Saturday, 4 January 2020

Hope by Terry Tyler


Hope by Terry Tyler
Published in the UK on the 24th May 2019.

A Book with Vegan and Vegetarian Characters and the last of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads. My Book Of The Month for January 2020. Included in my Vegan Bookshop.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Terry Tyler's nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller set in a dystopian near future - the UK, Year 2028. 

Blogger Lita Stone and journalist Nick Freer live and work online, seeing life through soundbites, news TV and social media. Keeping the outside world at bay in their cosy flat, they observe the ruthless activities of the new PM and his celebrity fitness guru wife, Mona (hashtag MoMo), with the mild outrage that can be quelled simply by writing another blog post.

Meanwhile, in the outside world, multinational conglomerate Nutricorp is busy buying up supermarket chains, controlling the media, and financing the new compounds for the homeless: the Hope Villages.

Lita and Nick suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, until the outside world catches up with them - and Lita is forced to discover a strength she never knew she possessed.


Hope is the first non-Project Renova novel of Terry Tyler's that I've read and I absolutely loved this story. It's a science fiction thriller, but set in a world that is so chillingly close to the present day UK that I wouldn't be surprised to see Hope Villages announced as an actual Tory proposal by the end of the year. Through Lita and Nick's experiences we see just how easy it is to slide from doing well to just about holding on to homelessness - and this really isn't futuristic science fiction. It's happening right now. Even the hardened attitudes of 'friends' and family are shockingly well portrayed. I was frequently reminded of the weekly newsletters my old MP (I've moved, he's still there) sent out exhorting constituents not to show compassion directly to the area's many homeless people, but only to donate to one particular charity which was best placed to determine genuinely homeless people who deserve help. (As, presumably, opposed to lazy shirkers who are just freezing to death for a laugh.)

Hope, for me, was an emotional read. The central storyline brought a lot of my anger bubbling back up at how ingrained socially unjust ideas have become in the UK. Tyler's strong writing enabled me to empathise with Lita and Nick to such an extent that I was actually reduced to tears at one point. I'm obviously not going to spoil by revealing at which point - you'll have to read Hope for yourself! - but I rarely blub at books so the moment was unexpected and very moving.

While I would love to be able to dismiss Hope's ideas and themes as implausible - this couldn't possibly happen Here - I'm afraid Tyler's perceptive understanding of human nature will prove well placed and sooner rather than later. After mid-December's bitter disappointment and disillusionment, reading Hope at the start of a New Year and a New Decade has given me a welcome boost of energy to get back protesting against society's slide into commercialised despair. An insightful and exciting thriller!


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8 comments:

  1. I've so glad you enjoyed this one!

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  2. That sounds really good but the world doesn't sound like one I would want to be in. Glad to hear you liked it.

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    1. Lots of Hope already is the world we're in :-(

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  3. *mutters bitterly about people/politicians who don't see homeless people as human and promote Victorian ideals of the 'deserving' vs 'undeserving' poor*

    ...I get very angry when people fail to see *people*!

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    1. Terry's really nailed that callousness in Hope and shows how easily people en masse can be directed to act against nominated individuals and minority groups

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  4. My favourite kind of science fiction books are ones where you can see the lines between the fiction world and our real world, and it sounds like it does a good job of showing some of the critique to what we have currently going on in our social and political thoughts and choices.

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    1. I think you'd love Terry Tyler's books then, especially Hope. She's so good at portraying scarily realistic futures

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