Saturday 18 July 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Storm - Amanda Jennings

Doesn't every marriage have a dark side?

To the outside world Hannah married the perfect man. Behind the closed doors of their imposing home it’s a very different story. Nathan controls everything Hannah does. He chooses her clothes, checks her receipts, and keeps her passport locked away. But why does she let him?

Years before, in the midst of a relentless storm, the tragic events of one night changed everything. And Hannah has been living with the consequences ever since. Keeping Nathan happy. Doing as she’s told.

But the past is about to catch up with them.

Set against the unforgiving backdrop of a Cornish fishing port in the ‘90s, this is a devastating exploration of the power of coercive control in a marriage where nothing is quite as it seems…

What did I think?

The Storm is a dark, disturbing and exceptional story from the fabulous wordsmith, Amanda Jennings.  Not only is there a storm in the book of the same name, but it's almost as if a storm has been written into the book itself.  The atmosphere is so charged and the tension is palpable that you really do need to brace yourself for the inevitable boom of thunder that heralds the peak of the storm.  

Something terrible happened after the storm that saw a Cornish fishing boat lucky to return to port; sometimes it's more dangerous on land than at sea.  The storm caused more destruction than it planned as it changed Hannah's life forever and drove her into the arms of Nathan.  Nathan is an repulsive man; he's handsome, successful and rich on the outside but psychotic, controlling and completely unstable underneath.  Hannah is trapped in the marriage as Nathan holds something over her that he threatens to reveal when he thinks she has stepped out of line.  Hannah succumbs to Nathan's control to protect their son, Alex, but now he is a teenager he's starting to answer back and this causes Nathan's temper to flare even more.

Oh Hannah, what have you done?  I couldn't understand her marrying Nathan after such a short space of time but it all becomes clear through the flashbacks to that fateful night in 1998.  Nathan is a bully and an abuser, hiding it all under the banner of love in his twisted little mind.  My heart really went out to Hannah who was just about to start a relationship with fisherman, Cameron Stewart before the storm blew her into the path of rich lawyer, Nathan Cardew.  It really felt like Nathan was holding Hannah underwater and only letting her up for air now and again in order to keep her alive; that's no way to live and Hannah has no life to speak of.  I don't know how she didn't poison his hotpot, is all I can say!

The Storm is a dark and brooding tale from the immensely talented wordsmith, Amanda Jennings.  It's a compelling read and so very difficult to put down that you just need to ride the waves until the storm has unleashed its fury.  An absolutely outstanding novel and highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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