This post almost slipped up on me. Despite being clearly written in my agenda for today, I had just ignored my colorful Erin Condren stickers reminding me to write this reading challenge update. Had begun working on posts that will publish later in the week instead.
February’s “Book by Book” prompt was ‘a love story’.
Really planned to try to move away from my fascination, bordering on compulsion to read books set during World War II. After all, had enjoyed reading something with a more contemporary setting for last month’s prompt, ‘something cozy’, reviewed here.
The Lost Wife
But when I read the reviews of The Lost Wife, I knew I’d found my love story. While this is a marital love story, it is so much more. It’s World War II setting, specifically the Terezin prison camp, was what initially drew me to The Lost Wife.
The Fine Print
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (September 6, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 042524413X
- Goodreads average customer review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
- Amazon average customer review:
New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah ~ “A truly beautiful heartfelt story…I couldn’t put it down once I started it. Ms. Richman is a very special talent.” [source]
RT Book Reviews ~ “Richman paints a beautiful, though heart-wrenching, picture of Jewish life in Prague and Terezin during WWII…this endearing novel deserves a place on the shelf next to other unforgettable sagas.” [source]
Goodreads summarized it like this:
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. [source]
The Lost Wife turned out to be so much more than a ‘love story’.
She always told us there were two types of women. Those who are lit from the outside and those who are lit from within. The first needs the shimmer of a diamond to make her sparkle, but for the other, her beauty is illuminated through the sheer light of her soul.
Didn’t realize that I would be reading multiple love stories when I began the book. But author Alyson Richman weaves together stories of parental love, marital love and the love between siblings and friends into a heart-wrenching yet heart-warming read. The heart of this story is based on a conversation overheard by the author in a beauty salon. Richman expanded the vignette she overheard into a story of love lost then rediscovered.
While I purchased the Audible version of this book, I wound up actually reading it myself which was possibly more satisfying as it somehow seemed important to touch the book and turn the pages. It made me somehow feel I was reaching out to and almost touching the characters. In reading The Lost Wife, I am reminded of Polacco’s The Christmas Tapestry (a must-read children’s book), read my review, here, and I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Hana Volavková’s collection of poetry and art created by the children of Terezin. Here are a few of those poems.
The Lost Wife is a story for anyone who loves well-researched historical fiction, a love story, and a happily ever after.
If you’ve been hanging out with me over here and/or in real life for any length of time, you know that I feel a real connection to World War II. My family laughs that I think I am Anne Frank reincarnated. To the contrary, took a quiz just today on Facebook that says I was Albert Einstein in a former life. So there, PC!
I always incorporated the Holocaust into my library lessons with my fifth graders. Had them make butterflies for a collection curated by the Houston Holocaust Museum. Each butterfly representing a child lost to genocide during the war. Volunteered, shortly after retirement, at the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, setting up their library.
Whether my connection to the Holocaust is real or imagined, it is genuine to me.
Please follow this link to a set of book discussion questions provided by The Jewish Book Council. There you’ll even find even a reader’s theater script.
Meet Alyson Richman on her website, here. And how ’bout her new book The Velvet Hours? Oh, my gravy!! Heading to Goodreads right now to add it to my to-read list.
Tell me true, do you have a favorite love story…other than your own? Would love to add it to my ever-growing to-read list. And won’t you share a little about what you are reading right now?
Please come back again on 03.16 when I will be reviewing my March read for the “Book Girl Magic Reading Challenge” prompt ‘true story’. Mark your calendars! The “Book by Book” reading challenge prompt for March is a book with a green cover. I am following that prompt loosely. Teal is a shade of green, right? Will be linking up again with Kristen and Rachel for that review 04.03.2018.
Off to clean house, on one foot. The doctor scolded me yesterday and said I have to keep wearing this ortho shoe another week. Foot is bruised and swollen. I would like to think FROM the orthopedic shoe. Thank you for stopping by. Leave me a “hi”, please, so I know you were here. Kind of like graffiti in the bathroom!
Hugs and kisses,