Very slow moving book. I probably would've liked this book better 20 or 30 years ago when I found such undying love more believable. In addition, the female lead (Lenka) supposedly loved her family so much that she wouldn't leave them but after they got to the ghetto there was not much mention of them..especially her father...at least not until those characters were needed again to evoke more emotions.
I liked George Guidall's performance well enough but found Suzanne Toren's performance overly dramatic. Her intonations made EVERY sentence drip with import....and not ALL of the sentences needed to be that dramatic IMO.
This book is very well written and the narrators make it complete. I have read and listened to many books on the Jewish Holocaust, this one took my breath away. It is a love story and a courageous survival story. Make sure you listen to the authors comments at the end of the book.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Joseph and Lanka fall in love during Nazi occupation in WWII. Told from alternating points of view, the two take divergent paths and most of the book is spent on their quest to find each other, meaning, and simply survival be it from atrocities or boredom. The characters are fairly well developed as are the backstories. Entertaining, enjoyable, just not engrossing. There are so many other titles during this time period to be placed at the top of your lists, but this one is solidly in the middle. Great purchase if on sale.
I really enjoyed this book learned about WW II but also enjoyed the love story
Joseph was my favorite
Loved them they did a gread job
I was left wanting more.
I am writing a bad review about a book I loved. Here is an author who could have, and should have gone the extra step. That is take on the impossible challenge of writing the rest of the story, but she didn't.
There are so many books out there covering the same ground, and even the great (War and Remembrance comes to mind, The Seamstress, even the Hiding Place) didn't handle the what happened next very well. But I feel like I made it though all that and I wanted an ending.
Alyson Richmond has the ability to make her characters hold on to your heart, they may be you grandmother /father, you love them. I really feel cheated of the rest of the story, this is one author who could have done it, but didn't. I guess I feel like pouting, sorry but this was an epic missed opportunity, and it just makes me sad. The narrators are transcendent , awesome writing and perfect narration, just needed the last three chapters...
Well-written. The style is such that you don't notice it. The book has plenty of action, dealing with the Nazi's and concentration camp life, but it is more a love story than a tale of World War II.
One learns in the opening pages that Lenka (sp) is the lost wife who Joseph finds at a wedding reception when they are in their 80s. Their stories proceed separately from that point with Lenka starting with her childhood in Prague and Joseph looking back at various events in his post-Prague life in the U.S. I stuck with the book, but I became impatient with Joseph's story. George Guidall does his typical superb narration but he can't really bring much life to Joseph who has the passive story, assessing his life from old age. Lenka's story is the active one, which is the larger part of the book and fairly interesting.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
What a surprise to find that this story is based on things that really happened. I loved this story, I loved the writing, the narration, and the incredible ending. Please listen to this one. It will restore your faith in mankind.
Haunting, beautiful, and wonderfully read. Don't miss this one. The kind of audio book that has you walking your dog in the dark just so you can keep listening!
Excellent production, the story covered so much... life before, during, and after the war. I loved getting to know the characters and glimpsing what it must be like to have survived the holocaust. I think back upon friends' parents I knew with a deeper appreciation for how they managed their new lives in the US. While listening to the audio book I couldn't help think that if only some of Donald Trump's supporters could hear this story and learn a little history, they wouldn't be so quick to condemn another solely based on a person's religion.
Nurse Anesthetist. Love audiobooks!
This is a a great book but is so heart breaking! The author relates at the end of the book that the book was about some fictional characters and some real people and their experiences during WW2 and the attempted extermination of Jews.
The book is the story of 2 young people who fall in love and get married just as the worst of the roundup of the Jewish population in neighboring countries starts. It's told from the point of view of both the boy/man Josef and the girl/woman Lenka. It takes them from young adolescence to old age. The author does a wonderful job of fleshing out the main characters as well as their close family and their friends. Having read a number of books set during the Holocaust, I found myself holding my breath hoping against hope that these kind, compassionate people would somehow find a way out before it was too late. I feel like I knew them and their family and get a pain in my heart when I think of what their lives were like. I don't think I could survive for very long under the conditions that this book describes in graphic detail. It's not gratuitous detail, though, because it did happen!
Every book I have read that is set during the World War II, makes me search and search my mind for what would make seemingly ordinary citizens of a town turn on other members of their community the way the people in Germany as well as other surrounding countries did. I find it terrifying that this could and has happened since that time. It happened in Kosovo and is happening right now in the Middle East. What possible reason could someone who considers themselves to be a "good" person, give for allowing the horrific things that were done to all these people. I wonder if I would be strong enough to risk my life and the lives of my family to stand against someone like Hitler. How could someone who we see now, looking back, was a psychopath, enlist reasonable human beings to turn into monsters. Were the people just weak or was he just that seductive?
This is not a comfortable book to read. Nor is it a enjoyable book to read, but it is a really, really good book. It happens that I listened to this book over the Christmas holiday. I hadn't planned it that way, but it just turned out that way. I usually listen to books that are interesting and enjoyable to read. This book had me on the verge of sobbing the entire time. I really wanted to not have started it, but I had to find out what happened to these particular people. I recommend this book highly but not as light reading, because it will break your heart!