This is a deeply moving book, beautifully written and incredible to read.
A long time ago, I attended an exhibition in Christchurch (NZ) of the Paintings created by the Children of Terezin, a small concentration camp just outside Prague. Then, a few years later I went to Terezin and it was astounding to be there and see where so many people lived, worked and died. Of the 660 children who were taken there, 550 were killed. Their art lives on and tells their story.
This book is part of their story. We follow chapter by chapter the lives of Lenka and Josef, Jews from Prague. They meet before the war, they are separated at the beginning of the war and spend 60 years looking for each other. Lenka is an artist and is transported to Terezin where she becomes involved with the children's barracks where they are taught and encouraged to paint and draw. Josef escapes to America and searches for Lenka and eventually he is told she died in a concentration camp. Lenka reads that Josef's boat to America sinks and he is drowned.
The story is so well crafted, so beautiful in it's structure and telling that I would be spoiling it if I continue telling you more about it. Just read it. It will not disappoint.
The best book I've read this year.