There on her forearm, next to a small brown birthmark, were six tattooed numbers. 'Do you remember me now?' he asked, trembling. She looked at him again, as if giving weight and bone to a ghost. 'Lenka, it's me,' he said. 'Josef. Your husband.' During the last moments of calm in prewar Prague, Lenka, a young art student, falls in love with Josef.
They marry - but soon, like so many others, they are torn apart by the currents of war. In America Josef becomes a successful obstetrician and raises a family, though he never forgets the wife he thinks died in the camps.
But in the Nazi ghetto of Terezin - and later in Auschwitz - Lenka has survived, relying on her skills as an artist and the memories of a husband she believes she will never see again.
Now, decades later, an unexpected encounter in New York brings Lenka and Josef back together. From the comfort of life in Prague before the occupation to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the endurance of first love, the resilience of the human spirit and our capacity to remember.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages, n/a
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 29/03/2012
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781444730203
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Review by booklovers2
This was an EXCELLENT book. I listened to it as an audio book from audible.com. The Audio performance was also excellent. This was a haunting, heart wrenching book involving a young married couple Josef and Lenka who marry in Prague just before the occupation. Josef's family gets a sponsor to travel to America with papers for Lenka and a promise for Lenka's family. Just before they are ready to leave, Josef breaks the news to his new bride that they can not accomodate Her family. Lenka refuses to leave without her family and Josef reluctantly goes ahead with with his family with the expectation that Lenka will follow when traveling papers are obtained for her whole family. Soon after Lenka is informed that the ship carrying Josef and his family is torpedo'ed and her family are ripped from their home and forced to board a train to be transported to the German camps. An emotional story that spans 60 years. Hard to get through this without shedding a few tears.