Book Review: In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

In-Her-Wake-Vis-4-2Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback ARC
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Blurb: 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.


Review: First of all, I think the tag line, “a perfect life” is slightly misleading but hey ho. Anyway! Today I’m reviewing the ever so talked about In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings. I saw this book absolutely everywhere when it first came out and an endless stream of great reviews for it from my book blogger friends. It definitely sounded up my street so a massive thank you to Orenda Books for sending me a copy to read and review. Bella has a comfortable life and a comfortable existence. A husband that pretty much does everything for her, a low-key stable job and protective parents. However, her mother’s death unravels a chain of extreme traumatic and shocking secrets that lead Bella to question everything she’s ever known.

This book fell in 3 very heavy stages for me. The first third and the final third were amazing – so full of secrets and mystery and shocking revelations but the middle definitely let this book down quite dramatically for me. After such an exciting start, it dropped in pace to the point where I felt I was reading the same page over and over again. I understand the middle part couldn’t have been rushed but I felt it got a little tedious after a while. Sorry to start on a downer but the beginning and the end were incredible. I did wonder what else there would be left to ‘discover’, thinking that surly this situation Bella is in couldn’t get any worse but alas… It did.

I think this book looks at a lot of difficult topics, such a depression, isolation, manipulation and mental abuse. The one I found particularly interested was her relationship with her controlling husband. It’s the kind of not-so-obvious control that possibly a lot of people experience in everyday life but because it’s so subtle, you don’t see it. This book did a great job at bringing this to light. The way he told her to marry him – not ask. The way it’s always what he says goes and the way he makes everything about himself. Bella’s husband doesn’t feature that heavily in the book yet his grip over her is apparent.

I am a bit torn as to what to make of this book as a whole. It was moving. It was gripping (in parts). But I can’t say I really took to any of the characters or agree with a lot of their actions. However, this book is good at making you contemplate the situation and decide for yourself what the best course of action would have been. It’s not always as simple and clear-cut as you first think and In Her Wake definitely throws up a few surprises to make you re-think what you already know. Overall, for me, it was good. Not mind-shatteringly brilliant but not by any means rubbish. The middle section let me down but the beginning and end definitely made up for it. Rating: 3 Stars

Have you read In Her Wake? If so, what did you think? Reviewed it on your blog? Leave me the link below!

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