The Sudden Appearance of Hope

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Book - 2016
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The world began to forget Hope Ardern when she was 16-years-old. First her teachers, then her friends, then finally her parents forgot her. Unable to make friends or keep a job, Hope survives by stealing what she needs - food, clothes, and more lucrative heists. Then one night, after the daring theft of a few million dollars' worth of diamonds, Hope finally attracts the attention of a group of people with a sinister agenda. And they do not intend to let her get in their way.
Publisher: New York, NY : Redhook, 2016.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316335997
Branch Call Number: FIC North
Characteristics: 468 pages ; 25 cm.


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Jan 21, 2020

I seem to arrive a little late to this introduction of Claire North to the literary world, but at last I am here. This is a remarkable work of speculation, extrapolating the idea of Facebook like data gathering and the quasi religious world of Scientology to create a world that could really happen. The premise of being a girl that no one can remember is well thought out and executed. And then folding these two antagonists into an action packed heist/caper genre novel that spreads around the globe is a work of genious. This is a cautionary tale that may just be prescient, like 1984, if we are not careful.

FindingJane Jul 05, 2016

Who are we when we’ve lost our memory? A profound question. Here’s a more intriguing one: Who are we when everyone we meet loses their memory of us?

This is a brilliant premise that is flawlessly executed. Having lost her identity in a world where identity is everything, Hope must change herself constantly and live life on the edge. Because everyone forgets her within minutes of seeing and talking to her, she can’t hold down a job, get insurance (or claim it), receive adequate hospital care or get table service in restaurants. This forces Hope to become something of a spy, mercenary, thief and fence.

This book is a mesmerizing story, filled with action, subterfuge, skullduggery, mental manipulation and outright murder. It’s stirringly paced, with not a dull moment in it, even during moments when Hope does nothing but wait…and wait…and wait…for people to forget her so she can move on to the next phase in her many schemes.

Hope is diabolically clever, gifted with a razor-edged intelligence, cunning and a memory like a steel trap. She’s one of the most engaging characters I’ve ever read and I found myself envying her ability to calm her emotions, outwit the police, wait patiently like a hunter for its prey, master languages, martial arts, adopt and drop identities, easily acquire materials (such as lockpicks, key cards and ID) and recall obscure bits of information that stand her in good stead whenever she faces down those who would oppose her or capture her.

But above the recitations of poetry, anthropology, history, music appreciation and various sciences and the ability to pick a lock in under three minutes is the quest of a lonely girl, one who longs for connection, one who asks the deep and burning question: Who am I if society forgets about me?

Tangled with this philosophical question is a plot that might be lifted from contemporary science—or science fiction. A very rich and unscrupulous man is warping scientific research in order to make rich people PERFECT. And what is society’s version of “perfection”? The perfect smile, walk, speech, hair, style, fashion, clothing, car, jewelry, friends that make you one of the elite, the fabulously wealthy and famous. It is an alliance that is shifting into a cult that may very well morph into a global religion, one in which individuality may be wiped out forever.

The side that Hope takes and the path she will follow to achieve her ends makes for extraordinary storytelling. This book isn’t merely reading; it’s an experience, filled with weighty subjects and memorable characters. If you would read any book this year that challenges your concepts of morality as well as stimulates your mind, “The Sudden Appearance of Hope” is that book.

Jun 21, 2016

When even your parents and close friends forget you if you're gone for 20 seconds, you know it's going to be a lonely life. For Hope, it's how she survives, stealing what she needs. She can even count cards at casinos because the security forget her when she goes into the loo. The one other person she meets in the same situation turns to the new app "Perfection" and now he's memorable, but he doesn't remember Hope. Not to mention his personality disappeared. Hope wants to stop the Perfection creators, but also wants to use it so she'll be memorable. Quite a story and North is an adept storyteller.

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