely so I had a clear image of each of them. The love Bella had for her mother, Elaine, was clear as was her desire to not break the fragility of Elaine's existence. This walking on eggshells along with the emotional detachment of Henry, Bella's Father, led me to think that Bella felt like she had to be the perfect daughter. It was this desire to please and her emotional naivety that meant she was easy prey for David. The control he had over Bella was just an extension of her relationship with Elaine; from the frying pan into the fire so to speak.
As for Bella herself, I was willing her to find her true self - I couldn't help but be drawn to her, and I certainly wanted to give her a hug and just a bit of actual, real affection. Even through her mistakes and bumbling attempts to make things better, I could see her reasoning and was willing to forgive her readily for whatever errors she made. Her fragility was both painful and heart-wrenching to read.
In Her Wake is tremendously atmospheric and it's this, together with the intriguing story of Bella's past, present and future, that held me in its wake. The beauty of the Cornish coast made me want to believe that Bella was going to triumph; that she was going to absorb the beauty into her life somehow.
Amanda Jennings writes so evocatively about loss, grief, hope and forgiveness; these are the reasons I found it impossible to leave it unfinished.
A truly magnificent read.
I will admit that this book did take a bit of getting into for me and was what I might call a slightly slow starter, but please if you do find yourself thinking this when reading it keep going and stick with it.
The twist in Bella’s story was brilliant, I couldn’t believe that the secret had been kept hidden for so long and no matter how much I thought about it I could not imagine how devastating the news was for her without having to deal with a family tragedy on top of it all.
The themes of family, faith, trust, dependency, mental health, the power of relationships and most importantly a sense of self that are the backbone of this novel were really striking. I could feel my thoughts being pulled in all directions while reading this book, but in a good way. There was so much emotion packed into the story that I found myself going from happiness to sadness all in the space of twenty pages, it was wonderfully written.
I am a sucker for an old Cornish tale so the stories that were woven into this book were music to my ears, especially the mention of mermaids because I was definitely was one of those kids who wished they were a mermaid. Let’s be honest, part of me still does.
One thing I could feel from the book is Amanda’s love for Cornwall, the way she writes about the area is powerful and although haunting I found the images her writing evoked utterly beautiful and I don’t think she could have found a more perfect backdrop for Bella’s unfolding story.
If I hadn’t been on enough of a rollercoaster ride of emotions throughout this book, then the ending finished me off! I had to go and make sure to give my mum an extra hug, it was everything I wanted the end of the story to be.
A stunningly beautiful and haunting novel of what happens when secrets are revealed and the ripples they cause become more like tidal waves
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I listened to this on audio and enjoyed the narration.