Inspired by the true story of one woman’s extraordinary journey to forge a new life after escaping a train bound for Auschwitz
Vera Frankel and her best friend, Edith Ban, escaped from a train bound for Auschwitz. Their mothers promise the girls that they will escape and jump from the train straight after them. But instead the girls find themselves alone, frozen, and unable to talk to people for fear of being found out and sent straight back to Auschwitz. They manage to find refuge and barter for their lives by working on an isolated farm in Austria until the end of the war.
Now in 1946, these two young Hungarian refugees arrive in Naples, ready to start their lives anew. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American general, Vera finds work and new hope at the United States Embassy. What she doesn’t count on, and tries her hardest to avoid, is falling in love with the handsome American running the embassy, Captain Anton Wight.
But when Anton suddenly disappears, Vera’s life is forced to drastically change. She knows she can find him. They had true love, a love that Vera didn’t expect to find in the world after the war, and she doesn’t want to give up on that. But Vera starts to wonder: what if he doesn’t want to be found? Should Vera move on with her life? Vera and Edith’s quest to rebuild their lives takes them from Naples to Ellis Island to Venezuela and finally Sydney as they find their place in the new post-war world and carve out their own careers – and maybe just find love again?
Heartbreakingly moving and compelling, The Light After the War is inspired by the true story of the author’s Holocaust survivor mother. This book is a testament to the power of humanity, to those people who even after unspeakable horrors and loss, still believe in the beauty and wonder of love, hope and friendship. Taking the journey with Vera and Edith took the reader around the world, and Anita Abriel did a fantastic job of bringing each place to life, and you felt like you were watching the world recover after the war.
The Light After the War was completely wonderful to read. You are transported back in time in this excellent historical novel, and yet the story is filled with a hope for the future. It’s an emotional book, one that will appeal to anyone who wants to connect with characters and believe that there is still goodness and hope in the world, and that everyone can have a second chance.