The Choice by Penny Hancock

"Hancock beautifully explores the destructive power of entrenched narratives without sacrificing page-turning momentum. Readers will be hard-pressed to put this down." Publishers' Weekly

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Read more about Penny and her books

Penny Hancock is also the author of novels Tideline, (a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick in 2012), The Darkening Hour, A Trick of the Mind and I Thought I Knew You. She has also written widely on family and relationships for mainstream media including the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, and Psychologies magazine and has published several short stories.

I Thought I Knew You wins East Anglian Novel of the Year award 2019.

Copy of Novel on table with Award
Winner of East Anglian Novel of the Year 2019

Published by Mantle (an imprint of Pan Macmillan) I Thought I knew You is the story of the repercussions on two families of a shocking rape allegation. The novel asks how well we really know the people we love .

Penny says:

I Thought I Knew You is a contemporary family drama. I wanted to explore how someone who campaigns for rape allegations to be believed at all costs, would react if a member of her own family were accused. How do we behave when we are forced to ask how well we know our own children? And how do we feel when our friends are not who we thought they were? I Thought I Knew You is set in a small community in the Fens, and in London, places close to my heart.

‘Relationships so real I can’t believe they’re not still continuing somewhere…Utterly brilliant’ Lisa Jewell best selling author of Ralphs’ Party and I found You.

A qualified teacher, Penny has taught from early primary to post graduate, and has recently been the Royal Literary Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

Penny is passionate about encouraging and teaching new writers. Do have a look at her Writing School page for information on her courses and mentoring schemes.

In addition to writing, Penny enjoys reading, psychology, swimming (the colder the water the better!) and bread making. She has three grown up children and lives just outside Cambridge.

Penny’s newest book The Choice, is out now with Mantle

Copy of 'The Choice' on a table with cup of coffee

When Renee Gulliver fails to pick up her beloved grandson from school and he vanishes, she isn’t only wracked with guilt, but she cannot confess to where she was when she should have been at the school gates.

As her daughter gives her a terrible ultimatum, the family is forced to recognise that choices we make have long reaching repercussions. Set on an island off the Essex coast that can be cut off at high tide, The Choice examines themes of family estrangement and how difficult it can be to escape labels given us as children. It is described by Woman’s Own as ‘a gut-wrenching read‘ and by Pam North as ‘a compelling, complex and exquisitely imagined family drama.’

Lisa Jewell on The Choice

Lisa Jewell got asked by the Daily Mail what she will read next...

"...next off the reading pile is The Choice by Penny Hancock. I’m a huge fan of Penny and it’s been a while since she had a new book out, so I’m very excited to get stuck into this. It’s about the repercussions of a young boy’s disappearance after his grandmother forgets to collect him from school."

See full article in the Daily Mail.

Anne Cunningham writing in the West Meath Examiner

“Old secrets and lies, half-forgotten truths and wholly remembered ones, never to be mentioned, come back to haunt. And still little Xavier is missing. It’s a gripping yarn, but beautifully written too, and Hancock is brilliant on the minutiae of family dynamics.”

Read the full review in the West Meath Examiner.

Waterstones says:

"For fans of Jodi Picoult and If Only I Could Tell You, Penny Hancock's The Choice is an engrossing, thought-provoking novel about family secrets and the way that even the smallest decisions can sometimes have far-reaching consequences."

See the full review on the Waterstones website.

Publishers’ Weekly says:

"Hancock beautifully explores the destructive power of entrenched narratives without sacrificing page-turning momentum. Readers will be hard-pressed to put this down."

Find Penny’s Books on Amazon

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