This is a beautifully written story set just after World War, I in which the protagonists, three women, endure in a world that has change everyone forever.
Ada was once a mother, but her son died in the war and she wakes up everyday just to chase his ghost; she didn’t received that second letter the others seemed to get from the army, and she thinks it means her Michael is still alive. Evelyn lost her boyfriend in the war, and she now works in an office processing the government pensions for the injured, not letting herself get over her loss. Besides, her brother Ed, which whom she was very close in the past, has changed and seems like another man after the war; just the same as Hettie’s brother, who lives in his own mind since he came from France, and now she acts like the head of a broken family, working as a dancing instructor in a famous club in London and giving half of the money she earns to an ungrateful mother.
These are three women very different from each other with only one thing in common: their unhappiness. Britain won the war, yes, but that didn’t prepare them for all the broken families, the amputees begging in the streets or the general sentiment of failure that was the opposite of what a victory was expected to bring them. The three storylines run from the previous days of the Unknown Warrior parade in November 1920 to the event itself; they are not properly intertwined, they just have some characters who appear throughout the story of the three protagonists and let the reader understand the horrors the men now have to live with.
I really enjoyed this book, this unspoken reality of the months after the war, of those women longing for their men to come back, only to find that the closeness they once shared was forever lost in the battlefields.
Wake, by Anna Hope
Published by Random House.