It seeks to leave a trace like a fossil in the sand, a leaf burned into baking asphalt. It will not leave you. If you place sunlight in your palms, it will turn to shadow. If you put fireflies in a jar, they will die. But if you love with wings on, you will always feel the exhilaration of being suspended in flight.
Alyson Richman | The Lost Wife | Terezin | Pre-War Prague
I truly loved Josef as a character. I wish he could have been done more justice. It is a sad story of true love lost during a most awful time in history. The structur Rating 3. There are many themes explored throughout the book, lost love, separation, family love, family loyalty, survival not only during the terrible times of WWII but the survival of people in the marriages of both Lenka and Josef after the war. Art and colour also play a significant role throughout. I also liked the fact that some of the artist characters in the book were actual real characters, so this book was very well researched too.
The real winner for me with this book was the writing. I think the writing was so good that it may have overshadowed the story somewhat. View all 15 comments. Oct 24, Megan rated it did not like it Shelves: This book disappointed me. I think this is the first Holocaust book I've read where I haven't cried, and I should have, especially reading the author's notes whereby she based a lot of the characters and storyline on actual events. This book is essentially a love stor This book disappointed me. This book is essentially a love story, and a poor one at that, particularly considering it turned out to be such an anticlimax in the end.
I wish there was less cheesy romance in the first half of the book well actually Josef's entire storyline and was written exclusively from Lenka's point of view. There was not enough dialogue, there were too many grammatical errors one paragraph was written in past tense and the next in present tense and the parallel storylines just didn't work, especially when they were set 50 or so years apart.
View all 3 comments. Aug 10, Betty rated it it was amazing. I had just finished reading The Invisible Bridge and my Kindle died. WOW both books left such an impression on me. I highly recommend reading both of these books. They are eye openers and leave you with many feelings you may never have felt before. I don't know if I could have survived during the same time - WE cannot forget what so many suffered for such a long time. View all 6 comments. I was so happy to find out in the Epilogue that many of the characters in this novel were based on real people I loved that the novel began with the ending scene A well deserved 5 star novel!
View all 5 comments. Aug 02, Toni rated it really liked it Shelves: Of the many books with a holocaust theme I have read, this is the first that has centered around the Terezin Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, located outside Prague. The basis of the book is, of course, a romance story, but the heart of the book takes place in Terezin where the Nazi's established a prison camp that was less of a death camp and more of an authentic work camp.
Certainly the conditions were every bit as grueling and no less horrifying as Auschwitz and Birkenwald, but there were Of the many books with a holocaust theme I have read, this is the first that has centered around the Terezin Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, located outside Prague. Certainly the conditions were every bit as grueling and no less horrifying as Auschwitz and Birkenwald, but there were no ovens and while there prisoners produced an amazing amount of art work, much of which is now on display in various Holocaust memorials throughout the world.
The book is a novel, but several real life people are mentioned, as well as the art work the children of Terezin produced which was made into an exceptionally beautiful book, I Never Saw Another Butterfly. So, for this reason I appreciated the author's efforts in telling not just a tragic love story, but a part of the Holocaust years that is often overlooked.
View all 10 comments. Mar 15, Martha rated it really liked it.
Daisy Ridley to Lead War-Torn Drama ‘The Lost Wife’
This was a difficult book to read, but rich with story. The fictional tale reads more like a biography, a tale of truth than one of fiction. You know throughout the story, that it is fiction, but the stories are truth. A husband and wife, separated after three days of marriage, each other believing one another dead for the majority of each of their lives, their stories unfold in the time apart.
It was slightly different as those facts are right up front in the beginning of the novel, painting th This was a difficult book to read, but rich with story. It was slightly different as those facts are right up front in the beginning of the novel, painting the scene for us of the previous story. Throughout the book, we hold onto that hope, knowing that through all the horror, they will find one another. The deep faith, hope despite the crushing pain the Jews endured, is worth reading about.
For those that struggle with this, there are some swear words here and there throughout this book. Jan 26, Kimberly rated it it was amazing. This is not my typical genre but this book really is gut wrenchingly good. I enjoy the author's notes at the end where she explains the reality behind her characters.
The cause of my latest book hangover: An elderly man is sitting at his grandson's rehearsal dinner when suddenly a woman catches his eye from across the room. He goes to her, transfixed, and looks at her like he's seen a ghost. This woman, the grandmother of the bride, does not recognize him but he remembers her. The book alternates narrators between Lenka and Josef and we get to learn about both sides of their war experience.
Josef's escape to America, Lenka's time in the camps, a story of love, loss, and life. You rarely find me gushing about a book here in more than a few words "I loved it" or something like that, but I felt this book deserved more. The Lost Wife was a wonderful book that was made even better by it's Audible narrators. Mar 24, Vivian Valvano rated it it was ok.
It is essentially a holocaust novel, and I read everything I can on the holocaust. This novel, unfortunately, is written in such a sophomoric style, and the prime element of the plot is given away within its opening pages. I can understand its being chosen for Long Island Reads; that program does not choose difficult books. The program is obviously seeking to get many people who don't ordinarily read, or rarely read, to read. For people who do not, have not read widely on the holocaust, important information will be imparted; they will learn something.
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Many of the characters, particularly the two principal characters, are deeply engaging and prompt empathy and care. But this is not a well-written novel. Apr 17, Phyllis Eisenstadt rated it it was amazing. Using the technique of the two protagonists as their own narrators keeps them front and center, and makes their story more personal and believable.
Had there been an omniscient narrator it is doubtful that this would have been the case. This technique renders the many events in their lives and the distances between them, both in time and space, more effectively understood. It imbues clarity and deeper meaning to the bifurcating paths of two people and their families. To the extent that a Holocaust novel could be considered beautiful, it would certainly apply to this bittersweet, poignant story.
May 19, Tammy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Chapter one sucks you in because you know there is something to look forward to. I have to be honest, I almost gave up in the beginning. It is such a sad, heart wrenching subject that it was almost too much to bare. I read some reviews and everyone raved about it so I stuck with it. It is a beautifully written story. I felt so connected to each character. That you can't put it down because you know from the beginning that there is something to hold on to. My only critique is tha Loved this book.
The Lost Wife
My only critique is that I hoped for a little more than what I got at the end. This book with stay with me for a long time. I loved the premise of it, and the character development was well handled. Some of the prose resonated with me; but initially, I had a hard time getting into the book. The short chapters and switching POV made it difficult to become fully immersed in the story.
But then I ended up very glad to have finished it, not having read a WWII story about the underground artists or from the Czechs' perspective before. Sep 27, Sue Seligman rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This is a Holocaust historical novel based on a true story about the Terezin work camp in Czechoslovakia. The main characters, Lenka, an aspiring art student, and her husband Josef, are fictional, but the events that are the backdrop of their story are true. We are introduced to the two former lovers at the rehearsal dinner of the grandchildren; Josef and Lenka had been separated due to the cruel twist of fate due to the events of the war, and each had presumed that the other had been killed.
As This is a Holocaust historical novel based on a true story about the Terezin work camp in Czechoslovakia. As the realization sets in that fate has mysteriously brought together what world events had broken apart, they, and we, are taken back in time to the world of prewar Czechoslovakia. The main characters describe in riveting and descriptive detail the challenges and hardships of the war in Europe, and how they are each forced into new relationships and families while mourning what was left behind.
This is one of the better Holocaust novels that I have read, and I learned more about the Terezin camp, which at first was treated more as a work camp, and later was a mere stepping stone to the greater horrors of the concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
Most interesting was the fact that there was an organized resistance of artists and musicians who utilized their talents to express their hatred of their wardens. Some paintings and drawings were smuggled to the outside world, and although many of the artists paid with their lives once they were discovered, their sacrifice was one of the lesser known of the war.
Additionally, musicians and singers were sacrificed after regaling the inmates with music and song; the Nazis would stop at nothing to crush the spirit of the prisoners. A great, riveting and quick read Nov 25, Britany rated it really liked it. Lenka and Josef alternate telling the reader their story, they also switch between past and present. The book starts out telling you the ending Which I hated! Josef was able to escape to the US with his family, while Lenka stubborn and determined! Her family got rounded up and taken to Terezin- a ghetto for Jews in Czech. The author writes simply and I wanted her writing to delve deeper, as the potential was there.
The ending and the horrific details that happened in those camps should have been enough to enrage and upset any reader, however the writing held it back slightly in my opinion. Great book, just wanted more-- especially with the ending!
It wasn't enough for me I wanted more from present day! One could only hope they could find some healing with one another, and realize the words spoken at their wedding so many years before: What we see so clearly in this novel is how the Nazis destroyed minds as well as bodies. Although the protagonists survived the war, they never recovered psychologically from their ordeal.
Lenka speaks often in the book of the work done with children in Terezin, and there is a book by Hana Volavkova that contains images of their surviving art work and poetry. This is a heart-breaking and heart-warming book with an unforgettable story. But in addition, this book is important for several reasons:. It provides a human face to the incomprehensible numbers of people railroaded to their deaths by the Nazis, and shows us quite precisely what was endured and what was lost, and why it was so hard for the weakened and terrorized victims of the Nazi juggernaut to offer physical resistance.
And it is important because it says to us, who have the leisure and freedom and strength to sit and read, to play, and to enjoy our children and our futures, that we must be eternally grateful for our blessings, and not forget those who had those blessings taken away from them. That seals the deal for me.
Not that I need my arm twisted to read anything about WWII, but there are so darned many of them these days that they need to be just a little different to strike my fancy. Like Sandy, when it comes to WWII literature, I need something that stands above the pack, and it sounds like this one does. It sounds like a sad book, but an important one too, and I am adding it to my list.
Brilliant and very moving review today, Jill. I enjoyed reading it. Sounds like a wonderful read for my book club — so much to think about and talk about. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
I am currently reading a book about WWII, so this sounds like it would be a great book to follow that up with! Excellent and impassioned review. When you get excited about a book, so do I. It sounds like a book that everyone should read to get a full view of all the effects of the Holocaust. Your review was very compelling.
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Sounds so poignant and sad. I am going to try to read this one. I usually stay away from holocaust stuff as I cry too much and am too depressed after. But this sounds like it ends well: This has been on my list. I think I need to check out my library. This book is one of my favorite reads of Each character must forge their own path for survival and each must struggle to adapt to post-war America, while their secrets, their past, and the ghost of their first marriage, are known only to them.
The Lost Wife is a story that explores the depth — the power — of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and our capacity to remember. The horrors of war serve as a backdrop to a love affair that spans a lifetime, and that love story stayed with me long after I put down the book.