A Year of Orenda – In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

Today I hand over to Mandie who has a review of In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings. In Her Wake was actually the first Orenda Book I ever read, having seen the author on a panel at Crimefest in Bristol. I actually listened to the audiobook on my holiday and my review was published on 23rd June, 2016, one of the earliest books to feature on my blog. So today is the 4th anniversary of the start of my love affair with all things Orenda Books and this, the book that started it all. You can read my review here. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Amazon

About the Book

A perfect life … until she discovered it wasn’t her own.

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.

Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books

Mandie’s Thoughts

What would you do if you found that your whole life had been based on a lie? This is exactly what happens to Bella. Still coming to terms with the death of her mother, her father commits suicide and she finds out that the people she had called her parents were nursing a very dark secret. Having gone from a very controlling mother to an equally controlling husband, Bella can feel her life spiralling out of control, but she is determined to find her true family and uncover what happened.

In a lot of ways Bella is very naïve, she was home schooled during her early years and married the first man she fell in love with at college. Her mother had been very overprotective (although as the book progresses you can see this more for what it really was) so she was not really used to having to deal with things by herself. This is part of the charm of the book. Amanda Jennings has created a story that will draw you in as you follow Bella whilst she tries to find out the truth, connect with her real family and create a new life for herself. This is not just Bella’s story even though it is told from her perspective in the main as her real family also struggle with the reality of her existence and what it means for them. Don’t get me wrong as much as I feel for Bella and her true family there were times when she did frustrate me due to her indecisiveness on how to deal with things and I felt more for her sister and her birth mother.

I felt that the author managed to get the pacing of this book spot on and as the story weaves between the past and the present you can also see the torment of the other characters in the book, who although some of them made bad choices they spend the rest of their lives trying to atone for them. Not that this excuses what they did but certainly in the case of Bella’s “father” the actions were from a place of love for his wife. I absolutely loved In Her Wake and it was a welcome change of pace and genre to what I have been reading lately. It was actually the first Orenda book I purchased thanks to my sister nagging me (it was also my first signed book and first purchase from Goldsboro books) This will certainly be one I will remember.

About the Author

Amanda Jennings made her literary debut with internationally bestselling Sworn Secret. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was optioned by a film and television production company shortly after release. She is fascinated by how people react to trauma and deal with its long-lasting effects, and also the relationships that exist within a family unit. She used to work at the BBC but now writes full-time and looks after her three daughters and menagerie of animals. She writes a popular blog and is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club. She enjoys running writing workshops, is a judge for the Henley Youth Festival creative writing competition, and is involved with the Womentoring Project, which offers
free mentoring by professional literary women to talented up-and-coming female writers who might otherwise not have access to such an opportunity. She is a regular speaker at festivals and book events, combining her childhood love of the stage with her love of writing. She likes to be active, preferably beside the sea or at the top of a snow-covered mountain, and when she isn’t writing she can usually be found walking her dog and enjoying the peace and solitude of the great outdoors.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

Books by Amanda Jennings

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