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Wake by Anna Hope


Back in August I read Expectation by Anna Hope and loved it. I’ve been really keen to read her other books and so when I found out that my local bookshop had signed copies I just had to buy a couple.

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I had intended to read The Ballroom first but as Wake is about the Unknown Solider and I bought it just before Remembrance Sunday, it felt like the right time to read it.

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The story is about three women, Hettie whose brother was wounded and doesn’t speak, Evelyn who is grieving for her lover and Ada who never received an official letter about her son’s death and is still holding on to the hope that he might come home.

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As the mystery that binds them together begins to unravel, far away, in the fields of France, the Unknown Soldier embarks on his journey home. The mood of the nation is turning towards the future - but can these three women ever let go if their past.

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Reading Wake over the Remembrance weekend made it very poignant. While this fiction, it did make me really sit and think about the millions of people who lost their lives in this war and I can honestly say that I was moved to tears.

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I’ve read lots of books about WWII but not many about the First World War. I found the parts of about the journey of the Unknown Soldier to be especially moving. I loved the way Anna wrote these scenes, it was very tender and compassionate.

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I would say that the ending is very abrupt and ambiguous. While I love a book that keeps you thinking about the characters long after you’ve finished reading it, as I have with this one, I would have liked a tiny bit more from the ending.

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Part of me was a little apprehensive about starting this book; Expectation was brilliant and contemporary and I wondered how she’d be with historical fiction. But it’s one that I fell into straight away and thought it was a brilliant and interesting read, so moving and thought-provoking. It’s just got me very excited to read The Ballroom.

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What are you reading and loving this week?

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