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Wake Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews

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Length: 306 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A compelling and emotionally charged debut about the painful aftermath of war and the ways - small, brave or commonplace - that keep us going. It touches feelings we know, and settings - dance halls, war front, queues outside the grocer - that we don't. I loved it." -- Rachel Joyce, author of THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY "A tender and timely novel, full of compassion and quiet insight. The author gives us a moving and original glimpse into the haunted peace after the Great War, her characters drawn by the gravity of the unmarked, the unknown and perhaps, finally, the unhoped for." -- Chris Cleave, author of THE OTHER HAND "Wake is powerful and humane; a novel that charms and beguiles. Anna Hope's characters are so real; flawed and searching, and her prose so natural, one almost forgets how very great a story she is telling." -- Sadie Jones, author of THE OUTCAST "Superb ... beautifully crafted" Irish Times "A moving novel about the aftershock of the 1914-1918 conflict. ... unlikely many will prove better than Anna Hope's Wake" Sunday Times

Book Description

Unfolding over five days leading up to 11 November, 1920, a powerful debut telling of three women who have lost loved-ones, set against the journey of the Unknown Soldier from Northern France to the Cenotaph.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2043 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F9FBAUK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lincs Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have no doubt that Wake is going to be included in my Top Ten books of 2014, I know that it's only January, but this is a book that has had a huge effect on me. The writing is sublime, but the story is one of horror and shame, and of ordinary people whose lives were left devastated by what was supposed to be 'the war to end all wars.'

Told over just five days and ending on Armistice Day - November 11 1920, Wake is a portrait of the lives of three women; Hettie, Evelyn and Ada. Each of these women bear the scars of the the great war, and each of them are trying to deal with life in London that has changed forever. As the reader learns about the women, we are also following the journey home of the Unknown Warrior - an unnamed solider, taken from the trenches of France and being brought home to rest in London.

As we enter 2014, a hundred years on from the beginning of World War I, it is only to be expected that there will be many books published this year to commemorate the event. Wake is one of those, but does not focus on the war years themselves. Wake looks at the lives left behind, the women who waved goodbye to their sons, fathers, brothers and lovers, some of them never welcomed them home again. Some of them welcomed home a changed man, a man who would never speak of his experiences, a man who will never be able to support his family again, a man who was left crushed and broken by what he saw in France.

Hettie spends her days at the Palais, selling dances with strangers for sixpence a day, and dreaming of bigger and brighter places. Evelyn punishes herself by working in the pensions office, every day seeing the aftermath of war as bruised and broken men queue up for assistance.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an impressive debut. The narrative story of the return of the body of the Unknown Warrior to Westminster after the peace is skilfully interwoven with the stories of women, all in some way affected by and responding to loss in the First World War. Between the two strands, a clear picture is painted of the national emotional significance of the symbolic Warrior, an Everyman for the bereaved at home. For many parents, wives, friends families who had seen their men off on trains from 1914, there was little or no closure: no funerals and bodies remained on foreign soil under IWGC policy, despite protests, largely by families who could afford to bring them back. But this single repatriation offered some consolation for all - 'he is not lost, he is here'.

The women are intriguingly drawn and varied characters, and so are the men who have returned, all in some way damaged and sympathetically treated. The bloody business of fighting is not seen directly but refracted through the prism of memory - and more effective for it. The War research has been well done, and there are few errors of received 'wisdom' that I could see, although I fear we will continue to see the 'shot at dawn' cliche far too often over the next 5 years. More than 80% of convicted cases had the death sentence commuted, most often by Haig himself; the 306 deaths are undoubtedly sad, but statistically not as widespread as TV and fiction would have us believe.

The book is beautifully written with a very sure ear for dialogue and plotting - no coincidence perhaps from the ARC jacket blurb that the first-time author is an actor. I hear a second novel is on the way so I predict and applaud a successful change of dayjob.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book as it had been recommended by radio 2. Whilst it was historically interesting and well written, I struggled to connect with the characters. It also ended quite abruptly and I felt that there was still things to conclude. Maybe this was done on purpose to give the reader the same bereft feeling that the characters had. I wouldn't recommend but still glad I read it as I knew little about the unknown soldier
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is hard to know what I loved most about this novel: the characters who drew me in, the rich portrayal of the period, the moving depiction of the journey of the unknown warrior, so seamlessly interwoven into the plot, or the simple, highly atmospheric way in which Anna Hope portrays the war's weight of desolation and dreadful dislocation on those left, and their first tentative steps into moving forward. For Ada and Evelyn especially, I was moved to tears by their stories, both during the war, and in the five days we spend with them in November 1920.

It is a long time since I have been swept away by a novel in the way I have been by Wake - I read it in little under two days, I couldn't put it down. Now that I have finished, I feel a little lost. I want to go back and spend more time with the characters, and not just Ada, Evelyn and Hettie (who I loved), but also Ed and Fraser and the other more minor characters besides.

I really can't recommend this book highly enough. It is, in my opinion, a truly beautiful novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unfortunately for me Anna Hope did not create the atmosphere of a recently war torn country in 1920. I did not resonate with any of the characters and felt that there was almost a certain contrivance by the author about how they were inter-linked with each other. Their individual stories took a long time to unfold and I wondered where the story was going. The description of the ceremony of burying an unknown soldier was well done by the author and portrayed vividly and poignantly the need of a nation for "closure" and to move forward.from the terrible horrors and personal losses of World War One. However after the ceremony I felt that the characters were too quick in attempting to forget about it all, which for me felt rather cold. It was a brilliant concept to write about the story of the unknown soldier and I did learn a lot about how the idea came about and how the Government and Military undertook the whole issue. For me, if I find a book is good, then I read it again. Unfortunately I do not feel inclined to do so with this book.
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