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2.5 

Title: Lost Wife, The
Authors: Richman, Alyson
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 358
Year: 2011
Publisher: Hachette New Zealand
Language: English
Description: To stay or to go ... Lenka Kohn must choose between remaining with her family in Prague as the Nazis invade or fleeing with her young husband Josef to USA. Separated by war, each believes the other dead; Lenka in a concentration camp and Josef in a torpedoed ship. Decades later they unexpectedly encounter one another at a wedding in New York.

Inspired by true events, this is a profoundly moving love story that reflects on the haunting power of first love and our ability to endure, as well as adding to our knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust.

Comments from Groups:

The group loved the book - so well written, but some found it hard because of the subject matter. The fact that some characters were based on real people made it even more of a gripping read. Ohope 006

A moving and well told story of love that survived the atrocities of Terezin and Auschwitz. Matua 001

We all very much enjoyed the book, and thought it beautifully written. The more harrowing aspects of the story were easier to read in the knowledge that Josef and Lenka would be reunited. There was some exasperation with Lenka's character, and with her choice to remain behind with her family instead of leaving with Josef. All felt it was an unrealistic choice to have made, and that it put paid to any chance of gertting the family to safety. Christchurch 113

This book was touching, thought provoking and beloved - everything needed for a great discussion! Gisborne 006

Mixed opinion about this book. Some beautiful writing - one member said it was "moving and romantic". We all agreed that the subject is worthwhile as a reminder of how human beings are frail, and our civilised veneer is very thin at times. Other members of the group felt it was overwritten and unbelievable - it lurched from being literary to a good light read. Taupo 006

A very positive reaction by the group to this book. One had seen the childrens' paintings that are in the Jewish Museum in Prague, which mad it even more moving. Doyle 001

Categories: Fiction, War theme, Grief/loss, Historical, Love story, Relationships, Czechoslovakia, America, Jewish Culture

Reviews

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By: MATAM 006 2021-10-01 09:56:28
5 
A captivating read. We all enjoyed it. It was a little different from other WWII stories we had read, in that it talked of the war artists and the Terezin Camp, which were new to a lot of us.

By: REEF 002 2021-08-02 11:27:19
3.5 
We thought this was a beautifully written and well-told story of art and love, and hellish circumstances. Some of us felt it was too disturbing a book to read before sleep. But all agreed it was a worthwhile read.

By: ROTO 010 2019-09-06 12:50:22
2.5 
There were mixed opinions about this book: some loved it; others thought it almost mawkishly sentimental and obvious - we found ourselves labelled proper cynics for that point of view! There was no escaping the more harrowing aspects of the concentration camp experiences which were hard to read. One member's grandparents had been involved in sheltering Jewish people during the war which added another dimension to our perspective. Good discussion on the questions, especially those about personal relationships over a long period of time. Not a book many of us would have chosen to read.

 
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