Entwined In Love, War and Friendship

From The Washington Post:

Book Anita Diamant's new novel offers all the satisfactions found in her previous works “The Red Tent” and “The Last Days of Dogtown”: rich portraits of female friendship, unflinching acknowledgment of life's cruelty and resolute assertion of hope, enfolded in a strong story line developed in lucid prose. She ups the ante here, chronicling three months in the lives of Jewish refugees interned in Atlit, a British detention center for illegal immigrants to the Palestinian Mandate. Based on an actual event — the rescue of more than 200 detainees from Atlit in October 1945 — “Day After Night” demonstrates the power of fiction to illuminate the souls of people battered by the forces of history.

“Not one of the women in Barrack C is twenty-one, but all of them are orphans,” the author tells us on the first page. “There are only 170 prisoners in Atlit tonight, and fewer than seventy women in all. It is the same lopsided ratio on the chaotic roads of Poland and Germany, France and Italy; the same in the train stations and the Displaced Persons camps.” Tedi, Zorah, Shayndel and Leonie have lost their parents in the Holocaust and are the random survivors of Nazi genocide that killed women faster than men because they had less short-term value as slave labor. Only Zorah was in a concentration camp; Tedi was hidden in the Dutch countryside; Shayndel, a Polish Zionist, fought with the partisans; Leonie was forced into prostitution in Paris. But each of these women wonders why she was spared when so many others died.

More here.