This book found the important balance between tragedy and evil on the one side and strength and character to overcome it all on the other side. Sometimes an author can create a story about losing everything without losing oneself. In these stories the characters, while you mourn with them for their loses and for the impact of those loses on their lives, you still experience the resiliency of human spirit to make a life in the wake of it all. This book was so good I bought it for others as a gift.
I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!
This was a very good story, but in my opinion, the narration was exceptional and made the book. The story unfolds from the perspectives of the two main characters, both narrated individually. You live through their tragedies and triumphs, the whole time willing them back to a life together. It has some very sad moments, but considering the setting, it could have been much worse.
My one very small issue with the storyline is one side of the story seemed rushed at the end--I would loved to have had more of the story filled in before it ended. But that does not keep me from rating it highly and recommending the book--especially this audio version.
Kudos to author Alyson Richman, and narrators George Guidall and Suszanne Toren for the most heart rendering book I've read on audible. I will be thinking about this story for a long time to come. I love the narrators' depiction of the characters and their story . I am overwhelmed and never read a book so quickly.
I don't want to write any spoilers, but want to say that you MUST read this book. The story is happy, sad, heart-wrenching, satisfying, well written, etc. Just make sure to have a box of tissues handy - I cried through the whole last hour of this book. The author did an amazing job with this story, the chapters changing between the stories of Josep and Lenka. The narrators did a fantastic job. I highly recommend this book.
This will resnate in my soul forever
The boy in the stripped pajamas
Nice contrast against eachother
Love Never Lost
May this history never repeat its self!!!! And may all wounded from its evil find comfort in Massiah!
I've read/listened to a lot of holocaust stories, and while it is always excruciating to bear witness to such suffering and evil, I am always amazed and the resiliency of the human spirit. This narrative had an especially hopeful tone. If I have a criticism of the author it is just that I wanted "more". More time with the characters, more time in the epilogue scene... more insights in to what makes people survive overwhelming loss and cruelty.
I was reluctant to read another Holocaust book. I felt I was "saturated" with this topic, but decided to get it anyway because of the great reviews. I was not disappointed. The Lost Wife is a masterfully written novel and I felt so absorbed in it I could not listen to anything else for a week after finishing it. The author has this incredible ability to paint with words and conduct emotion in such a way, I felt like I was actually there, in Prague, in Terezin, and in Auschwitz. I recognized that "hollow shell" existence that many survivors had after liberation from seeing this in my own grandparents and my mother. They could never be the same after living through this horror. Despite wanting to cry a lot during many passages, I find this literary creation to be top notch. Great narration, too!
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
History, Memory, Humanity
I really enjoyed listening to both narrators. I esp. enjoyed George Guidall's voice. They both did a great job.
I cried. I've never cried while listening to an audio before, but when Lenka's family is transferred to Auschwitz I finally cried. They had already been through so much and had experienced so much tragedy that my heart just ached for them and every single person that endured the horror, injustice and pure lack of humanity of the concentration camps. I can't begin to imagine living through the Nazi occupation. There are so many layers of grief and suffering that were caused by the occupation - families were separated across countries and oceans, some were left behind to endure or die in a camp, so many people were never able to say good-bye, or just live a normal life, full of normal happiness, suffering and longing. normal. I only imagine the guilt, the ongoing guilt knowing you survived while so many of your innocent family and friends died.
This could have been a 5 star book. I wish the ending would have been different. The 2nd half of the audio moves and flows so naturally, and so intensely in a way that it was hard to escape the images from my mind. And then the end of the story came and it just didn't do the rest of the story justice. I was wowed by this heartbreaking story of love and family. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Yes, you might cry but it will be worth it!
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Over the span of 60 + years, thru WW!! and concentration camps, 2 young Czech lovers stories are told by fabulous George Guidall as Josef and Suzanne as Lenka. This is a novel that translates wonderfully to audiobook, especially with such talented narrators.
Alyson Richman gives a brief synopsis at the end of the book about who the characters are modeled after and much of the story is fictionalized history. I was born in 1943 and it amazed me to think that I was a happy well fed baby with no fears, raised in Los Angeles with my mom and dad and grandparents while in Europe babies my age were being starved to death or simply murdered. Books like this are important-we must never forget.
The story is haunting and can't help but be very sad, but the inner strength of some of the people makes me wonder if people today could endure what these families went thru with the same courage and grace.
5 Stars-everyone should listen to this if only for its historical value.
while the story told of the personal tragedy of the period, the characters' own lives and story held my interest.
Their voices seemed to "age" as time went by in the book.
Lenka because she had experienced so much in her life, she would have a very unique perspective on life as a whole (I would think).
Great book about a very disturbing time in our history.