Many thanks to Coronet, Hodder and Bookbridgr for sending me a review copy. Also to Becca for inviting me on the Blog Tour. This book was released in paperback on 13th August 2015.
Nessa Bruce waits for her husband to come through the double doors. She'd waited for him to return home from Afghanistan for what felt like forever, and now the moment was finally here. But Jake isn't... Jake Bruce hasn't come home, and it looks like he never will.
Nessa's life - and that of her daughter Poppy - is turned upside down in an instant. What has happened to the elusive man at the centre of their world? They hold onto the hope that he is still out there somewhere, alive... but as time passes by, Nessa is forced to look at her life, at the decisions she has made and the secrets she has kept. For maybe somewhere within it all lies the answer to the question she's desperate to answer - where is the man she loves?
I read the Author's previous novel Paper Swans last year. I was delighted to be part of that tour too, you can see my review here. http://reflectionsofareader.blogspot.in/2014/08/paper-swans-by-jessica-thompson.html
This book discusses some serious themes; Grief, PTSD, Mental Health, and growing up.
The subject matters are handled by the author warmly and sensitively. The Character of Nessa Bruce is excellent. She is strong and goes through such a difficult time but still seems to hold it all together. Poppy, Nessa and Jake's Daughter is a typical teenager that seems to be rebelling, and standing her ground.
I didn't particularly like the constant bad language that was coming out of Poppy, to me it seemed inappropriate from a character that age. However it is understandable that she reacts in this way, given what she is going through.
I admire the author for tackling the themes that she does in a sensitive and poignant way. She has created characters with all different traits that you actually care about. This story kept me guessing as to how it was all going to unravel. There was a certain sadness throughout, life really is cruel sometimes. Things never turn out as we expect.
Personally I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as Paper Swans but I am still glad that I read it, enjoyed it and I would recommend it.
There is a guest post below for you to enjoy. An imagined School Report for Jake from the viewpoint of the author.
A sample school report for Jake.
Pupil name: Jacob Bruce
Your son got off to a promising start this school year, immersing himself in new challenges. Apart from some issues that can only be put down to an inherent streak of adventure in his personality, he has continued to do well.
Jacob shows great talent in some areas of his studies, notably, his mathematics, which is outstanding for his age. He has quite remarkable skill with numbers, and is making a success of extra exercises set to ensure he is appropriately challenged. He is able to confidently partition and recombine numbers, and tell the time to the nearest 5 minutes.
Jacob’s verbal reasoning however does require some attention. Jake struggles with spelling, and also finds expressing himself difficult at times. We will consequently be putting in place some additional opportunities to work on this, so he can improve at a pace in-line with his peers.
Jake is highly energetic, and a joy to have in the classroom (if not a little chatty at times). He is an outgoing, funny, and his classmates adore him. He clearly enjoys anything that involves physical activity.
As you are aware from our last parents’ evening (and some letters home), there have been continued issues during P.E. lessons (running off suddenly, only to be found climbing a tree several hundred yards away). This is a cause of serious concern. I can only hope that together, we can impress on him the importance that he remains near those who are there to look after him and keep him safe.
My primary concern is that Jacob struggles to conform to rules and procedures that the rest of the class takes on willingly. Examples of this are the need to remove his muddy wellington boots after wet play, hanging his raincoat on the right peg and taking his lunch tray to the bins. While this is not out of the ordinary for a child his age, I feel this is important to address.
As I’m sure you fully understand, these early habits will set a benchmark, helping him meet the expectations to be inevitably set by society throughout the rest of his education and eventually in the workplace.
Overall, it has been a pleasure to teach your son this year Mr and Mrs Bruce.
I very much look forward to another successful school year after the summer holidays.
About the Author:
Jessica Thompson lives in London but was born in Yorkshire. She was a Newspaper Reporter. She is currently studying with the Open University. The Waiting Game is her Fourth Novel.
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Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour...