304 pages, 9.58 × 6.37 × 1.04 in
February 11, 2014
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0771039662
ISBN - 13: 9780771039669
From the Publisher
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Hettie, a dance instructress at the Hammersmith Palais, lives at home with her mother and her brother, withdrawn and lost after his return from the trenches.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 Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her.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.
About the Author
ANNA HOPE studied English at Oxford, went to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and then did the MA in creative writing at Birkbeck. She lives in London.
“A moving read about the emotional paralysis caused by grief and uncertainty.” – Library Journal“Grief and anger, shame, silence and the inextinguishable life force are some of the elements captured in Hope’s delicate portrait of three women’s lives in London in 1920, as the shock waves of World War I subside. . . . Using telling detail, Hope creates a vibrant physical and emotional landscape in which her leading characters, and a sea of others, move irresistibly into the future, some having found resolution, others still in search. Fresh, confident, yet understated, Hope’s first work movingly revisits immense tragedy while also confirming her own highly promising ability.” -- Kirkus“Hope excels at chronicling the depth of suffering by civilians. . . . [T]he book should appeal to those who enjoy reading historical fiction and immersing themselves in the atmosphere of that era.” – Winnipeg Free Press “Satisfying, moving.” – Sunday Times (UK) “A confident first novel. . . . Wise and insightful.” – Sunday Express (UK)“An absorbing and timely debut.” – Daily Mail (UK)"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 and Perfect "A tender and timely novel, full of compassion and quiet insight. The aut