Excerpt from Wake by Anna Hope, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Wake

by Anna Hope

Wake by Anna Hope
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2016, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"This must be it." Di has stopped in front of an old, three- story house. No lights show behind the shuttered windows, and only a small blue bulb illuminates the door.

"Are you sure?" says Hettie, breath massing before her in the freezing air.

"Look." Di points to a small plaque nailed to the wall. The sign is ordinary- looking; it could be a doctor's or a dentist's even. But there's a name there, etched into the bronze: dalton's, no. 62.

Dalton's
Legendary nightclub
So legendary some people say it doesn't exist.

"Ready?" Di gives a blue, spectral grin, then lifts her hand and knocks. A panel slides open. Two pale eyes in an oblong of light.

"Yes?"

"I'm here to meet Humphrey," says Di.

She is putting on her posh voice. Standing behind her, Hettie is filled with the urge to laugh. But the door opens. They have to squeeze to get around. On the other side is a small entrance area, little bigger than a cupboard, where a young doorman stands behind a high wooden desk. His gaze slides over Hettie, in her brown coat and tam- o'- shanter, but lingers on Di, with her dark eyes, the shorn points of her hair just showing beneath her hat. Di has this way of looking, down and to the side, and then slowly back up again. It makes men stare. She's doing it now. Hettie can see the doorman goggling like a caught fish.

"You've to sign in," he says eventually, pointing at a large book lying open before him.

Di pulls off her glove, leans in, and signs with a practiced sweep.

"Your turn," she says, handing the pen to Hettie. From below comes the throb of music: a giddy trumpet. A woman whoops. Hettie can feel her heart: thud- thud- thud. The ink of Di's signature is glistening and has sprawled out of its box and onto the line beneath. She takes her own glove off and scratches her name: Henrietta Burns.

"Go on, then." The man pulls the book back, gesturing behind him to unlit stairs.

Di goes first. The staircase is old and creaky, and as Hettie puts a hand out to steady herself, she feels damp wall flake beneath her fingertips. This is not what she imagined; it's nothing like the Palais, where the glamour is all out front. You wouldn't think these musty old stairs led anywhere much at all. But she can hear the music properly now, people talking, the sound of feet fast on the floor, and as they reach the bottom, a wave of panic threatens to take her. "You'll stay close to me, won't you?" she says, reaching for Di's arm.

"Course." Di catches her, gives her a squeeze, and then pushes open the door.

The smell of close, dancing humanity assails them. The club is no bigger than the downstairs of Hettie's mother's house, but it is packed, each table crammed, the dance floor a roaring free- for- all. Most people seem to be in evening clothes— the men in black and white, the women in colored gowns— but some look as though they have come in fancy dress. Most astonishing of all, the fourpiece band crashing through a rag on the tiny stage has a Negro singer, the first she has ever seen. It's dizzying, as though all the color missing in the city up above has been smuggled underground.

"Killing!" Di grins.

"Killing!" Hettie agrees, letting out her breath.

"There's Humphrey!" Di waves to a fair- haired man weaving his way through the crowd toward them. Hettie recognizes him from that night at the Palais two weeks ago, when he hired Di for a dance— and then another, and another, right up until the end of the night. (For this is their job: Dance Instructress, Hammersmith Palais. Available for hire, sixpence a dance, six nights a week.)

"Capital!" says Humphrey, kissing Di on the cheek. "You made it. And this must be . . ."

Excerpted from Wake by Anna Hope. Copyright © 2014 by Anna Hope. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.