In her eagerly anticipated second novel Mail on Sunday Novel Competition winner Isabel Ashdown explores the treacherous territory of adolescent friendships, and traces across the decades the repercussions of a dangerous relationship.
Read an extract
In August 1985, Sarah Ribbons celebrates her fifteenth birthday in the back garden of the suburban seaside house she shares with her ageing father. As she embarks on her final year at Selton High School for Girls Sarah’s main focus is on her erratic friendships with Tina and Kate; her closest allies one moment, her fiercest opponents the next as they compete for the attention of the new boy, Dante.
When her father is unexpectedly taken ill, Sarah is sent to stay with Kate’s family. The girls have never been closer – until events take a sinister turn. Now, as she prepares for her school reunion, thirty-nine-year-old Sarah has to face up to the truth of what really happened back in the summer of 1986.
Isabel Ashdown is also the author of Summer of ’76 (Myriad, 2013), Flight (Myriad, 2015) and A Quiet Winter (Myriad, 2015).
Hurry Up and Wait Book Group Guide
I still have the odd dream/nightmare that when the sun rises, I have to push myself out of bed, pull on an itchy purple wool uniform, trudge off to my least favorite place on earth and count down the minutes until three-thirty when I can leave again. When I read books like Hurry Up and Wait that uncomfortable, crawly-skin feeling descends and I am transported right back to a time when your best friend yesterday mightn’t be the same one you have tomorrow, and you mightn’t really like either of them anyway. Of course we don’t know any better, and most of us emerged unscathed from our relationships with school “friends” we don’t actually like. But what might happen if we didn’t? In Hurry Up and Wait, Ashdown explores that very notion through the relationships between three school friends: Sarah, Kate and Tina, the alliances and animosity within them changing like the wind. It’s acutely observed and utterly realistic – every scene, down to the cruel taunting of their teachers and Sarah’s struggle between wanting to impress her friend and not disappoint her father, rings true.