Title: Day After Night
Author: Anita Diamant
Summary: Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, a prison for “illegal” immigrants run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa. The story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp who survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leoniel a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a hidden Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor.
Haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to hope, the four of them find salvation in the bounds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.
My Rating: 9.25/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Beautiful and powerful, this book caught me a bit off guard, with the story line of four women and their struggle for survival. It’s hard to know where to start, because the book had so many powerful moments, some of which had me teary-eyed. The author did a wonderful job at portraying characters, and reactions of the new comers to the camps, to be released from one prison, and sent to essentially another one, must have been heart wrenching - even if this “wasn’t a prison” like before, their reactions were done with every emotional detail brought to the surface.
I also enjoyed the slow build up to the rescue and all the events surrounding their, I think the author did a fantastic job at setting the mood for it during, and after the rescue, she really brought her characters to life. I found them to be very believable, and three dimensional, which made for a better reading experience. I didn’t exactly like all the characters, but I did find I was wrapped up in their history, their background and who will survive in the end. The author made sure she had the reader’s attention through out the book, and this is one that is heavy on the emotions.
What I didn’t like there wasn’t much I didn’t like. Some times I felt the building of the friendship of the woman was a little drawn out, a lot of repetitive moments etc. I understand why it was done, because of the emotional and psychological scarring that happened to the woman, but I felt like the same thing kept happening when revealing how these friendships formed. I felt the same with the character development, at times I felt like I read the same thing about the character before, as they revealed it to themselves and others. This isn’t a big issue in the book, and easy to look over, but I did find it there.
Overall, it was a wonderful story of four strong women, on how they survived one of the most horrific events in our history. This book is well worth reading.
Would I recommend it to read: Yes, I think this book is high on my recommend reads list. It is a powerful story of survival, and a well done story on the after effects of WWII, something that isn’t talked about a lot, often hushed up and forgotten, this story gives the voices back to those held in these camps, after the war was done. I also think any fan of historical fiction surrounding WWII would enjoy the book, it focuses on a different aspect of the war, but it's still a good WWII story.
What to read next: War on the Margins, The Postmistress, Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society
Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Fall into Reading Challenge, RYOB Challenge, Women Unbound Challenge