Review: Wake: A Novel, Anna Hope

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
Wake, Anna Hope
Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep 2) Ritual for the dead 3) Consequence or aftermath.
Hettie, a dance instructress at the Palais, lives at home with her mother and her brother, mute and lost after his return from the war. One night, at work, 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 men have claimed benefits from wounds or debilitating distress. Embittered by her own loss, more and more estranged from her posh 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 Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her.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 shows signs of being seriously disturbed-she recognizes the symptoms of "shell shock"-and utters the name of her son she is jolted to the core...(source: Goodreads)

Anna Hope is an English writer and actress from Manchester. She is perhaps best known for her Doctor Who role of Novice Hame. She was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and Birkbeck College, London.

My interest in this book was triggered by the cover. I saw it and had to know what this book was about. When the first sentence of the publisher mentioned "for people who enjoyed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" I knew I had to read this book. I am not a big fan of multiple story lines and hoped that the stories would connect in a way that makes sense.
The first fifty pages I had a hard time getting all the characters straight. I was not always sure what the connection was or if I had the right person with the right woman. The writing is pleasant though and while I continued reading most pieces fell in place. I did not really connect with either of the woman though. Evelyn was the most outstanding of the woman for me though it took a long time for some important parts of her story to be explained which made some of her moves hard to understand. Ada's story was a very basic one of a mother loosing her son. It was recognizable and I really liked the way it all worked out. The mystery surrounding Michaels dead was very strong and I could not wait for it to be explained. Though I did find Hettie's situation interesting and would have loved to have a complete book about her experience at the Palais I did not really feel much of her connection with this story except that she ran into a few of the other characters.
The story was interesting with the background of the Unknown Warrior and what that did to the people. I do feel that emotion in the pages. The ending was very abrupt though and it did not feel right.

Wake: A Novel
Author: Anna Hope
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 304
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 0812995139
ISBN-13: 9780812995138
Random House: eBook | Hardcover | Audiobook
Wake
3 stars

Previous
Next Post »

8 reacties

Write reacties
Lexxie Lin
AUTHOR
07 February, 2014 delete

Sounds interesting, even if you had trouble connecting with the female characters.

Thanks for sharing Ciska :) Have a fantastic Friday!

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Reply
avatar
Jennine G.
AUTHOR
08 February, 2014 delete

I have this one from NetGalley too! I have one other review before it though. I hope it's enjoyable enough to read, it's on my iPad and it's the longest book I've ever read on my kindle app...because I almost never read fiction on my kindle app. Nonfiction doesn't tend to pass the 250 page mark often, if that.

Reply
avatar
Amy Yingling
AUTHOR
08 February, 2014 delete

I literally just finished reading this and ran right over to here because I saw the other day that you had reviewed it and I wanted to see if you had a problem with the ending to, glad to see you did to and that it just wasn't me. There wasn't even a period at the end of the last sentence, maybe it was a technical error or something. Who knows!

Reply
avatar
08 February, 2014 delete

It is an enjoyable read Jennine well written. It is just that the multiple character thing is always a chance with me. I know I tend to have trouble connecting but sometimes I just want to read a book so bad that I try it anyway.

That ending really was annoying me to the end Amy!! I even asked Elizabeth if her ending was the same before I decided to review it because I thought it was broken...

Reply
avatar
Isi
AUTHOR
10 February, 2014 delete

I thought your review would be more positive; I have great expectations towards this novel (I also got it from Netgalley).
Anyway, I still want to read it, to see if I enjoy it.

Reply
avatar
10 February, 2014 delete

It is written very well Isi so I do think you will enjoy it. I just had such a hard time connecting to the story and the characters which ruined my experience. I hope you will like it!

Reply
avatar
13 February, 2014 delete

I read this book a week or two ago, and I've been looking forward to your review! I agree with most of what you said; I really wished Hettie's story was better developed; she was really interesting to me, but Ada and Evelyn seemed to get way more screen-time.

The ending was so sudden! There wasn't even a period at the end of the sentence! I was wondering if there was something wrong with my copy, that the ending got cut off.

Reply
avatar
Isi
AUTHOR
16 July, 2016 delete

Hi Ciska!
I just finished this book and I remembered you reviewed it.
I have to say that I agree with Hettie's storyline being less developed, but I confess I loved the book - all three women enduring after the war, in a country where no one is the same they were before the war.
I plan to review it next week.
Hugs!

Reply
avatar