The Lost Wife (Paperback)
Fall '12 Reading Group List
“In 1939 Prague, Lenka and Joseph, who are both Jewish, meet, fall in love, and marry, only days later to be separated for a lifetime. In her historical novels, Richman develops the plot with a question in mind. How could beauty and art come from the horrific conditions within the walls of the Terezin Concentration Camp? This is a difficult subject, but don't be hesitant to dive into this incredibly written work of Holocaust literature.”
— Kathy Shattuck, Northwind Book & Fiber, Spooner, WI
A rapturous novel of star-crossed love in a time of war—from the international bestselling author of The Secret of Clouds.
During the last moments of calm in prewar Prague, Lenka, a young art student, and Josef, who is studying medicine, fall in love. With the promise of a better future, they marry—only to have their dreams shattered by the imminent Nazi invasion. Like so many others, they are torn apart by the currents of war.
Now a successful obstetrician in America, Josef has never forgotten the wife he believes died in the war. But in the Nazi ghetto of Terezín, Lenka survived, relying on her skills as an artist and the memories of a husband she would never see again. Then, decades later and thousands of miles away, an unexpected encounter in New York leads to an inescapable glance of recognition, and the realization that providence has given 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 our capacity to remember.
About the Author
Alyson Richman is the international bestselling author of The Secret of Clouds, The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, The Lost Wife, The Last Van Gogh, The Rhythm of Memory, and The Mask Carver's Son, and is featured in the anthology Grand Central. She lives in Long Island, New York, with her husband and two children.
Praise for The Lost Wife
“A truly beautiful heartfelt story...I couldn't put it down once I started it. Ms. Richman is a very special talent.”—New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah
“Staggeringly evocative, romantic, heart-rending, sensual and beautifully written...[it] may very well be the Sophie's Choice of this generation.”—New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart
“Daringly constructed, this moving novel begins at the end and then, in a fully-realized circle through the most traumatic event of the 20th century, returns you there in a way that makes your heart leap.”—Loring Mandel, Emmy-winning playwright and author of Conspiracy
“A love story wrapped in tragedy and survival, I read The Lost Wife in one sitting. Tense, emotional and fulfilling: a great achievement by Alyson Richman.”—Martin Fletcher, Winner of the Jewish National Book Award and NBC Special News Correspondent