Wake is set in London during five days in November 1920 when the body of the unknown soldier is being brought home to England from France. It is also about three women who are linked in some way to each other, have all been affected by and are struggling to get over loss following World War I. Evelyn works in the Pensions Office and deals with injured soldiers who need money and help. Ada has been married to Jack for twenty five years, their son was killed in France and she believes she keeps seeing him in the street. Hettie is a young dancer who works at the Hammersmith Palais, she dances with men for sixpence a time and has to hand a lot of her earnings to her mother to help look after the family, her father is dead and her brother Fred hasn't worked since the end of the War.
This is Anna Hope's debut novel and I was lucky enough to receive a copy from Transworld. I started reading it as soon as it arrived, I'd heard good things about it and it certainly lived up to the hype. This is a book you pick up to read just a few more pages only to find an hour later that you haven't managed to put it down. I loved all the characters, particularly Evelyn and Ada, and they felt very real. Parts of the story are heartbreaking and it gets across very well what life must have been like during and after The Great War and what people had to contend with.
Now I've finished this book I'm going to miss these three women, all books I read this year are now going to measured up next to Wake.