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
This is listed under my husbands name but he never listens to audible books. I'm the one that does and my name is Vicki.
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!
The author has a great talent. The story is lovely and heartwarming. The scenes from the camps are hard to bare. Thank you for writing this!
The beginning of the book had me and I waited to have an ending but was left wanting more...what happened next??
An Interesting but painful story read in the two main characters' voices. Interesting author's note at the end offers insight to the real people and circumstances which inspired the novel.
This book was not at all what I'd hoped based on other reviews. SPOILER ALERT (not major but some:)
In the author's note at the end, she mentions that she had planned simply on writing a book about an artist who survived the holocaust. Then she was at a party and heard the story of the newlyweds whose grandparents ended up being husband and wife from before WWII. It seems she attempted to shoddily combine both ideas and neither got fully fleshed out. The very first chapter pulls a major punch and I could have lived with that had the book come back around full circle - but the ending is just a stop ... not an ENDing. I was left feeling as if I'd waded through all the rest of the book to be jilted at the end.
I had recently listened to The Storyteller by Jody Piccoult. If you want a rich, deep, horrifyingly beautiful accounting of the holocaust across generations - go there. After that book this one just seemed too superficial.
Finally, I found the female author's narration way too rough and brash for Lenka. Especially when she is narrating parts where men speak to Lenka she makes their voices loud and abrasive even at the softest moments. There is one part where Lenka's name is whispered "like a prayer" - and she all but shouted it. The male narration however was totally spot on and a delight to hear.
I believe books transport you to worlds only imaginable in your wildest dreams! I also enjoy self-help books. I love books!!!!
This book made me cry through its clear and concise depiction of the horrors of the holocaust. It's amazing that so many people who lived and survived the concentration camps were resilient in rebuilding their lives; and in honoring the lives of those who perished. I enjoyed the love story being a theme in the story without taking away any of the raw pain and cruelties experienced by the Jewish people during WWII.
I love really really good suspense...historical fiction... "slice of life"...coming of age books...ok, anything! :)
The pace and my two FAVORITE narrators, George Guidall and Suzanne Toren.
The story is based on some truths about the history of paintings from the hand of prisoners of war in concentration camps and a beautiful love story.
Josef was my favorite
First love...Only love.
the narrators were so perfect...they could read a cereal box and i'd enjoy it. the author's detail was so exquisite; from the description of a face to the portrayal of an emotion. the ending was not as satisfying as i would have hoped; but that is the romantic in me. I will read Alyson Richman again! don't miss this book!
Yes. I loved the characters.
Lenka was my favorite character. Her strength and determination were inspiring.
Having two narrators tell the story was very effective.
The end was fabulous.
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