This is the inspiring true story of what happens when ordinary people unite to make a stand against evil.
Lidice was a peaceful and vibrant community in Czechoslovakia with a rich mining heritage. But an act of Nazi revenge saw this village wiped from existence in a horrifying chapter of European history.
Disaster struck for Lidice in 1942 when the prominent Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated. Described by Hitler as "the man with an iron heart", Heydrich was one of the key architects of the Holocaust.
His death, after an attack by members of the Czech resistance, left Hitler furious and desperate for vengeance. Looking for a scapegoat to blame for Heydrich's death, he settled on the village of Lidice, which had been falsely linked to the assassination.
In a brutal act which shocked the world, Lidice was completely destroyed. The men were shot while the women and children were rounded up and sent to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps.
Hitler was determined that by the time he had finished, no one would even remember Lidice, let alone live there. What he hadn't reckoned on was the efforts of a group of campaigners in Britain, who resolved to make sure Lidice would never be forgotten.
A Ray of Light tells the tale of Lidice's downfall and what happened next. Would the village simply be allowed to become a footnote in history, or would it rise from the ashes and forge a new future?
This book is a compelling testament to the power of friendship and solidarity, and how empathy and compassion can help rebuild the world.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes! An inspiration that nothing can withstand goodness. I loved the narration and the piece of history this book represents.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Sadness and Inspiration
Any additional comments?
"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."
Well researched and well written. Narration carried the right tone of seriousness to convey the story. A dark moment in the history of the war. Revealed and celebrated not for what it was but for what it brought out in the world. The horrific act and what lead to it while truly terrible highlight the actions of the world in response, particularly that if the staffordshire miners and the people that brought a village back to life. Truly amazing. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review
My rating: 4.5 stars
Audiobook narrator Anthony Howard|rating: 4 stars
Sometimes I feel like an ignorant American when I learn about so many little stories involving major conflicts and different parts of Europe. I know that many things have happened and it’s hard to know of everything that has happened, but for a story like this, I would have hoped that I learned of it before. Either way, I am very glad that I now know of this story.
It sounds like some sort of weird one-off WWII tangent-type story about some remote village you may or may not have ever heard of involving some German-Nazi dude. No, this is a very significant story that had made ripples across the world.
The cost of war is awful – especially when it involved parties like Nazis and Hitler. This is a story that will change your outlook on potentially-small-insignificant-towns in the middle of Europe during WWII. I don’t want to go into too much detail in this review since the story is quite short and you will learn a ton in just over an hour (on audio).
I really enjoyed this short story and think it would make for an interesting movie (a sad one, like most war movies, but still interesting) and would help bring light to places like Lidice. I kind of wished the story was longer!
The narrator did a good job narrating this book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: A free copy of this audio book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The massacre of the village of Lidice is perhaps one of the most infamous and least known massacres of World War II. Infamous because Hitler ordered the destruction of village to avenge/punish the Czechs for the death of Heydrich due to Operation Anthropoid, though there was no connection between the men involved in the assassination and the town. The men of the town were killed, the women and children evicted, some of the children even being placed into Nazi families. There is a movie, Anthropoid, that deals with the build up to the assassination and the aftermath. It is hardly surprising that this book is released at the same time.
Phillips book not only details the plot and the immediate aftermath, but also focuses on the connection between Lidice and Stoke-on-Trent and other Stratffordshire. It seems that after news of the massacre reached Stoke on Trent, the miners decided to help another mining town.
Phillips’ book seems to come out of his discovery of the story along with a desire to make sections of the story more well known. He includes the basic events leading up to the assassination as well as the massacre at Lidice itself. Then he looks at what prompted the miners to raise funds to rebuild the town. He considers the impact of the Cold War on the relationship between the two towns as well as more recent efforts to broaden knowledge of the massacre.
The book is short, but packed with detail, including where to go for more information. Perhaps the weakest part of the audio is the narrator who at times seems to be lisping, though this could have been a recording issue.
This is a short book about WWII and the Nazi's extermination and complete destruction of Lidice.
Lidice is a place that I had never heard of before in all of the books I have read and TV shows I have watched about WWII in Europe.
Russell Phillips does a fine job of telling the story about the poor souls of Lidice whom the Nazi's exterminated because of an assassination attempt. Unlike of places that are wiped off the face of the earth in war, the Nazis apparently made a big deal of the genocide committed in Lidice. They wanted to make an example of them, lest anyone else should decide to attempt to assassinate the Feurher or anyone else in the Nazi hierarchy.
Anthony Howard does a fine job narrating his first book. His pacing was perfect; not too fast and not too slow for me. I hope he goes on to narrate more non-fiction books of this nature. He was absolutely the right choice to narrate this book.
I most definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in WWII, especially the less famous aspects of it. Pretty much everyone has heard of Pearl Harbor, the battle of the Bulge, the D Day invasion of Normandy; but not everyone has heard of Lidice or the North Staffordshire Miners. It was a refreshing new twist on subject that is over 70 years old.
I received this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
What did you love best about A Ray of Light?
Thorough presentation of one of the horrific chapters of World War Two. I am a prolific reader of the war and was aware of the assassination of Heydrich and the reprisals by Hitler. I was surprised by how much information contained was new or more enlightening to me.
What other book might you compare A Ray of Light to and why?
I'm at a loss to think of any comparison. Possibly memoirs of others swept up in Europe by the Evil of Hitler and Nazism.
What about Anthony Howard’s performance did you like?
This was a factual presentation, Anthony Howard gave a performance that humanized / personalized the people who's lives were impacted and the outcry of the entire free world.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The whole story, the assassination, the destruction in reaction to it, the after effect searching for any survivors, the efforts to rebuild and ongoing memorials to remember Lidice worldwide.
Any additional comments?
I'm appreciative of the opportunity to listen to and review the audio edition of "A Ray of Light..." I believe this is a fine addition to anyone with a library or interest in what happened in Europe during the war.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
Any additional comments?
A brief but information packed account of events leading to, and following, the destruction of Ludice including an excellent outline sketch of the life and coreer of Heydrich,, whose death precipitated the retaliation perpetrated on the Czech village. Without scimping on telling the facts, it does not dwell on the individual horrors, nor on emotions, giving the basic framework and allowing for interested parties to continue to research later. As such, this book provides an excellent strarting point. The narration is similarly a reading, not a performance, as fits the subnect matter, and is clear throughout although slightly marred by brief hesitations.
Overall, an excellent memoir of an atrocity which should not be forgotten, of the evils that people can inflict on each other, and the power and generosity of others to attempt to make amends.
My thanks for the complimentary copy of A Ray of Light, which I received, via Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an unbiased review.
Would you listen to A Ray of Light again? Why?
Probably not. Interesting though not really what I expected from the title. I thought more detail would be given to the post war rebuilding but not so. Interesting to read about Heydrich, but much is already documented about him elsewhere. A shame this book isn't longer and more detailed, the story of Lidice and its rebuilding is worthy of that. Performance was good.
Any additional comments?
Copy received via Goodreads in return for an honest review.