Catherine Jenkinson’s ‘Hope’ series are available now and are selling for only £1.53 ($2.37)! Check out Blippop’s Books tab or click the links below:
I’ve always considered hope to be an odd thing. People only care about it when they are in the situations where it has already long deserted them, it’s one of those things like god that are only ever pulled out by desperate people, as if the hope fairy wouldn’t care that they abandoned him for the other 90% of the time. There are many stories about people’s luck turning around where supposedly their little saved up bit of hope gets them through the tough times but it is never the actual hope and that faith in something which gets them to where they want to be; it is something real and concrete and tangible like a person finding them and pulling them out of their misery or the person that holds them captive dying. Hope is ascribed to the actions of people after the fact because it doesn’t exist in times of hardship.
What is more interesting than people who have hope, is the behaviour of people who are smart enough to realise that they have none. In a really good horror film the people who survive are often driven by a feeling of hopelessness or desperation to do things that they would never dream of normally whether that be murder or just a brave escape that doesn’t fit their character. In that way hope acts as an inhibitory function, it’s something that holds us back to keep society going by making sure our behaviour fits in line. The idea of hope is essentially social control.
The relationship between the two is close. It could be argued that it is the glimmer of hope left in a person which makes them murder the bad guy or risk offending their captors. Like many things, it is in its own way subjective. Depending on a person’s outlook on life, things seem to be driven by hope or desperation and because of that, nobody experiences the same story in the same way, the best storytellers can tell a story that, despite seeming full, is crafted from nothing but vague scenes that appeal to anybody that reads them.
The Hope Series delves into all these differing ideas of hope.
Rainbows is what the optimist sees, a person going through the horrors of cancer and yet still smiling by the end even though her life seems to give her nothing to smile about.
Cardboard Numbers is about low latent inhibition and therefore a blank slate. From my experiences, Blip is far too logical to comprehend things like hope, he watches other people go through it as if he’s taking in the results of a scientific experiment and so the story of Flick is a story which is completely lacking in any sort of desperation or hopefulness from the point of view of a person who just doesn’t have any real comprehension of emotion.
Mute is about when society creates a sense of desperation and how this drives people to act in ways which would be unnecessary in other situations and about how the government still continues to try and snuff any perceived sense of hope out. It is dystopian in theme, about a group of terrorists who try to make their life better because they experience such extreme sexism and racism that they feel they have no other option.
Footsteps is about the cycling nature of it all and the way that hope will always appear and disappear while people remain irrational enough to care. This is shown by a story that is set on a beach because the sea is so indicative of things that cycle, all of the effect of the people who stay on the beach is washed away at the next high tide like it never happened.
The next book in the series will be Bittersweet, which is a lot darker than all of the ones currently for sale, as an examination of how hope itself can be damaging and the way that the behaviour of people can be just as drastic when they have too much hope as when they have too little.
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