The Lost Wife
By Alyson Richman
Published by Berkley Books
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.
This book was wonderful. This is a love story in every sense- first loves, second loves, the love of family, the passion for art. The writing seemed a bit flowery at time, but would then deliver a line that stopped me in my tracks. My favorite passage by far is the following from the main character, Lenka-“In my old age, I have come to believe that love is not a noun but a verb. Like water, it flows to its own current. If you were to corner it in a dam, true love is so bountiful it would flow over. Even in separation, even in death, it moves and changes. It lives within memory, in the haunting of a touch, the transience of a smell, or the nuance of a sigh.”
The author is very descriptive and thought provoking. I was fascinated to learn more about the relocation camp Terezin. I had heard a little about this ghetto over the years, but did not know much. The writing was very descriptive – sight, sounds and smells all seemed very real.
Over all, I loved this book, though it definitely left me a little sad.