The Light After The War by Anita Abriel
Published: February 2020 – Atria Books
Finished copy provided by the publisher
It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban arrive in Naples. Refugees from Hungary, they managed to escape from a train headed for Auschwitz and spent the rest of the war hiding on an Austrian farm. Now, the two young women must start new lives abroad. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American officer, Vera finds work at the United States embassy where she falls in love with Captain Anton Wight.
But as Vera and Edith grapple with the aftermath of the war, so too does Anton, and when he suddenly disappears, Vera is forced to change course. Their quest for a better life takes Vera and Edith from Naples to Ellis Island to Caracas as they start careers, reunite with old friends, and rebuild their lives after terrible loss. (publisher)
My take: This is the remarkable story of two young women finding their way in post WWII Europe. Their amazing journey took them to Italy, America, Venezuela (to name only a few places) as they came to grips with life after unspeakable losses. Their indomitable spirit opened them to opportunities that many people found irresistible. Synchronicity seemed to play a part in their story as well. I’d been thinking that at about the time the author made the point!
The story is inspired by the author’s mother which I thought added heft to the story. Anita Abriel’s story and descriptive writing kept me turning the pages as I had to know where life would take Vera and Edith. And it took them far. I’d love to know “the rest of the story”!
Recommended to fans of romantic Historical Fiction.
About the author:
Anita Abriel was born in Sydney, Australia. She received a BA in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing program. She lives in California with her family and is the author of The Light After the War which was inspired by her mother’s story of survival during WWII.
Praise for The Light After The War
“Set against the vividly drawn backdrops of Naples, Caracas and Sydney in the aftermath of WWII, The Light After the War by Anita Abriel is a beautifully written and heartfelt novel. I was completely swept up in Vera’s and Edith’s lives, their friendship, their heartbreaks and their triumphs. An unforgettable story of strength, love, and survival.”
—Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of The Lost Letter and In Another Time
“There is so much in The Light After the War that truly shines: Unforgettable love, family, faith—and the courageous resolve of two young women to mend their lives and seek new beginnings in a world tragically changed. Fans of historical fiction are sure to devour this tale of hope, reinvention and the power of friendship to heal the heart’s deepest wounds.”
—Roxanne Veletzos, author of The Girl They Left Behind
“Anita Abriel sweeps the reader around the world in this true tale of survival, endurance, and triumph. The Light After the War is a feast for the mind and the heart, not soon to be forgotten.”
—Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of Mrs. Poe and The Sisters of Summit Avenue
“A finely-woven story of post-war romance, second chances, and resolve that refuses to give in or give up. The setting details are evocative and inviting. Well done!”
—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
“Fans of Georgia Hunter’s We Were The Lucky Ones should race to grab Anita Abriel’s The Light After The War, spanning continents and set against a vividly drawn canvas of World War II and the post-war period. Based on Abriel’s own family history, The Light After The War is a heartfelt and memorable tale of family, love, resilience and the triumph of human spirit.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
“I was utterly moved and transfixed by The Light After the War, a beautiful novel that spans a decade across four continents in the wake of World War II. You’ll be swept away by this fast-paced, heartbreaking, and hopeful tale of friendship, family, second chances, and the enduring power of love, based on the true story of author Anita Abriel’s mother and her fascinating journey away from war-torn Europe in the 1940s. A must-read for anyone interested in the emotional toll of the Second World War.”
—Kristin Harmel, international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amelie
“Inspired by her own mother’s remarkable life, Anita Abriel takes readers to four continents as she celebrates the power of hope, optimism and female friendship in The Light After the War. If you are a reader who believes in embracing life and love—even after unspeakable loss—you will treasure this book.” — Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise
THE LIGHT AFTER THE WAR by Anita Abriel
Atria Books / ISBN: 9781982122973 / Pages: 320 / Format: Hardcover /
Price $27 (US) / $36 (CAN) / eBook: 9781982122997 / On Sale: 2/24/20