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Day After Night

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  7,811 ratings  ·  1,243 reviews

In her most moving and powerful novel ever, Anita Diamant portrays richly imagined female characters in a haunting fictionalization of the post-Holocaust experience.

Atlit is a holding camp for “illegal” immigrants in Israel in 1945. There, about 270 men and women await their future and try to recover from their past. Diamant, with infinite compassion and understanding, te

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Audio CD, 8 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2009)
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Barbara
In 1948, when I was a very young child, Israel was granted statehood. I remember the joy and the celebration among my family and community. Certainly much has been written about the Holocaust, about the efforts of traumatized Jews to reach Israel and the turmoil that has occurred since it became a recognized country (by some, not all). In this novel, many events have been either omitted or lacked much attention. Diamant has written an account of an internment camp for "illegals" in Israel in 194...more
Denise
I have spent much of 2009 reading excellent novels that relate different perspectives of the horror that was WW II and the effects of the Holocaust on people from different countries. In Sarah's Key, I read what happened at the Vélodrome d'Hiver in France, in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle), I discovered what happened during the war on an island I'd never heard of, in Skeletons at the Feast: A Novel, I accompanied a family fleeing westward ahead o...more
Louise
I suppose since this novel was compared to Diamant's bestselling 'THE RED TENT', which to this very day remains my favourite book of all time, I might have unknowningly set myself up for disappointment. This story was not at all what I expected, nor did I feel Diamant's writing was on par with THE RED TENT. However, having said that, I did enjoy it for the most part, but felt it just went on and on and on a little too much. It was like she was stalling for time so she could figure out where and...more
Anya Yankelevich
This is Diamant's second book that I've read. I enjoyed The Red Tent, and also this one. The Red Tent had a broader sense of place and history, and I think better language and character. Then again, having just finished this one, I may appreciate it more as I reflect on it. I think the strength of this novel lies in the concise and honest portrayal of the characters in how they mask and express their experiences. I got the sense that had she revealed more about the character's backstory (and rea...more
Kathy
After the Ottoman empire lost WWI, the British governed Palestine/Israel. There were larger and larger influxes of European Jews to the area, trying to escape the pogroms and Nazis. To appease the upset Arabs of the region, the British agreed to limit the number of Jewish immigrants. One of the ways they achieved this was to detain and confine these immigrants (expecting to deport those who were not claimed by family) in various internment camps in the land that was to become Israel. It is agai...more
Judy
I don't generally give a book five stars, but this book really touched me. I enjoyed the two previous books by Anita Diamant that I have read--The Red Tent and The Last Days of Dogtown, but this book moved me in a different way. The story is about the growing friendship between four Jewish women from different parts of Europe who meet in a British detention camp for illegal Jewish refugees in Palestine. The story takes place between August and October 1945 as the world is trying to come to terms...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
At first sad, but ultimately hopeful. Life does go on, whether we want it to or not. We must join with others in making it meaningful, even after great loss.

We think a lot about the many millions who died in the Holocaust, perhaps less often about those who were left standing. They were told they were "lucky" to be alive. But how do you find joy again, or even the desire for joy, after you've lost every person and thing you loved? When you've witnessed and been subjected to incomprehensible atr...more
Jackie
This book deals with an handful of women at Atlit "displaced persons" camp in Palestine just after World War II. A quota had been set for how many Jews could immigrate to the new Eretz Yisrael, but of course hundreds of thousands more were trying to get in. They got rounded up and sent to these camps, run by the British, which were heartbreakingly similar in appearance to the concentration camps that many of them had just gotten out of. The treatment was far better, but they were still prisoners...more
Shana
Although The Red Tent is her more famous novel, the first Anita Diamant book I’ve read is Day After Night. And that’s really only because I saw it in the library the day after my mom realized the author had gone to the same Jewish camp (or youth group, or something).

Day After Night takes place in Israel after World War II at the Atlit internment camp where illegal immigrants here held. If you’re like me, you’re going, “Huh? Where?” That is precisely what made this book so interesting. There is a...more
Erika
Anita Diamant’s Day After Night is a fictionalized account of the 1945 rescue of the prisoners being held in the Atlit internment camp near Hafia, close to the Mediterranean coast. Fresh from their memories of Nazi concentration camps, illegal immigrants crossing the borders, most often in their attempt to reach Palestine and Israel, have been taken into custody by the British military and placed in eerily similar surroundings: barbed wire fences, barracks separating men from women, delousing st...more
Colleen
When pondering the horrors of the Holocaust, it is not often that one considers what occurred after the Germans lost the war. I may envision families reuniting, people starting over, or at the least relief over sudden freedom. In truth however, many Jewish citizens became "illegal" immigrants and were imprisoned in internment camps run by the British military.
Much like a concentration camp, Atlit prison was surrounded by barbed wire fences. This vision alone was enough to remind many prisoners o...more
Julie
Life is a journey filled with people, places and events over which we often have no control. In spite of the circumstances that bring these young women together, they have all survived the Holocaust. They cautiously bond and create a family to replace the families they have lost and together find hope for the future.

I read this book in 2 days. I could not put it down. At the end, I was sobbing! How can we not be touched and appalled by the tragedy of this period of history? How can we not be ins...more
Carrie
Just finished this book and loved it! It was at various times touching, brutal and raw. I have read other memoirs about The Holocaust but this one was different. I had no idea that such a thing as Illegal Immigrant camps existed for survivors of the concentration camps in Isreal after the war. It was disturbing to read of the conditions those poor people were exposed to after having just survived the greatest atrocity in history. Diamant's writing is vivid and prosaic. The women of the narrative...more
Ellenh
I had no idea that the Jews were interned as illegal immigrants in a Btritish camp on their way to their promised land. Diamaont tells a story of 5 women detained in the British camp Atlit, surrounded by barbed wire not too different looking than the concentration camps that some had been freed from. Although it was confusing to move to a different woman in each chapter, the story captured me and I read it quickly.
As so often happens after reading a good historical novel, I am motivated to rese...more
Charlaralotte
Had never heard of the Atlit Detention Camp before, and found the entire history fascinating. The stories of the four main women were well-drawn and well-interwoven.

I'm glad that so many books are now being published about the aftermath of WWII and how the modern state of Israel came into being. It's quite easy to look at the current situation and judge the Palestinians and Israelis by their immediate actions. Entirely different to try to put together the very complicated history of snafus, con...more
Emily
The book does a beautiful job describing moments of compassion and sisterhood and the beauty of the kibbutz. However, parts of it were written too hastily, I feel, but maybe I was spoiled by the rich depth of The Red Tent. I recommend this book to people interested in WW2 and its aftermath, to those, like me, enamored with the idea of the kibbutz, and for people wanting to learn more about the birth of the new Israel, albeit from a very particular perspective.
Dawn
This was sad and hopeful, a up-close look at life for survivors after the Holocaust. I never really knew there was a place like Atlit, or even what a Kibbutz was. These characters were real, and human and trying to figure out how to create a life for themselves after the horrors they had been through and seen. I felt extremely appalled, as I do every time I am exposed to information regarding this horrible time in our history, that it was their fellow human beings who inflicted these horrors upo...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Sep 06, 2009 Tattered Cover Book Store added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tattered Cover by: Indie Next List--#1 September 2009 Pick!
Jackie says:

This book deals with an handful of women at Atlit "displaced persons" camp in Palestine just after World War II. A quota had been set for how many Jews could immigrate to the new Eretz Yisrael, but of course hundreds of thousands more were trying to get in. They got rounded up and sent to these camps, run by the British, which were heartbreakingly similar in appearance to the concentration camps that many of them had just gotten out of. The treatment was far better, but they were sti...more
Nancy
I was drawn to this book for two reasons: first, I hoped that this novel would be as powerful and engrossing as her earlier book, The Red Tent. And, second, I am reading WW2 and post-war novels to improve on my understanding of that period and the effects of the Nazi regime.

Diamant is clearly well-versed in Jewish history and the book feels capably researched and personal. It opened my eyes to the ongoing suffering of European and Middle-eastern Jews after the war but, as a story, I wanted more....more
Jena Gardner
I LOVED this...it really made me re-examine what I know about the Holocaust. Not that what I have learned is not true, just sadly incomplete. What did I imagine happened to these people when they escaped or were liberated? Most had no homes or relatives to return to and were set adrift amongst a population that viewed them with disgust, fear, and pity. This book follows several women who have survived the experience of being Jewish in such a terrible time in a variety of ways, some in hiding, so...more
Jean
I knew this was going to be well written because it is by the author who wrote The Red Tent and I just loved that! This was interesting because it was about an era in post WWII history that I knew nothing about...Atlit, the internment camp run by the British in Haifa where they kept Jewish Holocaust survivors who were attempting to emigrate to Israel from other countries. The novel is based on a true incident in October 1945 when 200 of the internees were helped to escape to a local kibbutz. Fou...more
Elisha (lishie)
Reading historical fiction books based on factual times & people, time & again I am amazed by the resiliency of the human spirit. It sounds cliche but... it's not. Read this book. If you think it is a "happy" story because it's about "survivors" you are incorrect or deceived. It is extremely horrifying what humans can do to each other, especially with knowledge. This was a difficult but good read. I sobbed continuously & truly felt for the people, especially the four: Leonie, Tedi, Z...more
Donna
A rarely explored post WWII experience, this is the story of four girls who become friends in Atlit, an interment camp for illegal immigrants in Isreal. Their war time experiences are all very different: resistance fighter, death camp survivor, unwilling collaborator & a victim of the whims of fate, betrayed twice by those she was sent to for protection only to seize a lucky escape. This is a story of survival and the struggle to have a life after losing everything but.

While not as involved...more
Allyson Langston
Okay, so I LOVED the Red Tent, by the same author. This one--not so much. It's about a group of women who are kept together in a "camp" in Palestine post WWII. While it's an interesting look at the relationship between the Jews and Palestinians pre-Israel, I never really "felt" any of the characters. The perspective shifts so much that I had difficulty feeling "close" to any of the characters. I was disappointed to not have loved this book, as my expectations were high from The Red Tent. Maybe i...more
Judith Yeabsley
I rarely have the spare emotional energy to cope with books on harrowing topics such as the holocaust. However, I decided it was time so picked this up at the library thinking that if it were too hard I'd just stop reading. The book did evoke some awful imagery but was very much focused on the relationships between 4 girls. They were interred in Palestine awaiting release by the British from a holding camp after they had survived the Nazi regime in 4 very different ways. What stays with me still...more
Kathy
I didn't know much about the post WWII creation of the state of Israel so that was interesting. However I would have preferred less character dialogue and more historical fact presentaiion. Some of the dialogue was hard to follow with lots of characters and conversations. I had a bit of trouble keeping them all separate in my mind. The last third of the book was the best portion.
Julie
Day After Night follows 4 young women who have survived the Holocaust, and attempted to immigrate to Palestine only to find themselves imprisoned by the the British as illegals. While my family was all in the US before 1933, the synagogue I was raised in was full of Survivors. Having heard some of their stories first-hand, and as a young child, I typically find Shoah related fiction unbearably intense. While the events in Europe formed the backdrop to Day After Night, the horrors were far enough...more
Sarah
20/1 - I enjoyed this book as I do all books (that I've read so far) related to the first or second World Wars. I didn't know that the British continued to keep the concentration camp survivors in fenced camps and reading about it made me very angry. It must have made the survivors feel as if they hadn't been rescued after all, as they were still locked up. I was disappointed to read that the four best friends never managed to contact each other again and only found out about some of the major e...more
Sharon
This is yet another tale about the holocaust, but with a slightly different flair. Told from the perspective of four young women, this is the story of Atlit, an internment camp near Jerusalem, run by the British, for the purpose of controlling the immigration of Jews from all over the world at the end of WWII. Even though they were not being tortured and annihilated, the Jews in this camp were being imprisoned against their wills. Meanwhile, the Jews in Jerusalem welcomed them, and conspired to...more
Susie
It was a good read. Not the best, enjoyable, and a different book than I expected, it was more a novel about relationships with some holocaust experiences thrown in rather than information and stories about post WWII Jewish experience in Palestine. I suppose that's a ton easier to write about than doing massive amounts of historical research. I would recommend it, it's just not THE best.

Just a few things that bothered me...

Did she really know the history? She mentioned a British soldier saying s...more
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Anita Diamant is the author of eleven books and one on the way. She is best-known for her first novel, The Red Tent, which was published in 1997 and won the 2001 Booksense Book of the Year Award. Based on the biblical story of Dinah, The Red Tent became a word-of-mouth bestseller in the US and overseas, where it has been published in more than 25 countries. Three other novels followed: Good Harbor...more
More about Anita Diamant...
The Red Tent The Last Days of Dogtown Good Harbor Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends New Jewish Wedding, Revised

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“Weeping is terrible for the complexion" said Leonie, holding Shayndel close, "but it is very good for the soul.” 10 likes
“Sometimes luck was just another word for creation, which was as relentless as destruction.” 5 likes
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