Sue Barlow is the manager of a women’s refuge in London. A brutal attack on Liz, one of the ex-residents, brings home the failure of a system that should protect women. She joins forces with Jade a young police sergeant, and Nina a reclusive Russian I.T. expert. Together they track down and tackle abusers. Very soon they learn that to succeed they must support each other to break the rules. This forces them to examine their own personal agendas to a depth they hadn’t bargained for.
Each chapter centres around a different person that the team tries to help. These include a prostitute being terrorised by a gang; a wealthy woman imprisoned in a mansion by her servants; an abused woman with an identity crisis; an elderly woman found in the snow; a Nigerian woman trying to protect her daughter from a witch hunter; a young girl trapped in a religious cult; a woman trapped in a bogus refuge; a woman stalked by someone seeking revenge.
The book follows the progress of ex-resident Liz in hospital and the hunt by Sue, Jade and Nina for Viktor, her abuser. The final chapter climaxes with a showdown with Viktor.
Hope is a relatively short read at a 130 pages, but Rosy Stewart the author of the book manages to pack a lot into this short story. Each chapter is taken up by a different character involved with the refuge, their circumstances maybe very different, but they all have one thing in common, the need to seek a safe haven. The characters are very realistic, and all the women featured have gone through harrowing experiences, which are presented in a credible manner.
Less credible was the way the three characters tracked and tackled abusers, some of the situations they put themselves in were just not plausible in my opinion. Although Hope has the potential for a very good read, I did find some of the dialogue stilted, and a few of the chapters felt rushed, but in the authors defence I feel this was due to the length of the book.
Hope shows the compassion and support women can give to each other, even in the most difficult circumstances. Considering this book deals with many forms of abuse, the author deals with the subject sensitively and doesn’t exaggerate the abuse just to add to the plot. Hope has an interesting plot, which could have been better executed by the author if the book had been longer.
3 ☕️☕️☕️ out of 5
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Print Length: 130 pages
Publisher: Cricket International (5 Feb. 2016)