I remember a time not that long ago when I had totally no interest in reading books about the Holocaust. And now, I just can't get enough of books set in this time period. I will admit that it is hard to read about this topic, and reading about the atrocities the Nazis visited on people horrifies me. But, the amazing stories of survival and the way so many people worked together is hopeful.
I raced through Alyson Richman's novel The Lost Wife last night. Based on a true story about a husband and wife who were separated for sixty years during World War II, this is a love story of Josef and Lenka, a young couple much like their real life counterparts who are also separated during the war.
Richman deftly switches between Josef and Lenka as narrators, and we discover the history of their lives. From their childhoods in Prague to their courtship and rushed nuptuals. This couple tragically was separated during World War II. Lenka went to a concentration camp and Josef and his family had secured passage on a ship taking them to England. However, although both survive the war and look for one another, they never see each other again. Until the night their grandchildren marry.
There are some parts of this story that seem a bit trite, yet knowing this is based on a true story makes me believe that sometimes stories really do have happy endings. The history of these two young adults at a time of great fear in Prague is amazing to read about. Although I feel like I have read a large number of books set in concentration camps, this is the first I have read detailing the way that artwork was created and hidden about the horrors of the concentration camps.The Lost Wife is another great read about a terrible event in history.