Five Days in November, 1920: As the body of the Unknown Soldier makes its way home from the fields of Northern 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 job in the pensions office, and Ada, a housewife who is beset by visions of her dead son.
One day a young man comes to her door. He carries with him 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 era, and the day the mood of the nation changed for ever.
©2014 Anna Hope (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks
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"Beautiful and compelling story"
I have read some of the other reviews which I feel are less than generous regarding the fact that Anna Hope is reading her own story and therefore the reading is somewhat monotone. I think that given the subject of the story it would be hard for anyone to be joyful.
The story is set in the aftermath of the 1st World War when a whole generation of young men have been decimated and the women of the country are trying to come to terms with the loss of their sons, husbands, fiancés and indeed their futures.
Surviving men are also changed. Physically in many cases, but emotionally and psychologically almost certainly, and they too have to rewrite their own futures limited by the horrors of war.
The story concentrates on five days in November 1920 when the body of the unknown soldier is returning from France to be placed in the tomb at the Cenotaph. The body is to become a symbol of all the sons, husbands and fiancés which have been lost, either who cannot be identified at all, or whose bodies remain in France and cannot be reached by their own families.
It tells the story of three of the women who are linked by tragedy but who don't know each other. The story is poignant and beautiful and brought to life for me the era of my grandmother, who was 18 at the end of the First World War, and who I thought about often throughout the telling of the story.
I think this is a novel which will stay with me for a long time. I loved it in a sad way, it was haunting, well written and I shall listen to it again at some time in the future when I think I will probably identify even more depths to the story.
"A book to break your heart"
Near the top for a number of things
Ada's inability to articulate her feelings to her husband after seeing the medium
Not sure I could cope with all that emotion in one go
A history lesson to make you feel so many unspoken emotions
"you will become involved, learn and weep"
its a great book, very well read. the characters are so well drawn that you feel their loss. the descriptions are clear and you begin to understand what the world post WW1 must have been like.
the end when they all go to London to see the procession of the Unknown Warrior. the description of the crowds all being dressed in black and how the men all took off their hats as a mark of respect. very powerful stuff.
she read the book as she meant it to come across. I found it confusing that there were no breaks when changing from one character to another, and felt a bit lost but only to start with. it allowed you to understand that these story lines were all running at the same time. I wonder if it looks different in print?
you will weep by the end, beware
"Did the plot come together or did I miss it??"
This is a slow paced story, that promised an intriguing finale and connections which did not emrge - lack lustre
"Poignant and Moving"
A brilliant story with so many threads all intertwined, a great book about how conflict touches so many lives in different ways,
The same characters we have met over and over again
looking now. Wont be about any world war.
Please audible, DONT have authors read their books. Anna Hope spoiled her own novel.
She had a rhythm of delivery that was constant throughout, da da, da da da da da, da da .
Also I couldn't distinguish between the men or the women's voices.
Learning about the dance halls, thats all.
Nice cover picture, reckon that's the selling point.
"Not for those easily depressed."
I'm sure Wake was carefully researched and close to the truth, but I found the whole book utterly depressing. The effects of the First World War on lives were devastating, but this book was unremittingly depressing with no parallel story line to alleviate it.
I looked forward to listening to this book after reading several reviews. I normally enjoy historical books or those based on factual stories rather than modern fiction which tops the book charts today.
I hoped this would be a mix of the two but I just didn't feel the longing to listening to the next part as I have done with so many books. This is the first title I wouldn't listen to over again as the narration became annoying for some reason. The characters didn't live to me and suffered from a staccato rhythm which I couldn't adjust to at all.
After listening to Mosaic this book was really disappointing. I would find it difficult to purchase another book by this author as I failed to warm to the characters. I don't know if I had read the book before listening to it if I would have enjoyed the story a lot more. I would love to think the book was much better than the audiobook.
Monotonous the characters just didn't live in my mind.
Feel I wasted my credit on this book and know I wouldn't listen again.
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