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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

Our Discussion of The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. We've met before - a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of the girl no one remembers. But this gripping story – of love and loss, of hope and despair, of living in the moment and dying to leave a mark – is novel that will stay with you forever. –Goodreads

Below are a sampling of our comments:

  • I would have loved Hope’s ability in high school – to disappear! It was her superpower.
  • It’s problematic that she can’t get healthcare or have friends or relationships except with her sister, people with Alzheimer’s, or animals. She can’t have a job – stealing is all she has.
  • I liked how Hope could have do-over conversations whenever she wanted. She toyed with people a lot.
  • We never got an explanation of why Hope can’t be remembered, but since a few people can remember her, the issue is in how people perceive her.
  • The people looking for her could have used facial recognition software, but then they’d still forget her as soon as they found her. They needed the eye-drive from Dr. Who.
  • Was this book science fiction, fantasy, or magical realism? The Perfection app was science fiction – the forgettableness of Hope was an absurd premise that had to be accepted with no explanation.
  • It seemed that since Parker became memorable Hope would too, but she never became “perfect.”
  • This was very timely with the Facebook data-harvesting scandal – companies know everything about us.
  • It reminded me of the movie Momento where the protagonist can’t make short-term memories and has to piece everything together over and over.
  • Given the situation, Hope did well not to become a psychopath.
  • The end tied into the beginning nicely when Hope stated that this is her written account of her story which can now be remembered even if she cannot be.

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about The Sudden Appearance of Hope. We gave this title the codes ETH, COP, NFW, FEM, CYB, CUL & HOME with an average rating of 4.4.

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