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 work to keep my reviews free of plot spoilers. I hate reviews that tell you the whole story. That said, I do love reading reviews!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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!
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.
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