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!
Audible Audio books has made a big difference to me..Poor eyesight curtailed my ability to read like I did when I was younger..Thanks Audibl
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!
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.
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.
Yes - though the backdrop is a subject dealt with hundreds of times, the structure of the narration in first person singular of the two main characters was very interesting as was the style of narration and the voice modulation signifying the mood & the environment.
I can not pick one as there were many but some that stood out were Lenka's digging her heels on staying with her family and not going with Yosef unless the other 3 members of her family also come despite opposition from everyone.Then there was the resistance through the drawings & paintings - improvising with what was available and passing the skill to the children so that they could tell the world the truth.Gotlieb proposing to Lenka - taking her back and giving her a good complete life.After liberation Lenka going to Lutia's home and the exchange between Alichka & Lenka.
Just one word Excellent!
Somewhat like that. I finished it pretty quickly.
The depth, visulization, use of words, describing the moments, feelings, pain, suffering - superbly done.
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 could not put it down. The characters were very well developed, the story very believable, it probably happened, it led me to looking up pictures and stories of the camp the woman was in. Having had family killed in the holocaust myself, I had to stop doing that though. It is way too upsetting, but this was a beautiful story.
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.
Just your average bookworm.. love reading books physically, but with work and school, audiobooks are a great alternative. I host a book club, and I few of us are avid listeners. I listen while I clean, drive, and workout. Great hobby!
life's not fair.
Josef. His love for Lenka was relentless.
Josef and Lenka in their childhood, at his family's vacation home.
in a negative way, the whole narration of the Occupation
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