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The Light After the War

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Inspired by an incredible true story of two Jewish friends who survived the Holocaust, this sweeping novel of love and friendship spans World War II from Budapest to Austria and the postwar years from Naples to Caracas, perfect for fans of The German Girl and We Were the Lucky Ones.

It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban arrive in Naples. Refugees from
Published February 4th 2020 by Simon Schuster Audio
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Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Having escaped from a train headed to Auschwitz, best friends Vera Frankel and Edith Ban spent the rest of the war working (while hiding) on a farm in Austria. When they arrive in Naples, Vera accepts a job at the United States Embassy and falls in love with her boss, Captain Anton Wight. When Anton suddenly disappears from her life, Vera and Edith get on board a ship headed for the United States and from there their lives change forever. They women arrive in Ellis Island and soon move on to ...more
Holly  B

Two young Hungarian women- Vera and Edith, escape from Auschwitz by jumping of a moving train.

Fast forward to Post War and they are both living in America. They decided to leave Budapest and make a new start.

The author writes that the book is inspired by her mother's life.

Loved reading about Vera and Edith and could feel their bond and friendship. I really enjoyed the book and the characters. This is more of a romance story with surprises along their world travels.

Recommend to fans of
The synopsis is misleading. I did expect a romance based on it's description, but I also expected other elements too due to the narrative about the two main characters, Vera and Edith, fleeing Budapest during WW2. (Really Vera is the main character and Edith is her best friend that supports her throughout the some chapters, Edith is barely seen.)
Vera's time during the war is expressed in flashbacks, and is limited throughout the novel. They are very short flashbacks. Most of the story
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Contemporary author, Anita Hughes, has penned her first historical fiction novel based on her mothers experiences during and after the Holocaust.

Vera and Edith are best friends who narrowly escape the train to Auschwitz, hide on an Austrian farm, and arrive in Naples together. They are starting over. Eventually, the pair travel to Ellis Island and later to Caracas. Inside the pages of this book is the most beautiful story of lifelong friendship. Its a tribute to survival, too. The Light After
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by true events experienced by author Anita Abriel's mother, a Holocaust survivor, "The Light After the War" is the story of a fight for survival, hope and happiness. We travel with best friends Vera and Edith viewing their lives both before and after World War II. In 1944, Hitler ordered German troops to invade Hungary. Vera Frankel, Edith Ban and their mothers were herded onto a train bound for Auschwitz. Mothers Alice Frankel and Lily Ban had a plan. When the train made a stop, a ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christine by: invited to read by Atria via NG
3.5 stars (rounded to 3 stars)

The Light After the War is Ms. Abriels debut novel. I love that it was inspired by her mothers experiences during and after surviving the Holocaust with her best friend after both jumped from a train headed for Auschwitz.

The story is mainly about the postwar lives of Vera and her best friend Edith. The time frame is 1946-1950 when the young women were 19-23 years old with several flashbacks taking place during the war years. The tale takes us from Budapest to
Vera Frankel and best friend Edith Ban had escaped the train taking them and their mothers to Auschwitz and had hidden on an Austrian farm for a year before they found their way to Naples after the war. They were Hungarian refugees; their lives had been in peril Naples meant they could slowly recover, regain their health and find jobs to see them through. Vera began work at the United States embassy while Edith, with her needlework skills, found sewing jobs to keep her going.

The two girls,

I am sorry to say I am calling it quits on this one. I made it to page 92, not a bad effort, and am just not enjoying it at all.

I did set the year I read it at 1990 so it won't count towards this year's reading challenge.

I was hoping this would be historical fiction along the lines of The Lost Girls of Paris or Moloka'i, but it's just not.

To the point where I called it quits, the two main characters are focused on one thing and one thing only, men.

The entire storyline so far revolves around
Two best friends - Vera & Edith stick together through the war and afterwards as Hungarian Jewish refugees trying to figure out their lives at the ripe age of 19. I loved the idea of this novel and appreciated the nuance of these countries and their response at refugees surviving WWII in Europe. I struggled with the connection and the plot holes. I really had a hard time buying some of the incredulous events that took place - not sure if some of it was used for shock factor, but it was a ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is yet another perfectly serviceable WWII historical romance that was lost on me. Based on the editorial, I was anticipating a story of female friendship during and after WWII. What I received was some (not all) schmaltzy writing and a love story. I think its time to step away from the WWII hist-fic. ...more
Kerrin Parris
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read and review The Light After The War by Anita Abriel. This book will be published on February 4, 2020.

This novel is based upon the true story of the author's mother (Vera) and her best friend (Edith) who both manage to jump off the train carrying them and their Jewish mothers from Budapest to Auschwitz during World War II. While distraught about leaving their mothers on the train, the teenagers are able to survive by living in a barn in
Karren  Sandercock
Thanks to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Australia and Anita Abriel for my copy of her book: The Light After The War.
Vera Frankel and Edith Ban are best friends they grew up happily together in Hungary, WW II started and the girls lives are forever changed. Before they know it, the two girls and their mothers Alice and Lily are traveling on a train on it's way to Auschwitz. The girls mothers have a plan, they decide to trick the guard by getting him drunk, steal his keys and get the girls off
Laura • lauralovestoread
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
One of my favorite things about Historical Fiction are the true stories that influence them. I loved author Anita Abriels true story of her mother, who survived the Holocaust.

I also enjoyed the friendship that wound this story together as friends Vera and Edith navigate through life after the war, as war refugees from Hungary. Theres also romance, as the young women search for love, and just another reason why this genre is one of my faves.

*Thank you Atria for the gifted copy for review. All
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a giveaway, given by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Goodreads helps with this arrangement, so that a book can get some early press and buzz. For that reason, I am always a little afraid and quite responsible. Authors put everything into a work, hoping it will soar - and I like to help them get their stories out. Especially if they are worthy. Strong reviews are important to get the word out about a book coming to market.

I needn't have worried! I actually loved
Sarah Swann
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was great! I loved the story and how it unfolded. I got to a point where I was wanting something different to happen, but then BAM! Got hit with something crazy so I was pulled right back in. I ended up really enjoying it!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Two friends who couldnt be separated even by the war.

Vera and Edith had been friends since childhood.

They escaped a train bound for Auschwitz, spent the remainder of the war working on a farm, moved to Naples, tried to settle in New York, then went to Caracas, Venezuela, and then went their separate ways.

In Naples they both found love and both lost love.

We follow both girls in their adventures and heartbreaks and find they never were separated from each other.

The Light After the War is by Anita Abriel, better known as Anita Hughes. This book was inspired by the true story of her mother Vera during World War II, but really it is more about Vera and her friend Edith's stories after the war is already over. I still really enjoyed it and overall found it to be a pretty light read given the subject matter.

There was a lot more romance than I was expecting, and overall the book was a lot different than I had expected it to be. The Light After the War is
Maria Zuppardi
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via Simon & Schuster Canada.

I honestly thought that I would like this book a lot better! But it just fell a little flat for me...maybe it was the plot holes throughout the book that I picked up? The main characters, Vera and Edith, are strong #herstory characters that I think everyone will enjoy getting to know. I just think that some things happened in a sequence that didn't exactly make sense, or weren't explained at all...sometimes, they
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Based on a true story of two friends growing up together in Budapest before WWII, surviving the war and after the war emigrating to Italy, then Americas this novel shows what a true friendship means. A friendship tested through the hardest of possible times.

Naples, 1946. Nazis were defeated and the war was over. Now, the life is beaming with the outdoor cafes overflowed with customers, neighbors stop and talk to each other without any fear. Neapolitans treat every day like a celebration.

Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

Inspired by a family story, author Anita Abriel tells the story of two Jewish-Hungarian women ( Vera Frankel and Edith Ban)that were saved from the horrors of Auschwitz by their mothers and are now grappling to rebuild their lives after the war. As the women journey from Naples to Ellis Island to Caracas, they will face trials in life and in love, but above all will solidify a friendship based on being there for
Using her mothers life as inspiration, Anita Abriel writes an uplifting story about two Hungarian women who managed to escape from a train headed for Auschwitz. In the years that follow, the women manage to survive and follow their dreams in spite of their hardships.

Vera wants to become a writer and is the most level-headed of the two. Edith is interested in fashion and romance. The two grew up as neighbors and are as close as sisters. They have a healthy balancing relationship throughout the
Karen Rush
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Inspired by her mothers life, Abriel has written a beautiful story and has a fresh perspective of the human spirit, covering the lives of two refugee women who meet during WWII and their relationship continuing post-war. A compelling story of romance, adventure and courage with plenty of struggles along the way. ...more
Sherry Chiger
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe if you have a much greater tolerance for coincidences and del ex machina than I do, along with a higher tolerance for lackluster prose, you will enjoy this. I found it simply unbelievable from beginning to end. The cardboard characters fall in love at first sight, get over survivors' guilt with just a few games of chess with a rabbi, and find characters presumed dead thanks to the unlikeliest of circumstances. Eyes "sparkle" and characters "skip" just about every chapter. We're supposed to ...more
Oct 03, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debut
No matter how many WWII books I read, there is always more to learn. Looking forward to this story based on the author's mother's experience.
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Thank you @bibliofinder @atriabooks for sending me a copy of The Light After The War by Anita Abriel.

Vera Frankel and Edith Ban are best friends. They grew up together in Hungary and are taken, along with their mothers, and sent to Auschwitz. Vera's mother saves the girls lives when she pushes them from the moving train and they survive the rest of the war by hiding at a farm in Austria. In 1946, they arrive in Naples, Italy to make a new life for themselves. Vera is haunted by her past and
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Inspired by her mother's story, Anita Abriel's The Light After the War takes readers across the world following the paths of girlhood friends Vera and Edith from Budapest to escaping the Nazis and hiding out in Austria, to Italy and Venezuela.

Believing they had lost their families and loved ones, the girls try to move on with their lives after the war. Edith dreams of becoming a fashion designer and Vera had hoped to be a playwright but settles for copywriting.

The background of Jews migrating
The Lit Bitch
Post WWII era books have become rather popular lately and while I havent read too many of them, I thought it would be good to get a few under my belt.

I have read a lot of post WWI era books which I love, but I havent read too many post WWII era books and this one sounded like it would provide and interesting glimpse of life after the war and I thought I would enjoy seeing how these characters navigated the post war period.

I liked that the story was based on real events as the authors mother was
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
The Light After The War is set during World War II and tells the story of Vera Frankel and her best friend, Edith Ban. Refugees from Hungary, the best friends manage to escape the train carrying themselves along with their mothers to Auschwitz. From there they find shelter at an Austrian farm and hide out for the remainder of the war. Fast forward to 1946, the best friends arrive in Naples determined to start new and successful lives.

This book was well written and captivating. I felt a
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
World War II fiction tends to focus on the wartime experiences of German or French Jews, and most often takes place in France, Germany, or the UK. The Light After the War by Anita Abriel has an interesting difference, in that it is set over about two years immediately post war with two main characters who are Hungarian Jews, and primarily takes place in Italy, and later, Venezuela.

Best friends Vera and Edith are barely seventeen when they escape during transport to Auschwitz from Budapest, and
Jacinda Literature Babe
An absolutely compelling true story, based on the life of the author, Anita Abriel's courageous mother. This delicious work of Historical Fiction takes the reader on a journey- A journey of healing and of forgiveness, of dreams and unimaginable destinies.

Two young Jewish girls, "Vera Frankel" and "Edith Ban"friends since forever, find themselves alone in the world during the last years of WWll. The girls last see their mothers on the human cargo train headed to Auschwitz Death Camp.

The girls
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Play Book Tag: The Light After the War - Anita Abriel, 4 stars 2 10 Dec 30, 2019 11:30AM  

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Anita Abriel was born in Sydney, Australia. She received a BA in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College. She lives in California with her family and is the author of The Light After the War which was inspired by her mothers story of survival during WWII. ...more

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