When a body is found floating in London’s Royal Albert Dock, successful public relations expert Kay Christie is sent to quiet the media, but things get complicated when it emerges that she knew the victim.
As events spiral out of control, Kay discovers that those close to her may be harbouring another secret – the story of a missing girl. Can Kay discover the truth before her life unravels and she risks losing everything?
In the Wake questions whether we can ever truly leave our pasts behind and explores the lengths that we will go to protect the people that we love.
The power of fiction is evolutionary
For those of us who love to read there is nothing more real than the characters we come to love in the pages of books. When Annie Wilkes, in Stephen King’s Misery claimed, “I’m your biggest fan,” she cemented herself into our shared consciousness forever. As has Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, Sherlock Holmes, Hannibal Lector, Ebeneezer Scrooge, and… (we could go on and on).
There is nothing fake about these characters, they are truer, and more hyper real than the people we really do know (who often lead quite mundane boring lives, and are adept at concealing their true feelings). We tend to meet fictional characters at the most exciting or the most intense moment in their lives. We share a layer of intimacy with literary characters that we are frequently denied in our day-to-day interactions with real people.
So, I was intrigued when listening on audible to Yuval Noah Harari’s best selling, ‘Sapiens; A History of Humankind’, to find that our relationship with fiction is far more important than we might think. In fact, according to Harari, our human ability to believe in fiction has transformed us from a few dispersed hunter gatherers into the organised world dominating creatures that we are today.
Harari’s theory attributes Sapiens control and their subsequent domaninance of the world because it is the only animal on the planet that can cooperate in large numbers. Apparently, this ability arises from Sapiens unique capacity to believe in things existing purely in the imagination; to believe in fiction. This includes gods, nations, money, and human rights (and much later, of course our beloved books).
Harari claims that all large-scale human cooperation systems, including religions, political structures, trade networks, and legal institutions owe their emergence to Sapiens’ distinctive cognitive capacity for fiction.
Fiction has made us deadly; Along the way Harari blames prehistoric Sapiens as a core cause of the extinction of other human species such as the Neanderthals and various other animals.
But in one final twist Harari’s theory has been heavily criticised by academics and scientists. Whether his views lie in fact, or in fiction doesn’t really matter much to me. His theory explains why religions, cultures and regimes that don’t share my values; exist. It tells us that there is hope. It warns us of the power of fabrication, and how vulnerable we are, as humans, to believe any old yarn.
Just as the poster in Fox Mulder’s office in the X Files screamed “I want to believe,” I really do want to believe. I believe that the love of a good story is hard wired into my DNA. Who am I to argue with that?
Thank you, Helen Trevorrow and Love Books Group Tours
About the author
Helen Trevorrow is a graduate of the 2016 Faber Academy creative writing programme. She studied at Leeds University and has worked in marketing and public relations in London. She is a specialist food and drink PR. Helen’s debut novel IN THE WAKE is a feminist crime thriller about family, unrealised trauma and alcoholism. Helen has ghost-written many articles for newspapers, magazines and websites. She lives in Brighton, Sussex with her wife and child.
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wake-Helen-Trevorrow/dp/1911583832/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=in+the+wake&qid=1568042286&s=books&sr=1-13&linkCode=sl1&tag=lovboogroblo-21&linkId=4a50e77cf95d2e06c842d2eda2708eaa&language=en_GB