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Wake Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this with a book group that I belong to. I found it a real page turner and like other members in the group finished it in a couple of days. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Thomas' Grandma
Touching without being sentimental, realistic without being morbid this insight into WWI is thought provoking and heartfelt without being unnecessarily emotional. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Elise
There have been many novels recently about the Great War. Many follow the usual tragic path. Young man go off to the trenches, die drowning in mud or return broken both physically... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sally Zigmond
This is like reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy - I'm looking for part 2 because the story stopped in the middle! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have read this book in the run up to this years armistice day and it has made quite an impression on me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Hils to samplers