Wake tells the story of three women living in the aftermath of World War I.
- Ada is a mother grieving over the loss of her son Michael, and thinks of little else – pushing her husband away in the process.
- Evelyn works in the army pension office keeping to herself after losing her fiancé. Her brother came home from the war changed in some way she can’t understand, nor can she understand why their relationship has grown so distant.
- Hettie is a taxi dancer at a dance hall in London, where she meets many men with missing limbs. She longs for a different life and just might get the chance when she meets a mysterious stranger.
While it’s not normally a book I would have picked up in the bookstore, the cover and description intrigued me and I was excited to give it a read, but I had an incredibly hard time getting into the story. I was reading it as a break from homework and for the life of me couldn’t keep the girls straight in my head. Running through the novel is the story of the Unknown Soldier, who I think was supposed to relate to each of the women in their own way, but just fell flat. The writing was uneven, but I so wanted to like it; it had such a great premise! I wish Hope would have chosen one story to focus on. I think that would have cemented the emotional impact she was going for.
If you would have asked me 75 pages before the end I would’ve said that it was starting to look like a really good book, but then it just sort of ends before anything actually resolves. These women who have danced around each other are finally going to interact! Oh wait, no. They keep going on with their lives, which may or may not have changed over the course of the novel. Overall, this was an enjoyable book, but I was left wanting more. If Anna Hope writes another book someday, I’ll definitely give it a shot – this book was so close to brilliant!
I received my free review copy from Random House and will be available February 11, 2014.