Friday, July 13, 2012

Day After Night by Anita Diamant

Day After Night tells the story of four young women who survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a French beauty; Tedi, a Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor. They were held captive in the Atlit internment camp until one day they were rescued. Rather than wither and dwell on their horrible pasts, they form friendships and start anew while trying to move on with their lives, even though they are imprisoned. This fictional story is based on the true story of the rescue of over two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp in October 1945. The camp/prison was run by the British military and was situated on the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa.

I adored this book! It's definitely one of the best books I've read all year. The characters were so real and even though their backgrounds and stories were varied, they shared something in common....they all survived. The book starts out by telling the stories about the individual characters, but then branches out with stories about the camp itself and the other prisoners. The final section of the book gives the details of the escape/rescue. I easily kept track of the main characters, but I got a little lost towards the end of the book with the rescuers and guards and had to back track a little. The epilogue was superb! I loved reading about what happened after the rescue.

This subject matter is a little unusual for me. I generally stay away from WWII related stories or any war time stories for that matter. I'm just starting to read more about that time period, but haven't gotten too far. Also, I have read just a few stories about the Jewish experience, but really nothing about their plight during the Holocaust. Most of the stuff I've read was positive and uplifting. Because of this, I don't really have enough background to fully understand what was going on or what the implications were.

I loved that I learned a few things while reading the book. Like I said above I haven't read a whole lot about Jews, so some things specific to them were new to me. The whole story was enlightening, but I also learned about Zionists, Palestine and that Yiddish and Hebrew were different languages. I think I knew this, but not for sure.

New word: Palmach (used in various places): elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Jewish community. They planned and executed the rescue.

Favourite quotes:
Weeping is terrible for the complexion, but it is very good for the heart.(page 93)
Highly recommended. I'm looking forward to reading The Red Tent also by this author. I've had the book on my shelf for some time, but haven't gotten around to it.

For more information about this book, please visit Simon & Schuster's website.

I borrowed this book from my friend and neighbour, Susan.

Day After Night by Anita Diamant, Scribner (Simon & Schuster) ©2009. ISBN 9781439197141(Trade paperback), 292p.


  1. this is a time period that I am not well read in. Too much sad stuff happened then, and being a very emotional person, I find them difficult to enjoy.

  2. I love this time period and read both fiction and nonfiction about WWII. I'm adding this one to my wish list!


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