A rapturous novel of star-crossed love in a time of war—from the international bestselling author of The Velvet Hours.
In pre-World War II 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, an unexpected encounter leads to an inescapable glance of recognition, and the realization that providence has given 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.
“Staggeringly evocative, romantic, heart-rending, sensual and beautifully written...[it] may very well be the Sophie's Choice of this generation.”—New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart
Star-crossed lovers are separated during WWII in Richman's heart-wrenching fourth novel. Josef and Lenka meet as students in Prague in 1936 and fall instantly in love. Three years later, with Nazis crossing the border, they rush to marry, but circumstances then force them apart. Lenka remains in Europe, and Josef flees to America. For 61 years, each believes the other dead until they meet by chance at the wedding of their grandchildren, leading them to reflect on the past and the separate lives they've led: Josef ended up in New York, becoming a successful obstetrician because he was "tired of being haunted by death." Lenka wasn't so lucky. She's sent to a work camp, where her artistic talents connect her to "an underground network of painters illustrating the atrocities" of the Jewish ghettos. And then she's sent to, and survives, Auschwitz. Richman (The Last Van Gogh) once again finds inspiration in art, adding evocative details to a swiftly moving and emotionally charged plot. Richman's incremental descent into the horrors of the Holocaust lends enormous power to Lenka's experience and makes her reunion with Josef all the more poignant. Though the framing device of the decades-long separation can be cloying, this is a genuinely moving portrait.
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Her best yet!
Inspired by a true story, Alyson Richman's latest novel is a beautiful tale of true love and Jewish life in Prague and Terezin through WWII. The story spans six decades and traces the lives of a husband Josef, his wife Lenka, who were separated by the Nazis. Josef believes he was widowed, but the two meet again through a serendipitous chain of events. Richman is a masterful storyteller and, without a doubt, this is her best book yet. I highly recommend it.
The Lost Wife
The lost wife
This so personalized the horror of the Third Reich, the inhumanity that "normal" Germans were able to display, the soaring spirits of the victims, and the shadows that remained in their souls.
A youthful love remains, whether you married young and lived happily for fifty years, or a careless passion of early, half forgotten romance. Those of us who found each other young and have lived together, for, in my case 53 years, are blessed beyond belief!
This review is by an almost Christian (caring God? I think not), who carries a heaviness in the heart for all the evil done in the name of religion.