I read this book in two days. I could not put it down.
I happened upon a recommendation from Eat, Live, Run and downloaded it to my Kobo right away. From there I was hooked. This book is a real treasure, in my opinion.
The story revolves around two young Czech teenagers who meet and fall in love in the years before the Nazi Reich took power in Prague. Lenka and Josef are so interesting to unravel. The way they fall in love in this book is epic. I just devoured their romance, courtship, and marriage all in the eve of the Nazi tanks rolling in. Josef marries her and tries to convince her to follow him and his family to America while they still can, but Lenka wouldn’t dream of leaving her family. The rest is very much everything you’ve read about the holocaust. Death, destruction, loss of hope. Except for the art. This novel is interlaced with the idea that art will survive. Art existed in the camps. It was something that helped those people carry on. And as an artist, this is what made me cry more than anything.
We all get upset or cry at the images or stories of the concentration camps, but I find after a while, we can kind of steel ourselves to those thoughts. What really got me about this book was the hope that art brought these people. The painting done by children who dreamed of their old lives, or the pictures hastily painted in blood of the events that took place inside; something that could get you killed, or worse.
I loved this book.