Anna Hope’s powerful debut novel, "Wake", chronicles five days in the interwoven lives of three women in 1920 London. The Great War is over and the nation is preparing for the second anniversary of Armistice Day when the Unknown Soldier will be buried. Each of the women, in her own way, is haunted by the war, and is coping as best she can. Hettie is a dance instructor struggling to support herself, her mother, and her brother who returned from the war mute and withdrawn. Evelyn works with veterans at the Pensions Exchange. Bitter from her own loss, she tries to understand her handsome brother who is so different since he came back from the battlefields of France. Ada sees her dead son Michael everywhere and has pushed her husband away in her grief.

As the story builds, the threads connecting them become more evident. Each must find her way forward in spite of crushing grief and make new lives in a world that has forever changed.

I was fortunate to receive an advance reader’s copy of "Wake" by Anna Hope. It will be released in February; check for it at the Waukee Public Library. What are you reading? Send me your recommendations! Email is best: I look forward to hearing from you!