Today it’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for The Future Can’t Wait by Angelena Boden. Thanks go to Abby Fairbrother and publisher Urbane for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
The Official Book Blurb
The Future Can’t Wait is the emotive and compelling second novel from Angelena Boden, author of the gripping The Cruelty of Lambs.
Kendra Blackmore is trying to be a good mother and a good wife, as well as pursuing her pressurised teaching career. Then Kendra’s half-Iranian daughter Ariana (Rani) undergoes an identity crisis which results in her running away from home and cutting off all contact with her family.
Sick with worry and desperate to understand why her home-loving daughter would do this, Kendra becomes increasingly desperate for answers – and to find any way possible to discover the truth and bring her estranged daughter home…
The Future Can’t Wait is a gripping story of a mother’s love, and the lengths we would all go to in order to know our children are safe.
What would you do if your daughter went missing and you feared that she had been involved in a movement at University that had seen her radicalised? This is exactly the situation facing Kendra in The Future Can’tWait when her daughter Ariana leaves to start a new life in London after graduation, only to disappear without a trace. Separated from Ariana’s Iranian father, part of her hopes that her daughter has simply gone to see him, even knowing the danger this could put her in. But the truth is that the alternatives are far worse.
What we are faced with throughout this book, is a mother’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that her daughter, who she had always been so close to, could just up and leave and effectively cut off all ties with her family, even her brother who is working in America. You can see in the early pages of the book, the growing agitation and anger within Ariana, and her move towards a more conventional observance of her Iranian past and the Muslim religion, all signs which add to Kendra’s concern. You can feel the growing sense of urgency an unease as Kendra tries to track down her daughter, the slow decline of her own marriage as she struggles to come to terms with the facts of what is happening, and the desperation within Kendra as her mind moves back and forth between the best and worst of what could be happening.
This is a very timely novel with more and more reports of young men and women being radicalised and convinced to fight on behalf of IS and other extremist movements. The whole situation and the premise of the novel is nothing new, a sad indictment of modern times and something which seems to happen with regularity throughout history as political and idealist movements take hold of a disenfranchised society. And yet this is not simply a novel condemning the act of radicalisation, not does it simply relay the act itself. This book is a really insightful look at the impact of this possibility, and the loss of a family member, on those left behind. Of a mother’s grief at losing her daughter. A mother’s guilt for not seeing how angry and hurt Ariana clearly was.
The characters in this novel are very skilfully drawn – no relying solely on cliché to build the foundation of the story. Kendra is a very strong and determined woman, and her steady decline in the wake of her daughter’s disappearance is all the more believable because of it. So too is her growing friendship with Marco, a man she meets in the local park. It starts in a purely platonic way, but you can feel their chemistry and it is no surprise that this may lead to something more. Kendra gets seemingly little support from her husband David at home, a man who is reserved to the extreme, his emotions kept well in check, relying more on logic than irrational thought. Kendra and David do seem an odd couple but it is still sad to see them being ripped apart by what happens.
This is a truly compelling story which I read through in one evening. It is not a hard-hitting novel based around terrorism, more one which will make you contemplative and perhaps at times emotional. What would you do? Would you react in a different way to Kendra or are her actions understandable given the most testing of situations she finds herself in? Why not read through and see what you think?
With thanks to the publisher for the advance copy of The Future Can’t Wait. It is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Angelena Boden (M.Soc.Sc PGDE) has spent thirty five years as an international training consultant, specialising in interpersonal skills and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.
Since retiring from training, she runs a coaching practice in Malvern for people who are going through transition periods in their life; divorce, empty nesting, redundancy or coping with difficult situations at work, home and within the wider family.
Angelena has two half Iranian daughters and has extensive experience of helping mixed nationality couples navigate problems in their marriages.
She is the author of The Cruelty of Lambs, a novel about psychological domestic abuse. Her new book, The Future Can’t Wait tackles the breakdown of a mother and daughter relationship within a cross cultural context. It is published by Urbane Publications and is out in November 2017.