Tuesday 21 January 2014

Wake by Anna Hope - BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

The debut novel by
Doubleday • January 16th 2014 • £12.99 
November 1920, post-war London:
Five days, three grieving women, one devastating wartime act -
the day the nation’s mood changed forever.
 A powerful debut novel set against the journey home of the
Unknown Soldier from the battlefields of Northern France to the Cenotaph
As the body of the Unknown Soldier makes its way home from the fields of Northern
France, three women are overcoming their loss in their own way: Hettie, who dances for sixpence a waltz at the Hammersmith Palais; wealthy Evelyn, who toils at a lowly job in the pensions office, and Ada, a housewife who snatches glimpses of her dead son in the street.
As each struggles to move on with her life, a wartime mystery begins to unravel.
But where will the threads lead, and will they bring the answers these women crave?
In this shattering novel of intertwining lives, Anna Hope shows the beginnings of a new era, and the day the mood of the nation changed, for ever.

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for Anna Hope's debut novel Wake which was published by Doubleday (Transworld) on 16 January 2014.

I also have three copies of Wake to give away to readers, more details of how to enter to win can be found at the bottom of this piece.

I have no doubt that Wake is going to be included in my Top Ten books of 2014, I know that it's only January, but this is a book that has had a huge effect on me.  The writing is sublime, but the story is one of horror and shame, and of ordinary people whose lives were left devastated by what was supposed to be 'the war to end all wars.'

Told over just five days and ending on Armistice Day - November 11 1920, Wake is a portrait of the lives of three women; Hettie, Evelyn and Ada.   Each of these women bear the scars of the the great war, and each of them are trying to deal with life in London that has changed forever.  As the reader learns about the women, we are also following the journey home of the Unknown Warrior - an unnamed solider, taken from the trenches of France and being brought home to rest in London.

As we enter 2014, a hundred years on from the beginning of World War I, it is only to be expected that there will be many books published this year to commemorate the event.   Wake is one of those, but does not focus on the war years themselves.  Wake looks at the lives left behind, the women who waved goodbye to their sons, fathers, brothers and lovers, some of them never welcomed them home again.  Some of them welcomed home a changed man, a man who would never speak of his experiences, a man who will never be able to support his family again, a man who was left crushed and broken by what he saw in France.

Hettie spends her days at the Palais, selling dances with strangers for sixpence a dance, and dreaming of bigger and brighter places.   Evelyn punishes herself by working in the pensions office, every day seeing the aftermath of war as bruised and broken men queue up for assistance.  Ada sees her dead son Michael everywhere, but struggles to speak to her husband.  Although at first these three woman appear to be completely separate, it becomes clear that they are linked together by events that took place many miles away on the battlefields and in the trenches.

Wake is powerful and evocative, it is a tender but at the same time, brutal look at the aftermath of war. Anna Hope's writing flows with such ease, her use of prose and descriptions are beautiful and haunting.

Anna Hope was born in Manchester.  She was educated at Oxford University and RADA, and has a Master's in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College, London.

She lives in London.   Wake is her first novel.

Follow her on Twitter @Anna_Hope

I have three copies of Wake to give away, to enter to win a copy, please fill in the Rafflecopter widget below.  The giveaway will be open for seven days and is open to readers in the UK only. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Fab review Anne of what sounds like a great read. Thanks for a great prize x Marie

  2. I really love the sound of this one. Even managed a post before our rubber of tennis, as I certainly don't want to miss it! Thanks for hosting a giveaway Anne. Fabulous review as always.

  3. I've been hearing good things about Wake and look forward to reading it.

  4. Great post and review. I like the sound of this book very much. Thank you for the give-away :)

  5. Lovely review Anne, would love to read this one.

  6. Great review Anne, makes me want to read it right now. Good luck everyone

    Lainy http://www.alwaysrreading.net

  7. I all ready have this book on my wish list so would love to win a copy .....

  8. Just looking through your archive of reviews, and this is a book I absolutely loved.
    Margaret P