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Wake by Anna Hope
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Wake (2014)

by Anna Hope

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I truly enjoyed reading this book and loved how the three stories wove together. It was hard to believe the book only covered 5 days. There were a couple parts of the story I wasn't too fond of so I couldn't give it 5 stars but overall a very good book. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
While I don't love reading about war I do enjoy a book that focuses on how people are touched by it, either those that were keeping the home fires burning, or others that were in the trenches. "Wake" was just that kind of story. Set in London, two years after the end of WWI, the novel tells the story of several individuals left ruined in its wake.
This book had a gentleness to it, as it slowly revealed each characters pain. It's not an in-depth story of any one issue, but more of a broad overview of the terrible after math of war, and as you can see by the cover, hopeful. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
The book opens with three definitions of the word “Wake” namely

1. Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep
2. Ritual for the dead
3. Consequence or Aftermath

For me these definitions broadly equate to the individual stories of Hettie, Ada and Evelyn respectively, but also it reflects the general mood/state of the country at the time. Set against the backdrop of the arrival of the Unknown Soldier from France, the stories are all ones of love and loss as a consequence of war. Unbeknownst to them, their stories prove to be intertwined as all is revealed over the course of five days in November 1920.

In this year, when we are commemorating the start of the Great War, this book tells the heart breaking stories of those at the front and those left behind. The human consequences of war are revealed to be far reaching as we see how it truly did effect a generation. The characters are not always likeable, but that serves to makes them more human, especially when we can see how their experiences have helped to create the images we are presented with.

The book is beautifully and intelligently written and certainly made an emotional impact on me, (I will admit to being moved to tears when I read what happened to Ada’s son Michael). What this book brings home, in its quiet way, is the brutal reality of war and the suffering and injustice suffered by many. Despite the subject matter, it did offer hope. As the Unknown Soldier is brought home and laid to rest, each of the women, in their own way, have reached a turning point and can start to look forward instead of being rooted in the past. In the same way the Nation acknowledges its debt to those they've lost and pays its respects in order to start to look forward.

I read a lot of books, many of those I would describe as being very good, but occasionally one comes along that stands out above the others and stays in the memory. This, for me, is one such book and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Having read other reviews this book was on my “to read” list. I was fortunate to receive a free copy to review, it will be a book that I’ll be keeping.
( )
  Jilldoyle | Mar 27, 2016 |
A mediocre novel which centers around wartime and loss. It just did not read easily, although there were sections and characters who were engaging. Keep writing Anna Hope! ( )
  hemlokgang | Feb 9, 2016 |
Away with the Fairies Challenge: Beauty and thE Beast (Character: Evelyn) ( )
  Cecilia_Ridley | Jan 10, 2016 |
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For my Parents, Tony and Pamela Hope
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THREE SOLDIERS EMERGE from their barracks in Arras, northern France.
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Book description
FIVE DAYS IN NOVEMBER, 1920
As the people of London await the arrival of the Unknown Soldier from France, three women are dealing with loss in their own way: Hettie, who dances for sixpence a waltz at the Hammersmith Palais; Evelyn, who toils at a lowly job in the Pensions Office; and Ada, a housewife who is beset by visions of her dead son. One day a young man come to Ada's door. With him opens a wartime mystery that will bind these women together, and will both mend and tear their hearts.

A portrait of three intertwining lives caught at the faultline between empire and modernity, Wake captures the beginnings of a new ere, and the day the mood of the nation changed forever.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771039662, Hardcover)

A brilliant debut set just after WWI, as Britain's Unknown Warrior is being brought home from France; three very different women try to find ways to live again after devastating losses -- of a son, a brother, a lover -- and their tragic connection is gradually revealed as the book unfolds. For readers of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong.

Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep 2) Ritual for the dead 3) Consequence or aftermath.
   Hettie, a dance instructress at the Hammersmith Palais, lives at home with her mother and her brother, withdrawn and lost after his return from the trenches. One night, she meets a wealthy, educated man and has reason to think he is as smitten with her as she is with him. Still, there is something distracted about him, something she cannot reach... Evelyn works at the Pensions Exchange through which thousands of wounded and shellshocked come, seeking their country's support. Embittered by her own loss, more and more estranged from her well-to-do parents, she looks for solace in her adored brother who has not been the same since he returned from the front... Ada is beset by visions of her son on every street, convinced he is still alive. Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her. Then one day a young man appears at her door with notions to peddle, like hundreds of out of work veterans. But when he utters the name of her son she is jolted to the core...
      The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Hettie, a dance instructress at the Palais, lives at home with her mother and her brother, mute and lost after his return from the war. One night, at work, she meets a wealthy, educated man and has reason to think he is as smitten with her as she is with him. Still there is something distracted about him, something she cannot reach... Evelyn works at the Pensions Exchange through which thousands of men have claimed benefits from wounds or debilitating distress. Embittered by her own loss, more and more estranged from her posh parents, she looks for solace in her adored brother who has not been the same since he returned from the front... Ada is beset by visions of her son on every street, convinced he is still alive. Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her. Then one day a young man appears at her door with notions to peddle, like hundreds of out of work veterans. But when he shows signs of being seriously disturbed--she recognizes the symptoms of "shell shock"-- and utters the name of her son she is jolted to the core... The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place"--… (more)

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