Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Lost Wife
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on February 1, 2013
"Ani L'Dodi v 'Dodi Li." "You are my beloved and my beloved is mine," the translation from page 217 of the edition I read, captures the theme of this novel. With this theme, the author unveils the story of Lenka and Josef, two young Jewish people who live in Prague, and a love that many couples hope to share. Soon after they marry, their lives change due to the Nazi invasion. Lenka stays in Prague because she can't bear to leave her family. Josef and his family leave for America.

Lenka tells her story, a tale of life under Nazi control, humiliation, and cruelty in concentration camps. With liberation, she struggles to recover her health and sanity after the loss of her parents and sister. Believing Josef is dead, she marries again - a kind, wonderful man who "saved her." (News articles had listed Josef and his family among those lost at sea.)

Josef's story is similar. The ship on which he and his family sail is the first torpedoed of the war. As they abandon ship, he watches the rescuing ship destroy the lifeboat which holds his parents and sister. Josef cannot forget the blood on the water that reminded him of his sister and the red dress she was wearing. He finishes medical school, writing often to Lenka even when his letters are returned. Finding her name on the list of those murdered in Auschwitz, he marries again but his dreams are haunted by the beautiful Lenka.

The author had wanted to write about a Jewish artist who survived Nazi control, never dreaming it would be a romance but the story took on a life of its own. When she heard about a couple who found themselves after the war the characters of Lenka and Josef were born. Josef is an incurable romantic while Lenka, due to her wartime experiences, is more pragmatic. There is so much about their lives that must be read to be appreciated. Many of the characters in the book actually existed and the paintings and drawings the artists smuggled out of the camps told the world about the atrocities that the Nazis committed on those imprisoned in concentration camps.

Sometimes it's difficult to write about a book you loved. Having read many books about those who suffered from the Nazis, I must admit that this novel was one I will long remember. Yes. some may feel that it's hokey to read about romance. So be it. I adored this book - the characters, the writing, their experiences, their first encounter and the ending. The writing is lyrical, poetic and flows like a brook that soothes the heart. Enjoy The Lost Wife for what it is! A romance. A wartime story. A tale of bravery and courage.
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on August 20, 2014
A great book and reallly beautifully written. So touching. So sensitively done. I did, however, find it very hard to read. It was so sad that I could only read a couple of chapters at a time, switched to another book, then switched back - repeatedly. Whilst it is fiction, it incorporates real people and real events that are just so heartbreaking they make you cry. We (fortunately) will never know what it was like to be in a concentration camp but the story is told with such realism and simplicity, about people who actually survived the camps - and people who didn't - you become completely invested in them and understand the importance of learning their stories, no matter how difficult they sometimes are to read. I strongly recommend this very original novel.
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on September 10, 2012
I loved this book. It was well written and an amazingly beautiful story. So sad, so tragic and so uncomfortably real. A love story of the most beautiful kind - love lost and love found. A young love that withstood the test of time and separation and unimaginable horror. Despite the serious and tragic nature of this story it is without doubt a lovestory and one that will live with you for a long time to come. Recommend it!
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on November 27, 2015
Fascinating book, remarkably well written and very poignant, especially for this reader, the daughter of a Terezin survivor. It became the inspiration for an enlightening conversation with my mother, in which I learned things about her years in Terezin that she could never talk about earlier in my life. So intriguing!
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on September 22, 2013
This book has the reader sharing the experiences of the characters and takes you on their emotional journey. It is captivating and holds the reader's interest from the first chapter. When the story is over, I found myself wanting and wishing for more.
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on September 5, 2012
Can one read yet another story about the Holocaust?...OH, but this book is so much more!
A love story that goes on between two lost lovers who can never forget one another.
Richards writing is so captivating that I could NOT put this book down.
I hardly ever write reviews, but this book stole my heart from the beginning to the end!
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on January 19, 2014
I really enjoyed this book, and was so absorbed in it, I couldn't put it down. However, i was so engrossed in the characters, that the end left me wanting more....I had so many questions left unanswered..........what happened next? did they spend the rest of their days together?. It is definitely well worth a read though. It is excellent, and I have recommended it to others.
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on June 4, 2014
I enjoyed this book, but felt like the character development was wooden and almost maudlin. Like most other readers, I have read many books on The Holocaust, yet I had never heard of Terezin. That part of the story I enjoyed for the historical aspects. Other authors have been much more successful in developing living, breathing characters.
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on November 1, 2013
The subject matter has been written about many times but the author held the characters in a place that differentiated it. This story had the twist at the beginning which was quirky; I liked it. The balance between misery and genuine empathy is a difficult one to capture but it happened here; realistic humanity shone through. Life really is not fair.
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on November 7, 2013
The book had historical implications but was also several stories of extreme love and love lost. I thought at first I wasn't excited with the way the layout of the story was but soon into the book I was hooked and couldn't put it down
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