The stunning new novel from the voice that brought you the word-of-mouth bestseller THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST and the highly acclaimed TOUCH.
My name is Hope Arden. I am the girl the world forgets.
It started when I was sixteen years old.
A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.
No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.
That makes my life tricky. It also makes me dangerous . . .
THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE is the tale of a girl no one remembers, yet her story will stay with you for ever.
Claire North is a true original, a master of ingenious plotting and feats of imagination - Alex Marwood, author of THE WICKED GIRLS
Beautifully written, with a protagonist who is both tragic and heroic, the novel is remarkably powerful and deeply memorable, the latest in a string of terrific books from this newly emerged star in the genre-blending universe - BOOKLIST on THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE
Well-paced, brilliant and balanced - New York Times
Beautifully written, with a protagonist who is both tragic and heroic, the novel is remarkably powerful and deeply memorable, the latest in a string of terrific books from this newly emerged star in the genre-blending universe - BOOKLIST
This is a book which is incredibly compelling, and incredibly heartbreaking at times. I could not put it down - The Forest of Books
“Thought can travel through time, you see, memory reinvents itself, making the past something that has always been, now, in this second, now, for ever. You can’t ever really trust your own memory, your own mind. Reality, time, the past, it’s as fickle as a dream, when you look back on it” The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the third book by British author, Claire North. Hope Arden is a thief, a very successful one. Her success is due, for a large part, to skills she has acquired; but the fact that she is not quite invisible, but so very forgettable, is integral to that success. Hope is in Dubai to steal the Chrysalis Diamond, and intends to do it from around the neck of the current owner, Princess Shamma bint Bandar, House of Saudi, at an exclusive promotional event. Her success, however, attracts attention for an unexpected reason. Hope is drawn into something that has the potential to make her memorable, but something that is also extremely dangerous. And the suicide of a recent acquaintance makes her all the more determined. When Hope was sixteen, people began, inexplicably, to forget that she existed. From then on, her very existence began to change: she stole to survive. Hope found that being so forgettable has advantages and drawbacks. No one remembers you: you can get away with insults, offense, hurt, theft, even murder; one-night stands are easy; But, no one remembers you: not your landlady, your hairdresser, your local newsagent, your parents, your teachers, your lover; you can never have a true friendship or a long-term romance, let alone a marriage. North’s plot is imaginative, original and, quite possibly, prescient. The premise of Hope’s affliction is cleverly handled. North’s characters are believable, and Hope’s often shameless acts of theft are understandable, given her situation. The world North depicts is frighteningly real and only a short step away from what already exists: an emphasis on physical beauty; apps that monitor location, purchases and web searches, that recommend products and services and offer discounts and loyalty points. The Sudden Appearance of Hope is a moving and thought-provoking read that explores social pressures, the need for acceptance, loneliness, medical research and marketing, and whether the end ever justifies the means. North manages to include the poetry of Byron and Wordsworth, a Mobius strip, the darknet, opticians and the Macarena in her latest novel. Another brilliant read that will have readers wondering what Claire North will do next.
Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, who wrote several novels in various genres before publishing her first major work as Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. It was a critically acclaimed success, receiving rave reviews and becoming a word-of-mouth bestseller. She has since published several hugely popular and critically acclaimed novels, won the World Fantasy Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and been shortlisted for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. She lives in London.