Your Preview Verdict: The Hush by Sara Foster

Your Preview Verdict: The Hush by Sara Foster

Lainey’s friend Ellis is missing. And she’s not the only one.

In the six months since the first case of a terrifying new epidemic – when a healthy baby wouldn’t take a breath at birth – the country has been thrown into turmoil. The government has passed sweeping new laws to monitor all citizens. And several young pregnant women have vanished without trace.

As a midwife, Lainey’s mum Emma is determined to be there for those who need her. But when seventeen-year-old Lainey finds herself in trouble, this dangerous new world becomes very real. The one person who might help is Emma’s estranged mother, but reaching out to her will put them all in jeopardy …

The Hush is a new breed of near-future thriller, an unflinching look at a society close to tipping point and a story for our times, highlighting the power of female friendship through a dynamic group of women determined to triumph against the odds.

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

The Hush is a Dystopian thriller set in the near future UK where a horrifying trend amongst pregnant women has emerged. Doll babies, born perfect but who inexplicably never draw breath are becoming increasingly the norm. Hospital midwife Emma sees this on an almost daily basis, and her teenage daughter Lainey is terrified when she discovers she is pregnant, all the more so because pregnant teenagers are vanishing amidst a crackdown on social media relating to their disappearance. In this version of the future, government monitoring has become increasingly intrusive, smart watching initially meant for health monitoring, have become effectively tracking devices. Are these heavy handed controls surrounding pregnancy truly for public safety or is there something more sinister behind them? Featuring strong, well written female characters, this taut, insightful thriller channels 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale as Emma and Lainey try to conceal the pregnancy and find answers before it’s too late. Thanks to Better Reading for this Advance Readers copy, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Juanita, NSW, 5 Stars

Eerily relatable to the world we live in or is it a glimpse into our very near future… This story takes place not long after a global pandemic & a new health epidemic is happening in the UK. Babies are being born and not taking their first breath postpartum. They are perfectly healthy inside their pregnant mothers but unexplainable is their inability to breathe once born. The Government have mandated wearing a watch that monitors your movements & heath and all women must register and remain at their chemists when taking a pregnancy test. This story unfolds with a mother-daughter point of view and a timeline of events. Emma works on the maternity ward & her and her colleagues are beyond fatigued from going through the pandemic & now living through this stress. Lainey is Emma’s daughter and finds herself in a predicament, realising she might be pregnant. As the story unfolds it quickly picks up pace and through the two point of views of Lainey & Emma, we quickly learn how much control a Government can take over peoples lives. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, how relatable it was to myself having a baby in covid times, how we keep hearing about mandates and rules the Government are trying to bring in, the protests and just the references to certain pop culture. Sara Foster has done a wonderful job to make this story as believable as possible, the book keeps a good pace and keeps you wanting to know whats is going to happen next! Definitely a solid 5 stars for me! Alli, VIC, 5 Stars

An absolute “must-read now” book that is fitting with society’s current contr0versional regulations taken to the next level. This book is a reminder of the power, strength and courage that is within us all just waiting, willing and capable of being unleashed if need be. A thriller of current times. A true focus and highlight of the power of a strong network of support eager to conquest even when chances and probabilities lay low. Melinda, VIC, 5 Stars

Set in England in a dystopian world that has gone through a pandemic as well as struggling with a host of other global/political issues, it is chilling how close to a future reality this could be. We meet Lainey seventeen and her mother Emma who with the entire UK population are being monitored via smart watches, it records where they are, what they say and their overall health. They also get subjected to regular testing to go to school, work and on public transport. The book seems to deliver hit after hit of fear and paranoia throughout the story keeping not only the characters but the readers on edge. There is a host of strong, independent, and outspoken women each fighting for what they believe in, their family and their friends. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and during the last 100 pages you just cannot put it down. Judy, NSW, 5 Stars

I love a dystopian novel. Welcome to post-pandemic England, where the population is robotically health-screened, wears monitored smart watches and is subjected to a horrifying new reality where newborns are dying without ever having taken a breath. Now pregnant teenaged girls are disappearing. The story revolves around Lainey, a secondary student and her mum, Emma, a fiercely dedicated midwife. At school, Ellis is missing. At the hospital, Emma is manning the front line in a battle against grief. The Hush offers us a narrative of friendship and loyalty, political conspiracy, familial bonds and speculative science. Sara Foster has crafted a thriller which is, by turns, entertaining, devastating and thought-provoking. A read worth losing sleep over. Karen, VIC, 5 Stars

OMG this book is amazing! The characters all have their own little quirks that make them easier to relate to. The use of switching back and forth between characters in the chapters built curiosity and made me want more. I was honestly sitting on the end of my seat for most of this book. Would definitely recommend! Zhyesha, WA, 5 Stars

‘A skin-crawling, spine-tingling, nerve-racking hush’ this quote describes exactly how I felt throughout Sara Foster’s book The Hush. Foster manages to create her dystopian world so close to the reality we live in, that I caught myself several times thinking about unknown hush projects running on the background of our daily existence. Though the book is about powerful political forces controlling society’s every move, Foster delivers an anti-force that is emotional, but ready to stick to their children, scared, but determined to help their friends, gentle but capable to challenge the rules – the women! Strong mothers are against men’s assurance of the world being at their disposal. The Hush is full of twists and turns I have never expected, my heart according to my smartwatch (hopefully, not an eavesdropper!) kept racing at 120 beats. Perfectly delivered writing is feisty and outspoken to be able to take the position of the best book of the year. Foster sows her clue-seeds masterfully and the reader is to enjoy the blooming of dynamic action. I want to know more. A sequel, please… I’ll be on lookout. The Hush is simply brilliant to let go! Ekaterina, VIC, 5 Stars

Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to read The Hush by Sara Foster. I loved this book! Great story line and it gets you hooked!! With conspiracies that come true this is one book you won’t want to put down. With babies dying and people disappearing this read made me feel worried about the characters and a feeling of hopelessness. Will they find a cure before more babies die, and where are the missing people gone? Highly recommend. Judy, NSW,  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 Stars

Sara Foster’s latest book The Hush would have to be one of my highlight books for 2021. I usually really enjoy dystopian fiction and this is no exception. Fast paced, this was a book I wanted to keep reading to get to the end. Whilst the exact time it takes place is not mentioned, it is very easy to imagine these exact events taking place in our near future with enough references to actual events making it a scary read. I loved the strength of the female characters particularly Lainey, Emma and Geraldine and the way they banded together for justice for themselves and others. Look forward to the movie! Steph, NSW, 5 Stars

This is a dystopian novel that grabbed me from the start. With a background of three generations of women, the story opens in the future where the mum works as a midwife when babies are being born, but refusing to breathe. At the same time, her teenage daughter has a pregnant friend disappear. Young mothers were no longer coming into the hospital to have babies. The government controlled the people with a watch and all pregnancies had to have the baby delivered in the hospital! I found this a roller coaster enjoyable ride. Lisa, QLD, 5 Stars

This was a fast paced, thought provoking story which kept me turning the pages until the end. It was a story set in the near future in the aftermath of covid 19 and a new threat to mothers and babies. The government has started to closely monitor residents to keep them safe as they solve the problem of why babies are dying and young pregnant girls are disappearing. Is everything as it seems? It is a beautiful story of the strength of motherhood and female friendships in challenging times. Kim, NSW, 5 Stars

Topical, relevant and entirely credible: The Hush is the best dystopian fiction you will read this year, so gripping that once you pick this up, you won’t want to put it down until the final page. Marianne, NSW, 5 Stars

Wow, this was a ride! Did the first half of the book in a mad rush and had to stop and put the book down for a day or two. It was uncomfortable and upsetting to read but SO GOOD. Definitely extremely plausible which just added to the terror and the adrenaline. The stakes felt very real and the jeopardy was constant. I found the second half made some big leaps in terms of coincidence and had some major info dumps where the main characters were a bit peripheral. There was also a few times I thought credulity was stretched a bit. The pandemic backstory felt a bit tacked on and it took me a while to realise that the pandemic and the stillbirths weren’t even meant to be part of the same thing. Loved the characters, each felt real and like they existed beyond the confines of this story, having lives and histories of their own. In all, a gripping, thrilling and most of all very timely and provocative tale of women’s rights, bodily autonomy and what we’re willing to allow happen. Richard, VIC, 4 Stars

Sara Foster’s The Hush is set in the near future where things don’t seem to have recovered too well in UK from the recent pandemic. There are stronger laws from the government controlling the UK citizens, in addition there are problems with healthy babies not surviving. The Hush follows the lives of Emma, a midwife, who has first-hand experience of the issues of these babies and her daughter, Lainey who herself gets into trouble by pushing against these new laws and the new epidemic affecting the babies. The book has a strong female cast, behind the story of the epidemic, it is the story of kindship, friendship and how the women in the book look after one another and protect each other in all situations. The writing is strong with the topic sometimes a bit close to what could actually happen, but intriguing enough to keep going to see how the story develops. I really enjoyed this book, I found it very easy to read and very hard to put down. Kelly, NSW, 4 Stars

The Hush is so scarily real I raced through it. I was devastated at how helpless the people were and eager to see where Sara Foster was going with the plot. Foster gives us a society where the very existence of human beings is threatened and a Government that is consumed with control and hidden agendas. Friendship is an over-arching theme throughout the book, along with mother/daughter relationships. Women band together to help each other putting their own lives in danger. I enjoyed the way some of the teenagers got around the constant surveillance with the watches. I know the media had been shut down as well but I would have liked to have seen more of the spin the media put on the events. Veronica, NSW, 4 Stars

All in all, this was a good thriller. The Hush features a host of independent, empowered women, rather than the useless damsels in distress you often see in thrillers (usually written by men). The relationships between the women were wonderfully supportive, with a strong sense of sisterhood, and I think this was probably my favourite part of the book. It also had the right balance of “well that’s f***ed” and “actually yeah, that could totally happen” that you want from a dystopian novel. The first 150-odd pages were a bit of a slow burn for me, with an ending that felt rushed and left me with some questions. I also would have liked to see more feminist discussion for a book about the reproductive rights of women being violated and being placed below that of the rights of unborn babies (hello, Texas). There were a few choice “our rights are being eroded” comments and girl power moments, but I just felt like the characters didn’t really address it in the way I would expect for a book released in 2021. That said, I did enjoy The Hush and recommend giving it a whirl if you like stories about badass women, dystopian fiction, and thrillers involving government conspiracies. Thank you to Better Reading and Harper Collins Aus for this review copy! Courtney, VIC, 3 Stars

Reviews

A Terrifying Look at the Near-Future: Read a Sample of The Hush by Sara Foster

Review | Extract

16 November 2021

A Terrifying Look at the Near-Future: Read a Sample of The Hush by Sara Foster

    Unputdownable Dystopian Fiction: Read Our Review of The Hush by Sara Foster

    Review | Our Review

    15 November 2021

    Unputdownable Dystopian Fiction: Read Our Review of The Hush by Sara Foster

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        Publisher details

        The Hush
        Author
        Sara Foster
        Publisher
        HarperCollins
        Genre
        Fiction
        Released
        27 October, 2021
        ISBN
        9781460760376

        Synopsis

        Lainey's friend Ellis is missing. And she's not the only one.In the six months since the first case of a terrifying new epidemic - when a healthy baby wouldn't take a breath at birth - the country has been thrown into turmoil. The government has passed sweeping new laws to monitor all citizens. And several young pregnant women have vanished without trace.As a midwife, Lainey's mum Emma is determined to be there for those who need her. But when seventeen-year-old Lainey finds herself in trouble, this dangerous new world becomes very real. The one person who might help is Emma's estranged mother, but reaching out to her will put them all in jeopardy ...The Hush is a new breed of near-future thriller, an unflinching look at a society close to tipping point and a story for our times, highlighting the power of female friendship through a dynamic group of women determined to triumph against the odds.
        Sara Foster
        About the author

        Sara Foster

        Sara Foster is the critically acclaimed author of three bestselling psychological suspense novels. Come Back to Me was published in Australia in 2010 and reached the Sydney Morning Herald top ten Australian bestsellers list. Her second book, Beneath the Shadows, reached No. 4 on the Australian Sunday Telegraph bestsellers list, and rights were sold in the USA and Germany. Shallow Breath, Sara’s latest release, featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly, was chosen as Book of the Week in the Sydney Morning Herald, and was longlisted for a Davitt Award. Sara lives in Perth, Western Australia, with her husband and two young daughters. In addition to her novels, she has written for travel website HolidayGoddess.com, and was one of the contributors to their Handbag Guide on New York, Paris, London, and Rome. She has published independent short fiction alongside Hugh Howey in From the Indie Side, and contributed to the Dear Mum charity anthology published by Random House Australia. She is also very proud to have been one of the original editors of the bestselling Kids’ Night In series, which has been raising money for the charity War Child since 2003.

        Books by Sara Foster

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