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The Lost Wifeby Alyson Richman
Synopses & Reviews
THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE LOST WIFE
Set against the rich backdrop of World War II Italy,and#160;Garden of Lettersand#160;captures the hope, suspense, and romance of an uncertain era, in an epic intertwining story of first love, great tragedy, and spectacular bravery.
Portofino, Italy, 1943.and#160;A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd,and#160;Elodieand#160;is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man sheand#8217;s never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino.
Only months before, Elodie Bertolotti was a cello prodigy in Verona, unconcerned with world events. But when Mussoliniand#8217;s Fascist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by Luca, a young and impassioned bookseller. As the occupation looms, she discovers that her unique musical talents, and her courage, have the power to save lives.
In Portofino, young doctor Angelo Rosselli gives the frightened and exhausted girl sanctuary. He is a man with painful secrets of his own, haunted by guilt and remorse. But Elodieand#8217;s arrival has the power to awaken a sense of hope and joy that Angelo thought was lost to him forever.
"Star-crossed lovers are separated during WWII in Richman's heart-wrenching fourth novel. Josef and Lenka meet as students in Prague in 1936 and fall instantly in love. Three years later, with Nazis crossing the border, they rush to marry, but circumstances then force them apart. Lenka remains in Europe, and Josef flees to America. For 61 years, each believes the other dead until they meet by chance at the wedding of their grandchildren, leading them to reflect on the past and the separate lives they've led: Josef ended up in New York, becoming a successful obstetrician because he was 'tired of being haunted by death.' Lenka wasn't so lucky. She's sent to a work camp, where her artistic talents connect her to 'an underground network of painters illustrating the atrocities' of the Jewish ghettos. And then she's sent to, and survives, Auschwitz. Richman (The Last Van Gogh) once again finds inspiration in art, adding evocative details to a swiftly moving and emotionally charged plot. Richman's incremental descent into the horrors of the Holocaust lends enormous power to Lenka's experience and makes her reunion with Josef all the more poignant. Though the framing device of the decades-long separation can be cloying, this is a genuinely moving portrait. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
1890. Yamamoto Kiyoki is a Japanese art student, dreaming of studying in Paris with the inspiring and vibrant Impressionist painters.
Yamamoto Ryusei is Kiyokiand#8217;s father. Ryuseiand#8217;s art, carving intricate masks for traditional Japanese theater, has been his refuge from loneliness since the death of his beloved wife, and he is revered as the most inspired artist of his kind. He expects his only son to honor the traditions of his family and his country, not to be seduced by Western ideas of what is beautiful. Ryusei hopes Kiyoki will follow his own distinguished career, creating masks that will become the familyand#8217;s crowning achievement.
But what is a father to do when his sonand#8217;s path is not what he had planned? And how can a son honor his father, and yet fulfill his own destiny?
READERS GUIDE INSIDE
Snow had fallen in the night, and now the great house, standing at the head of the valley, seemed like a five-hundred-year old ship sailing in a white oceanand#133;
For the Cavendish family, Rutherford Park is much more than a place to call home. It is a way of life marked by rigid rules and lavish rewards, governed by unspoken desiresand#133;
Lady of the house Octavia Cavendish lives like a bird in a gilded cage. With her familyand#8217;s fortune, her husband, William, has made significant additions to the estate, but he too feels boundand#151;by the obligations of his title as well as his vows. Their son, Harry, is expected to follow in his footsteps, but the boy has dreams of his own, like pursuing the new adventure of aerial flight. Meanwhile, below stairs, a housemaid named Emily holds a secret that could undo the Cavendish name.
On Christmas Eve 1913, Octavia catches a glimpse of her husband in an intimate moment with his beautiful and scandalous distant cousin. She then spies the housemaid Emily out in the snow, walking toward the river, about to make her own secret known to the world. As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, an epic tale of longing and betrayal is about to unfold at Rutherford Parkand#133;
About the Author
Alyson Richman is the author of The Mask Carverand#8217;s Son, The Rhythm of Memory, The Last Van Gogh, and The Lost Wife. She lives in Long Island with her husband and two children.and#160;
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