4 out of 4 stars
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High Hopes is a modern-day family drama novel written by Sue Lilley. Published in April 2016, the story is stuffed full of suspenseful tension and continuous twists and turns. At 328 Kindle edition pages, I consider High Hopes the perfect reading length to allow readers to become invested in the characters and their stories.
Told in the third-person perspective, the narrative begins with Grace, a forty-year-old woman who has just recently received correspondence from the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty years ago. Although she kept the conception and adoption of her daughter a secret from her two best friends, Dixie and Sam, the time has come for her to finally expose the truth. Dixie and Sam are now married and have a son of their own, with no idea about the bombshell about to be dropped on their family. Despite the lifelong friendship between the three, Sam fathered Grace's baby on a drunken, spur of the moment night, despite already being in a relationship with Dixie. Now that their daughter is grown, she wants to meet her biological parents, which could throw a wrench in the friendship, and possibly demolish the marriage between Dixie and Sam.
Along with the suspenseful drama that is sure to follow with a secret baby, the scenery painted throughout the story was almost magical to read about. With the setting in an estate located in the Poldark country, the author concisely illustrates rolling hills and quaint shops that are sure to pull at a reader's heartstrings. I was also satisfied with the author's ability to represent the personalities specific to each character. Grace is viewed as a beautiful woman, living what can only be perceived as the perfect life. Although her marriage recently failed, she is fashionable and financially well-to-do, spending money without much more than a second thought. Dixie and Sam have had struggles in their marriage recently due to a mid-life affair on Sam's part, which only causes more strain with Grace's dilemma of how to present the news of their daughter. Will Grace be able to reveal her truth while managing to save her friendships?
Along with well-developed characters, the story features charming secondary characters and a possible romantic fling, which adds even more emotion to the story. The editing for the novel appears to be professional and well-done as I found no errors while reading. I was also pleased with the sensible communication between characters. Despite the dramatic outcomes necessary to add suspense to the story, the author found a smooth way for the characters to communicate without exhibiting force.
I'm pleased to rate High Hopes 4 out of 4 stars and would enthusiastically promote the story to readers who enjoy dramatic novels. I was equally satisfied with the characters and their individual stories, as well as the author's ability to captivate my mind with the ongoing chaos. Despite initially coming across as predictable with the drama sure to ensue, I was astounded multiple times while reading, which is exactly the kind of drama I enjoy reading. I look forward to reading more by Sue Lilley in the future.
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