Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Review: The Light After the War by Anita Abriel

Inspired by an incredible true story of two Jewish friends who survived the Holocaust, this sweeping novel of love and friendship spans World War II from Budapest to Austria and the postwar years from Naples to Caracas, perfect for fans of The German Girl and We Were the Lucky Ones.

It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban arrive in Naples. Refugees from Hungary, they managed to escape from a train headed for Auschwitz and spent the rest of the war hiding on an Austrian farm. Now, the two young women must start new lives abroad. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American officer, Vera finds work at the United States embassy where she falls in love with Captain Anton Wight.

But as Vera and Edith grapple with the aftermath of the war, so too does Anton, and when he suddenly disappears, Vera is forced to change course. Their quest for a better life takes Vera and Edith from Naples to Ellis Island to Caracas as they start careers, reunite with old friends, and rebuild their lives after terrible loss.

Moving, evocative, and compelling, this timely tale of true friendship, love, and survival will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

My Review:

What a journey.  This book tells the story of two Jewish Hungarian girls, Vera and Edith, who escape the train to Auschwitz.  Through the author’s incredible writing, we learn their strengths and weaknesses as they struggle to find freedom and make a life for themselves after World War II.  Along the way they find love, careers and suffer heartbreak as they discover their new lives.

This is one of those hard to put down books.  The story is not real deep or depressing as you might associate with the subject.  It was more informative and hopeful.  As I read the book, I felt I knew these girls, like they could have been some of my own Hungarian ancestors.  The story was very detailed and descriptive.  I went through a wide range of emotions while reading.  I just wish the book was longer.  I would have enjoyed learning more about Vera and Edith and their lives as they got older. 

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