The Storm – Amanda Jennings
Publisher: HQ / HarperCollins
Available in Ebook, Audio and Paperback (23 July 2020)
Source: Review copy via Netgalley
ABOUT THE BOOK
Doesn’t every marriage have a dark side?
To the outside world Hannah married the perfect man. Behind the closed doors of their imposing home it’s a very different story. Nathan controls everything Hannah does. He chooses her clothes, checks her receipts, and keeps her passport locked away. But why does she let him?
Years before, in the midst of a relentless storm, the tragic events of one night changed everything. And Hannah has been living with the consequences ever since. Keeping Nathan happy. Doing as she’s told.
But the past is about to catch up with them.
Set against the unforgiving backdrop of a Cornish fishing port in the ‘90s, this is a devastating exploration of the power of coercive control in a marriage where nothing is quite as it seems…
To outsiders, Hannah and Nathan Cardew have the perfect family life and marriage. They have a lovely house, Nathan is a successful lawyer and a pillar of the community but looks are deceiving. Behind closed doors, life is very different. Hannah is a prisoner in her marriage, not having any money of her own and having to account for any time she spends away from the home. Nathan makes her account for every single penny she spends, even making her produce receipts. He says he loves her. Why on earth does she tolerate someone treating her in that way.
The story flits between past and present. The past being when Hannah was a confident young girl, fun-loving and working in her father’s bakery. She catches the eye of both Nathan and Cameron, a young fisherman. Despite Nathan’s money and posh restaurant dinners, its Cameron she really likes however tragedy looms and lives are changed.
This book invoked such strong emotions for me. I loathed Nathan with a passion and I felt angry with Hannah for going along with it and allowing him to treat her so badly. Nathan was an awful character and his manipulative, controlling, coercive treatment of Hannah in humiliating her, making her doubt herself was no less than psychological abuse. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t leave him. Of course she didn’t. She put up with everything because of her love for their son Alex.
This is not a straightforward tale of coercive control and manipulation. There is far more to the story and as the layers unfold, we see what has happened to lead to this situation and why Hannah chooses to stay. I was completely taken by surprise at the way events unfolded, not everything was as it seemed and things began to fall into place.
It’s called The Storm for a reason – part of the story focuses on a dramatic and traumatic event at sea and shows how fisherman are at the mercy of the weather and the dangers they face. The story is set in Cornwall and there is a tremendous sense of place with atmospheric and vivid description.
The Storm is an emotive and powerful story that begins slowly but gradually the pace increases as more is revealed. Written mainly from Hannah’s perspective but also with chapters told from the POV of Nathan and Cam, it is a powerful story of love, loss, actions and consequences. Whatever you may feel about the characters, they have been perfectly drawn in this gripping and totally engrossing domestic thriller that has a sinister undertone bubbling away underneath. Beautifully written, I love how the author pulled it all together at the end. Definitely recommended.
My thanks to HQ for the place on the tour and for providing the Netgalley copy to review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello and welcome to my Author Page! So what do I write? Well, I love anything with a dark vein and secrets which affect families, and my books tend to fall into the psychological suspense category. The Storm is out in July and, like my last two books – In Her Wake and The Cliff House – it is set in Cornwall where my heart truly lies! My mother’s side of the family is from Penzance and I have many blissful memories of long summers spent here. I am never happier than when I’m beside the sea. I’m also fond of a mountain, especially when it’s got snow on it. When I’m not beside the sea or up a mountain or sitting at my desk, you can usually find me chatting on the radio as a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s weekly Book Club, or loitering on Twitter (@mandajjennings), Facebook and Instagram (@amandajennings1). I love meeting and engaging with readers, whether that’s on social media, or at libraries, book clubs and literary festivals. If you see me out and about at an event do say hello! What am I doing now? Well, I live just outside Henley-on-Thames with my husband, three daughters and an unruly menagerie of pets, and am currently writing my fifth book which will be published in 2020. You can find more information on my webpage: www.amandajennings.co.uk