Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Lost Wife

by Alyson Richman

This is a sweet story of Lenka and Josef, a newlywed Jewish couple living in Germany at the onset of the Hitler regime, who become separated while trying to leave the country. The Lost Wife was well written and had potential, but in my opinion fell short because of the format. To begin with, the little bit of mystery about what happened to each of the characters was spoiled within the first chapters. Having the big reveal at the beginning of the book eliminated any possibility of surprise, although given the nature of the story I'm not sure that would have happened anyway. Then there is the whole issue with Lenka, her reactions and responses to Josef and her family don't seem believable, making her a tough character to relate to. The author does a good job of relating the hardships of these characters throughout the book, maybe even going overboard on the trials, without much relief. And just when there is a glimmer of happiness, the story is over! The ending is abrupt, and while it is pretty obvious what will happen, the story as a whole would have benefitted from going there. I've read my fair share of WWI stories and for me this one was just ok.

If you're a fan of Nicholas Sparks, this is your kind of book.

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