Review: Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher:  Penguin Publishing
Pages: 353
Source:  purchased

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.


Review: This was a very deep and heart-wrenching story of a love between two young people in a world torn apart by war.

Ms. Richman tells us the story of young love through the eyes of those young lovers, Lenka Maisel and Josef Kohn. We follow them from the time they fell in love until the war makes them decide between love and family tearing them apart with each going different directions until years later fate brings them back together again.

Lenka lived in Prague and was from an accomplished family. She was very talented and had just been accepted to a very prestigious Art School. Lenka met whom she thought to be her one true love but would soon learn that life has a way of getting in the way. Lenka had a problem; she lived in Prague, she was Jewish and the Jew’s were on Hitler’s Hit list. All their possessions were confiscated by the Germans. They were soon left with nothing and very little freedom. Not having enough money to purchase passage out of Prague she and Josef marry quickly thinking this will help her to escape what was in store for them.

Josef also came from and accomplished family the difference between the two was that his family had money to buy safe passage out of Prague. Instead of going with Josef, Lenka could not leave her family behind. Instead she chose to stay with them where they were then sent to Terzin and Auschwitz, prison camps. While Josef left with his family to a life elsewhere.

Years go by and each of course marries different people never forgetting their love for each other. As time draws on they soon find that fate once again steps in bringing them together once again. Josef is meeting the grandmother of his grand-daughter in-law for the first time. She seems so familiar. She reminds him of someone. Could it be after all these years he has found his Lenka?

A very compelling story that takes us through the eyes of love, through years ripped apart by war and concentration camps, full circle to finding one another again so many years later, older and wiser.

Ms. Richman paints a picture of the beauty of the countryside but also the horridness of what the war did to that beauty. To the people who lived in that beauty. She writes with such passion that you can smell the stench and see the illness along with the daily life inside the concentration camps. Bringing to life the realness of being torn apart from family, friends and the ones you love. Ms. Richman gave us the hope that sometimes we may have barriers set up for us to take down and learn from but sometimes beautiful things can still come from the depths of the ugliness.

This is a story for anyone who enjoys history and romance. But, don’t start reading without your box of tissues.



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