Nessa Bruce waits for her husband to come through the double doors. She'd waited for him to return home from Afghanistan for what felt like forever, and now the moment was finally here. But Jake isn't... Jake Bruce hasn't come home, and it looks like he never will.
Nessa's life - and that of her daughter Poppy - is turned upside down in an instant. What has happened to the elusive man at the centre of their world? They hold onto the hope that he is still out there somewhere, alive... but as time passes by, Nessa is forced to look at her life, at the decisions she has made and the secrets she has kept. For maybe somewhere within it all lies the answer to the question she's desperate to answer - where is the man she loves?
The Waiting Game is Jessica Thompson 4th book, I have enjoyed each of her previous books and the synopsis for this book sounded like a promising read that was sure to pull at the heart strings and cover some delicate topics too.
The storyline follows our heroine Nessa Bruce who has been trying to keep things ticking over at home with her hormonal teenager Poppy whilst her husband is away in Afghanistan but things are all becoming a bit too challenging and she needs her husband by her side so she is eagerly counting down the days until he is due back home. What Nessa didn’t expect that when she waits at arrivals for her husband he doesn’t appear and no-one knows where he is but they do know he is not of stable mind. Still clinging on to the hope that he will return they try to carry on with their lives until the day he may return.
This was a poignant read that really draws the reader into the emotions of the main character Nessa, the struggle she is facing with her rebellious daughter Poppy, who needs her mouth washing out with soap, as well as dealing with the disappearance of her husband with no knowledge if he is alive or not and if he is alive where on earth he is and why.
The friendship between Nessa and Will was delivered well, you could feel the strong connection between them, more so than between Nessa and Jake to be honest, and I looked forward to him each time he popped up in the book and I found myself routing for him and hoping he got his happy ending which actually felt a little wrong!
Jessica Thompson has created a monster in daughter Poppy! As much as I loathed this character I still can’t help but praise Jessica for developing such a perfect hormonal and rebellious teenager who thinks she is so hard done by and has the world on her shoulders, but yet at times we see the young vulnerable side of her appear too so she was developed so well.
The author does cover the sensitive issue of mental health too and she delivers this in a delicate way. The one thing I really felt was missing for me though from this book, and is probably the reason why I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the previous books is we only briefly hear from Nessa’s husband Jake point of view and I think the storyline would have been stronger and more emotive if we also got to engage more with Jake from his point of view.
This is the first book I have ever read which is set locally to where I live and many places such as Knole Park, Ide Hill and Beckenham were mentioned all of which are places I have been on numerous occasions and this really added to the enjoyment of the book as it did make me feel more connected to the book.
Although this wasn’t a favourite of mine from this author it was still one I couldn’t put down and I liked the fact that the ending was unpredictable.