The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Claire North
The Sudden Appearance of Hope Cover

The Sudden Appearance of Hope


This is the third book by Claire North that I've read, the first two being The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August which was excellent and Touch which was pretty good. The Sudden Appearance of Hope doesn't measure up to the high bar that North set for herself with the first two novels. It really gets tedious in places and just doesn't draw the reader in. I felt little empathy for the first-person protagonist and just didn't grok her motivations.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is similar to the other two books in that the main character has an peculiar trait. In Harry August it is being reborn to the same life over and over again without losing the memory of the previous lives. In Touch it is the ability to move consciousness from one body to another with only a physical contact. Hope Arden, the heroin in The Sudden Appearance of Hope, is not memorable, that is, people do not remember her. They can't remember her, no matter how hard they try. She meets people dozens of time, but for them it is always their fist meeting. This is certainly an original and interesting premise for a novel. The story revolves around an app called Perfection. I think this may be the novel's shortcoming. It just doesn't work for me. A different story based on the unmemorability premise may have worked better. The tediousness I mentioned before comes in with the frequent lists of synonyms of words, as in a thesaurus; in repetitive counting; and in the all-too-frequent and repetitive use of the f-word, sometimes as if it is a rapid-fire mantra.

If I had read Hope first, I would not read another Claire North novel. I would have missed out on Harry August and Touch. I expect I will read her next novel, in the hopes that she returns to her prior glory.