In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.
©2011 Alyson Richman (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
Everything. I loved the way the two narrators wove the story of the star-crossed lovers chapter by chapter. I loved the character development and the way the accents were done.
I enjoyed the epilogue and felt the ending was perfect. This is one of the most endearing books I've listed to and I was sorry to have it end.
Josef's careful descriptions of his feelings are precious. I felt that when he burned his letters to Lenka, he was putting to rest his restless longing for her. His dreams of his family being happy for him are foreshadowing for what is to come. Don't want to spoil the book by saying much more.
The two narrators brought the characters to life and I could not possibly have gotten the same feeling I got listening to their voices. I was impressed by Mr. Guidall's recitation of the Kaddish prayer, which was very authentic. I would seek out more books narrated by him.
The meeting of the two grandparents at the end was memorable.
Run don't walk to download this book. I don't think I've ever worn my earbuds for so long!
Love internet shopping, from audio books to nail polish to silk scarves. Audible & Amazon are my go to places.
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.
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!
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.
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...
This book is a beautifully written story of love and strength. The book spans 80 years in the lives of several families that intersect, separate and then join again over time. It is based on the lives of real people and speaks of deep familial love and struggles for survival in WWII Prague. The narrators each gave perfect voice to the characters they portrayed. At first I was concerned about the two alternating readers-- but it quickly made sense and added depth to the telling of the story. While the book speaks of desolation and destruction it also presents beauty, art, deep love and courage. A really wonderful recommended listen.
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.
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!
The alternation between the male and female narratators helped to add suspense as the story unfolded. I couldn't wait to hear what had happened to Josef after hearing an episode from Lenka's experience, and vice versa.
I can't remember the last time I cried while reading a book, but I cried several times while listening to The Lost Wife. This book touched on so many different types of love. For me, love was the message of this story.
I have always loved to read. As a child my mom actually grounded me from books if I was in trouble. Noone can do that now. Yay!
I loved this book. It was a beautifully woven story of two people who survived the war in Europe which allowed us to see where their lives went over the course of 50 years. I would have given the book 5 stars across the board if only the author had given us a bit more payoff in the end. I want the rest of the story. These characters let me love them and cheer for them because they were interesting, intelligent, and completely imperfect. They let me feel the pain of the Holocaust and of war -- any war. And they let me marvel at their strength and humility. But I wanted the chance to rejoice when they found one another after a lifetime. Unfortunately the author didn't give us that reward.
So, I give it four stars -- only wishing for another few chapters which would allow me to give it five stars.
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