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.
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 incredible...to the point 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 story. 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.