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The Lost Wife  By  cover art

The Lost Wife

By: Alyson Richman
Narrated by: George Guidall,Suzanne Toren
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Alyson Richman (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about The Lost Wife

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love, Strength & Survival

Any additional comments?

This book is a beautifully written story of love and strength. The book spans 80 years in the lives of several families that intersect, separate and then join again over time. It is based on the lives of real people and speaks of deep familial love and struggles for survival in WWII Prague. The narrators each gave perfect voice to the characters they portrayed. At first I was concerned about the two alternating readers-- but it quickly made sense and added depth to the telling of the story. While the book speaks of desolation and destruction it also presents beauty, art, deep love and courage. A really wonderful recommended listen.

85 people found this helpful

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Never read a book so fast

What did you love best about The Lost Wife?

Everything. I loved the way the two narrators wove the story of the star-crossed lovers chapter by chapter. I loved the character development and the way the accents were done.
I enjoyed the epilogue and felt the ending was perfect. This is one of the most endearing books I've listed to and I was sorry to have it end.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lost Wife?

Josef's careful descriptions of his feelings are precious. I felt that when he burned his letters to Lenka, he was putting to rest his restless longing for her. His dreams of his family being happy for him are foreshadowing for what is to come. Don't want to spoil the book by saying much more.

What does George Guidall and Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The two narrators brought the characters to life and I could not possibly have gotten the same feeling I got listening to their voices. I was impressed by Mr. Guidall's recitation of the Kaddish prayer, which was very authentic. I would seek out more books narrated by him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The meeting of the two grandparents at the end was memorable.

Any additional comments?

Run don't walk to download this book. I don't think I've ever worn my earbuds for so long!

63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not Stellar, but Solid

Joseph and Lanka fall in love during Nazi occupation in WWII. Told from alternating points of view, the two take divergent paths and most of the book is spent on their quest to find each other, meaning, and simply survival be it from atrocities or boredom. The characters are fairly well developed as are the backstories. Entertaining, enjoyable, just not engrossing. There are so many other titles during this time period to be placed at the top of your lists, but this one is solidly in the middle. Great purchase if on sale.

47 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful, sad but engrossing love story

Over the span of 60 + years, thru WW!! and concentration camps, 2 young Czech lovers stories are told by fabulous George Guidall as Josef and Suzanne as Lenka. This is a novel that translates wonderfully to audiobook, especially with such talented narrators.

Alyson Richman gives a brief synopsis at the end of the book about who the characters are modeled after and much of the story is fictionalized history. I was born in 1943 and it amazed me to think that I was a happy well fed baby with no fears, raised in Los Angeles with my mom and dad and grandparents while in Europe babies my age were being starved to death or simply murdered. Books like this are important-we must never forget.

The story is haunting and can't help but be very sad, but the inner strength of some of the people makes me wonder if people today could endure what these families went thru with the same courage and grace.

5 Stars-everyone should listen to this if only for its historical value.

41 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite book.

Would you try another book from Alyson Richman and/or George Guidall and Suzanne Toren ?

Maybe.

What was most disappointing about Alyson Richman’s story?

Very slow moving book. I probably would've liked this book better 20 or 30 years ago when I found such undying love more believable. In addition, the female lead (Lenka) supposedly loved her family so much that she wouldn't leave them but after they got to the ghetto there was not much mention of them..especially her father...at least not until those characters were needed again to evoke more emotions.

What didn’t you like about George Guidall and Suzanne Toren ’s performance?

I liked George Guidall's performance well enough but found Suzanne Toren's performance overly dramatic. Her intonations made EVERY sentence drip with import....and not ALL of the sentences needed to be that dramatic IMO.

34 people found this helpful

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so close.

I am writing a bad review about a book I loved. Here is an author who could have, and should have gone the extra step. That is take on the impossible challenge of writing the rest of the story, but she didn't.
There are so many books out there covering the same ground, and even the great (War and Remembrance comes to mind, The Seamstress, even the Hiding Place) didn't handle the what happened next very well. But I feel like I made it though all that and I wanted an ending.
Alyson Richmond has the ability to make her characters hold on to your heart, they may be you grandmother /father, you love them. I really feel cheated of the rest of the story, this is one author who could have done it, but didn't. I guess I feel like pouting, sorry but this was an epic missed opportunity, and it just makes me sad. The narrators are transcendent , awesome writing and perfect narration, just needed the last three chapters...

32 people found this helpful

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Wonerful, heartbreaking,loved it!

Any additional comments?

I was reluctant to read another Holocaust book. I felt I was "saturated" with this topic, but decided to get it anyway because of the great reviews. I was not disappointed. The Lost Wife is a masterfully written novel and I felt so absorbed in it I could not listen to anything else for a week after finishing it. The author has this incredible ability to paint with words and conduct emotion in such a way, I felt like I was actually there, in Prague, in Terezin, and in Auschwitz. I recognized that "hollow shell" existence that many survivors had after liberation from seeing this in my own grandparents and my mother. They could never be the same after living through this horror. Despite wanting to cry a lot during many passages, I find this literary creation to be top notch. Great narration, too!

30 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Heartbreaking

If you could sum up The Lost Wife in three words, what would they be?

History, Memory, Humanity

What does George Guidall and Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really enjoyed listening to both narrators. I esp. enjoyed George Guidall's voice. They both did a great job.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried. I've never cried while listening to an audio before, but when Lenka's family is transferred to Auschwitz I finally cried. They had already been through so much and had experienced so much tragedy that my heart just ached for them and every single person that endured the horror, injustice and pure lack of humanity of the concentration camps. I can't begin to imagine living through the Nazi occupation. There are so many layers of grief and suffering that were caused by the occupation - families were separated across countries and oceans, some were left behind to endure or die in a camp, so many people were never able to say good-bye, or just live a normal life, full of normal happiness, suffering and longing. normal. I only imagine the guilt, the ongoing guilt knowing you survived while so many of your innocent family and friends died.

Any additional comments?

This could have been a 5 star book. I wish the ending would have been different. The 2nd half of the audio moves and flows so naturally, and so intensely in a way that it was hard to escape the images from my mind. And then the end of the story came and it just didn't do the rest of the story justice. I was wowed by this heartbreaking story of love and family. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Yes, you might cry but it will be worth it!

28 people found this helpful

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BEST book I have read in a long time

If you could sum up The Lost Wife in three words, what would they be?

I don't want to write any spoilers, but want to say that you MUST read this book. The story is happy, sad, heart-wrenching, satisfying, well written, etc. Just make sure to have a box of tissues handy - I cried through the whole last hour of this book. The author did an amazing job with this story, the chapters changing between the stories of Josep and Lenka. The narrators did a fantastic job. I highly recommend this book.

26 people found this helpful

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Incredible Story

What a surprise to find that this story is based on things that really happened. I loved this story, I loved the writing, the narration, and the incredible ending. Please listen to this one. It will restore your faith in mankind.

20 people found this helpful