Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wake: A Novel by Anna Hope Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"A brilliant debut for readers of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, in which three women must deal with the aftershocks of WWI and its impact on the men in their lives-a son, a brother and a lover. Their tragic connection is slowly revealed as the book unfolds.

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 Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her.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...

The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place."

First thing I must say: This copy I was reading is an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy). And I'm severely distracted by all the grammar errors like missing punctuation and extreme plot holes/knowledge characters shouldn't have. Also, I was kind of distracted by the trio of POVs. It gets quite confusing and hard to keep track of everyone. (I'll explain it even further in a few paragraphs). 

Wake has no supernatural, paranormal, etc. stuff. It's set in World War I, for some parts, and after World War I (Forgive me if I ever put World War I like this: War World I. It's one of my horrible mistakes). It's sort of Maybe I'll build a pros and cons list?

Pro: It's a mystery book, which forces you to think. Who is... Dang it! I can't tell you because this book isn't out yet. Anyway, let this pro become a mystery.

Pro: One character, Ada, eventually has a huge character development even though she's a lunatic. She eventually is able to...(spoiler alert)...move on with life. Or at least make a small step towards mourning...(end spoiler). It's always nice to see a character move on with life (like Tobias) even though we wish he/she wouldn't.  

Pro: It's a good plot, with a lot of intrigue and hidden messages. I like how it's based around WWI and crazy people. It's great and wonderful that the author build an understanding of why soldiers are a miserable bunch. I did love how all the three stories combine into one towards the end of the book. 

Pro: There's no fairy tale element/ending. I'm so sick of fairy tale endings even though they are usually so beautiful. Imagine if Disney wrote every book you ever read. That would be a nightmare because Voldemort and Harry Potter would had been BFFs and beyond. Or maybe Twilight would had been even creepier... No, that's not possible.

Con: No humor. There's no chance to laugh unless you like laughing at self-tortured characters. No humor, no laughs, no jokes. Actually, one joke, but that's not very funny. Battle jokes about death aren't very funny, especially if they are before death.

Con: Creepy guys/soldiers. Some of them seem malevolent and downright insane. It's, however, an excellent picture of broken/PTSD soldiers. 

Con: Too many characters/POVs. I can't keep track of all of them because there is just too many. Too many characters and not organized enough plot. Maybe for the finished copy, it will change? 

Rating: Three point five out of Five; rounded to three 

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