Review: 'The Judas Scar' by Amanda Jennings (2014)
Will and Harmony's seemingly idyllic marriage is left shattered after she loses a baby she didn't realise she wanted. While at a friend's party, she raises the subject of trying again, and Will s reaction leaves her hurt and confused.
Removing herself from the crowd, she encounters an enigmatic stranger whose advances she rejects, only to later discover that the handsome man is Will's childhood friend from boarding school, Luke.
When Will, struggling to confront the culture of bullying that marred his childhood, reveals a secret too painful for her to bear, Harmony is left caught between the husband she loves and the promises made by an obsessive stranger...
In the Spring of 2014 I was contacted by Cutting Edge Press about possibly reviewing Amanda Jennings’ novel ‘The Judas Scar’, which was released on the 1st of May 2014. I had read some positive reviews from other book bloggers which had definitely made me curious about this particular novel, so I was really happy to be given the chance to read and review it for my own blog! I have to admit the book had been lying on my to-read pile for quite some time, so a few weeks ago I had a free afternoon and decided to finally pick it up. I was straight away intrigued by the book description and hoped I would end up enjoying it as much as most of my fellow book bloggers!
Will and Harmony have been married for years and there’s nothing Harmony wants more than to have a child of her own. After the difficult time of dealing with a miscarriage and knowing she’s over 40 years old, Harmony decides she wants to give it another go. Will isn’t too excited about the prospect of having a child and he has always been clear about this to Harmony, ever since they got together. At a party, Harmony meets a handsome stranger and there are definitely sparks between them. She decides to ignore it, but during a dinner party she discovers the stranger is actually Will’s old school mate Luke. Harmony has difficulty ignoring Luke’s advances and at the same time Will seems to start behaving strangely, especially around Luke. What is it about this handsome stranger and what secret is Will hiding from Harmony?
One of the definite strengths of this novel is the fact that it will have you hooked after the first chapter. Amanda Jennings’ writing is really powerful and captivating, and after the first few pages it already felt like I was immersed in a different world with fascinating characters I wanted to learn more about. The three main characters in the book (Harmony, Will and Luke) are complex figures who are dealing with various issues, and I really enjoyed discovering more about their personalities and their past. I wouldn’t say I really warmed to any of the characters, especially Harmony came across as a bit distant, but this didn’t ruin the reading experience for me in any way; it fit the story and made it even stronger, in my opinion.
The book deals with some serious topics, such as miscarriage, trust, and bullying. The author deals with it all in a sensitive way, though, managing to bring it all together in one powerful and captivating story. I have to admit I don’t really like the cover of the book, but I guess that just once again shows that you should never judge a book solely by its cover! I do really like the title, though, it is cleverly picked and fits the book perfectly. Overall, ‘The Judas Scar’ is an incredibly intriguing, slightly dark and well-written read that you will not want to put down. I’ve really enjoyed my first Amanda Jennings novel and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!