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Day After Night

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  11,637 Ratings  ·  1,553 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, t
Audio, 294 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2009)
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Deborah yes, I really did not realize they were in a camp until halfway through the book

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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
It is 1945 and the war has just ended. Those released from the concentration camps must now decide what the remainder of their lives, devoid of loved ones and homes, will be. This is the story of some of those displaced women who opt to go to Israel, which is being governed by the British. They find themselves in another camp, and although this one is not the cruel and deadly ilk of the ones they have already known, it is still ringed with barbed wire and it still feels like a prison.

The story c
Oct 11, 2009 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Good historical to follow

I have had The Red Tent on my TBR list for a while and have wanted to read Anita Diamant for a while. When I was looking for a new audio they had this one and I grabbed it. So glad I did. The audio was done wonderfully and may have even brought this story to life for me more that reading it would have. I loved hearing the accents and the changes in voice and tone that the narrator did. Excellent.

I had not heard of Atlit, which was a camp for Jewish deta
Liza Perrat
Apr 11, 2017 Liza Perrat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartbreaking true story, excellently narrated, but that ends on a note of hope. Another great book from master storyteller, Anita Diamant.
Apr 19, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Oct 24, 2009 Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanette by: Charisse
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
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
Jan 15, 2011 Anya Yankelevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2012 Shana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 14, 2009 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 14, 2009 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 24, 2010 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 06, 2009 Ellenh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elizabeth (Alaska)
It is difficult to add something new to the many reviews of this book. The GR description has a few superlatives that might not belong, but the basics are there: the rescue of Jewish prisoners held by the British in post WWII. The scenes and basic plot are true to history, only the names and their part in this piece of history are changed.

Rarely do I think an author has not said enough, but this is one where I wanted a bit more. The characters were well drawn, and we got the back story of how ea
Dec 25, 2009 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 04, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 21, 2017 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
My least favorite thing about historical fiction is that it's all either about the Tudors or WWII in France. Or it's romance. So there's that. So when I find a book that's blatantly not about the same old historical ground that's been trod into the mud, I get excited. I get especially excited if it's about a piece of history I know nothing about.

Enter Day After Night. I picked it up because I loved Diamant's The Red Tent and Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers, so I wanted to relive the magic of th
WWII continues to be a very rich and diverse source of material for novels both entirely fictional and those based on historical incidents. One such incident was the escape in 1945 of 200 refugee immigrants in a British illegals displacement camp in Israel with the help of Jewish settler partisans. The escape happens towards the end of the story, but the escape is not really what the book is about. It is about four young Jewish women, none older than 21, who have all been displaced by the war in ...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
Julie Christine
Sep 18, 2009 Julie Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie Christine by: NY Times
This historical novel of an internment camp run by the British military in Palestine after WWII is written with such tenderness and defiance. Diamant has a palpable need to speak for these women- each character representing the thousands who were forced into hiding or into concentration camps or to become killers or prostitutes in order to survive.

These women survive the war, with emotional wounds too deep to fathom, and make their way to Ertez Yisrael- the Promised Land. These Jewish survivors

Anita Diamant's Day After Night is based on the true event of over two hundred prisoners, who having survived the Holocaust and the Nazis, only to find themselves imprisoned again as illegal immigrants after "making their way to their ancesteral homeland," Palestine. Although, I have read many Holocaust survivors' books, fiction and non-fiction, I was not aware of this post-WWII British run internment camp, Atlit,near the Mediterranean coast or of their resulting escape. Although Diamant's novel
Barbara L.
Sep 11, 2009 Barbara L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book yesterday and stayed up a good portion of the night to finish it. It had me hooked from the very first page. This is the story of four young women, Holocaust survivors all, who are interned in the Atlit Detention Center in 1947 Palestine. The book blends the story of each young woman's Holocaust experience with their life at the internment camp and the struggles, physical, emotional and spiritual, that they endure. There are obviously some very sad parts but the overall tenor ...more
“The nightmares made their rounds hours ago. The tossing and whimpering are over. Even the insomniacs have settled down. The twenty restless bodies rest, and faces aged by hunger, grief, and doubt relax to reveal the beauty and the pity of their youth. Not one of the women in Barrack C is twenty-one, but all of them are orphans.”

In 1945, over 200 prisoners in an internment camp in Israel were rescued and smuggled into various kibbutzes around the country. The camp was run the British military
Jan 28, 2010 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 05, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest being THE BOSTON GIRL.

Addie Baum is THE BOSTON GIRL, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to the wider world of the 1910s and ‘20s: short skirts, celebrity
More about Anita Diamant...

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“Weeping is terrible for the complexion" said Leonie, holding Shayndel close, "but it is very good for the soul.” 13 likes
“Sometimes luck was just another word for creation, which was as relentless as destruction.” 7 likes
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