Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman - REVIEW

Seldom do I pick up a book, start reading and feel the book becoming a part of me...changing me in some way. The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman is a book that did just that. I was able to read this in one day, and for someone with two small children that is truly a feat. In many ways I am left speechless by this book and not even sure if this review can do it justice.

Book Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

As I started, this book has rendered me speechless in many ways. I continue to love books set during World War II and I am confident that this time period in American and world history will never get old. Being a lover of history, I also continue to feel raw emotions when reading anything related to the Holocaust, and this book brought all of those raw emotions right to the surface.

I do not think there was a chapter where I didn't reach for the tissue box, and that isn't just because this book is incredibly sad. It is also a tribute to the author's beautiful writing, which I believe is the most outstanding part of this book.

The main characters, Lenka and Josef, are the p
oint that as a reader I became totally invested in each of them and their fates. Their love story is incredible, and so real...

The author describes painstakingly the horrific details of the Holocaust and no reader will leave this novel untouched. She strikes to a deeper level where all of humankind can feel pain when reading about the atrocities of this time. It is my hope that novels like this can help all of us remember why we should never allow ourselves to go back to this place.

Something that I found fascinating, that isn't usually the case with many novels I have read are the impact that the supporting characters have on the st
ory. While the main storyline is about Lenka and Josef, the numerous other character throughout the novel really take it to the next level...and leave the reader feeling each of their emotions, feelings, and pain. I loved that...and while many times I cannot remember the names later of the supporting characters, I imagine that Marta, Adi, and Otto (among MANY others) will not soon leave my mind and heart.

This is a phenomenal read, and I cannot more highly recommend it.


  1. I love novels set during WWII but haven't heard of this one. Great review ... I can't wait to get my hands on a copy now!

  2. Wow your review was amazing. I love WWII novels but haven't heard of this one. I definitely want to read this. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

  3. I've just finished reading this novel and like you, couldn't put it down.

    When I'd finished it I had to wait a day or so before starting another book....this is unheard of for me. I'm constantly reading and always have a few books lined up and keen to move to the next one.
    This one though I felt needed a little reverence. The impact was immense.

    I'm hosting my book club tonight and we're reviewing the book. It'll be interesting to hear everyone elses reaction.
    Thanks for your insight. I enjoyed hearing your views :)