Wednesday, February 12, 2014
This Dusty Bookshelf: Wake by Anna Hope
This is a first for me guys. Today, I'm participating in a blog tour! Essentially, that just means that there are 5 of us bloggers talking about one book this week. And this book? It's a good one to be talking about. Check out what they have to say about this book too!
by Anna Hope
Evelyn. Sister. Fiancee.
Ava. Mother. Wife.
Hettie. Sister. Lover.
Wake is the story of these three women as they adjust to a new reality in the days leading up to Armistice Day. In one way or another, these women are struggling to come to terms with the brokenness of the men in their lives and the effect it has had on their relationships.
Hope frames this story with a definition:
Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep 2) Ritual for the dead 3) Consequence or aftermath.
Each one applies. Each definition adds another layer to the story. Each deepens the reader's understanding of the affect of World War I on Britain, of the men who fought, and of the women to whom they returned home.
I loved this novel. Hope uses simple language, but strings the words together beautifully to create very thoughtful imagery and a lively view of post-war Britain. Interspersed with the story of her three main characters, Hope tells the story of the Unknown Warrior, beautifully and delicately honouring the memorial that meant so much to a country still reeling in the wake of war.
But the thing I loved the most was the way she used the relationship between men and women to tell the story. Sure, there's plot, but the story doesn't work without these relationships. Within each of these relationships - mother, sister, lover - Hope weaves her chosen theme: reawakening to love, honouring those relationships lost, and learning to live with the consequences of those relationships, broken as they may be.
I feel like I haven't read many novels set during or around World War I. World War II seems to grab the imagination far more readily than the war that caused it to begin with. But this one gave me an appreciation for that time period, for the sacrifices made by whole countries, for the devastation war left behind.
Definitely pick this one up.
Disclosure: Randomhouse of Canada sent me a copy of this book for review purposes. These thoughts are all my own.