Thursday, 27 August 2015

Blog Tour - The Waiting Game by Jessica Thompson

The Waiting Game by Jessica Thompson
Published: 13th August 2015
Publisher: Coronet
Pages: 326
Available now from Amazon
Today I'm excited to be part of The Waiting Game blog tour and firstly I have an exclusive extract from the book, followed my review of this wonderful book.
The ground seemed to speed up beneath Nessa’s feet. Grass, straw and soil rushed beneath her, faster and faster . . .
She looked up occasionally, terrified she might turn her ankle on a molehill, or a clod of mud. She wasn’t sure if she’d feel it even if she did hurt herself. Adrenaline’s natural painkilling qualities coursed through her limbs.
Nessa had never run this fast in her life. She hadn’t even known she was capable of it. Her breathing had regulated, so she was able to propel her legs forwards, launching herself over obstacles. She bounded forwards, her calves and thighs working like pistons. Faster, faster. She wasn’t sure she’d be able to stop now, even if she tried.
Is this madness? Is this how it feels?
The field looked as if it might go on forever. The forest was seemingly moving backwards in the distance rather than getting closer, as if it were a cut-out paper prop controlled by a child, gleefully moving the goalposts. Nessa came to a low gate. She didn’t have time to fiddle with it to get it open and then close it behind her again, so she put one hand down on the rough warm wood and launched her legs over it. She landed, surprisingly hard, on some damp soil on the other side. The shock from the landing reverberated up her body so that her teeth smacked against each other, catching the tip of her tongue. It hurt so much it brought tears to her eyes. She could taste the metallic, iron flavour of blood in her mouth, but she didn’t care. She had to keep going. A small group of cows in a nearby field watched on casually, chewing slowly and moving their mass from hoof to hoof, the occasional shake of a tail to bat the flies away.
Eventually, Nessa reached the opening of the forest. She kept running; her feet landed on dried-out twigs and branches that crackled and crunched beneath her feet. The sunshine pierced through the canopy of trees that provided a roof of broken shelter over the forest. The light glittered, shimmering on the ground. She didn’t really know where she was going anymore. She just had to keep going. Where had the tiny figure disappeared to?
‘Jake!’ she yelled, the word booming from her chest. She imagined each letter of his precious name growing wings, rising up and getting tangled in the trees, each singing their own desperate song of a woman who had, quite literally, lost a man.
‘Jake!’ she cried again, louder this time, her eyes still watering with the pain in her mouth. More blood.
‘Jake!’ she cried, as if her life depended on it.
‘JAKE!!’ she yelled again, furiously this time. She hoped that if he might somehow be able to hear her, he would know how livid she was with him.
The forest seemed to reduce itself towards a small, dark archway created by a particularly thick group of trees that bent towards each other at an angle. There were two other pathways, to the right and left of this rabbit hole, but she decided to take the central route. She slowed down, but kept running, stooping as low as she could to get into the tunnel. The sunshine barely penetrated this place, and she was plunged into near darkness.
Nessa slowed down, suddenly feeling exhausted, slinking into a fast walk, her breath rattling in her chest. The running and adrenaline had caught up with her. She felt more tired than she ever had.
And then suddenly, as if from nowhere, someone grabbed her from behind, their arms clamped so tightly around her waist, it felt as if they might break her lower ribs. Her feet were swept off the ground, effortlessly.
Ness Bruce had waited for her husband to return home from Afghanistan for what felt like forever. Now the moment was finally here.
But Jake Bruce didn't come home.
Nessa's life - and that of her rebellious daughter Poppy  - is turned upside downin an instant. What has happened to the elusive man at the centre of their world? They hold onto the hope that he is still out there somewhere, alive...but as time passes by, Nessa is forced to look at her life, at the decisions she has mad and the secrets se has kept. For maybe somewhere within it all lies the answer to the question -  where is the man she loves?
The first thing that drew me to The Waiting Game was its cover. That green metallic is even more gorgeous in real life making this cover one of my favourites from the year so far. I’ve not read anything by Jessica Thompson but have heard great things about her writing I was very excited to review this book for the tour. This book more than lived up to my expectations, it was heart aching beautiful in the way it captures emotion is such a raw way. I simply loved it.
Nessa Bruce has been waiting for her husband Jake to return from armed forces for months and she’s beginning to really struggle with holding it all together. Fourteen year daughter Poppy is pushing her mother to the limits with teenage rebellion, sister Kat is wanting answers from their childhood that Nessa has kept hidden and her mother in law Betsy is needing more emotional support as her husband Mike stoops deeper into the depths of dementia. Nessa is counting down the days until Jake’s return, but then then the unthinkable happens and Jake doesn’t come home. Nessa’s world is rocked to the core as she has to learn to cope on her own.
Initially I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this book as the plotline seemed very straight forward, however I was unprepared for the wonderful way in  which Jessica’s writing drew me in, so I felt like I was on Nessa’s emotional rollercoaster alongside her. Nessa’s pain got into my heart and I was just longing for Jake to come back and put his arms round her and make it better in the way we know only the one you love can do.
There were some parts of the story which I found to be predictable but then there were also twists which I was unprepared for, one of which felt like my heart had landed in my stomach and had me crying out. Jessica’s writing is very powerful and I can guarantee it will move you emotionally. It is a book which deals with love, loss and finding your inner strength when you’re totally at rock bottom.
I adored this book and cannot wait to read more of Jessica’s books. If you only read one book this summer, make sure it this one as it’s very special.
Thank you to Coronet for inviting me on this tour and sending me a review copy, I rate this book 5/5.

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