07 November 2014

Day After Night by Anita Diamant, Book review

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (September 8, 2009)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743299848
  • Also available in KINDLE format


  • Just as she gave voice to the silent women of the Old Testament in The Red Tent, Anita Diamant creates a cast of breathtakingly vivid characters -- young women who escaped to Israel from Nazi Europe -- in this intensely dramatic novel.
    Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, a prison for "illegal" immigrants run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa. The story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp with profoundly different stories. All of them survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a hidden Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor. Haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, Shayndel, Leonie, Tedi, and Zorah find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.
    This is an unforgettable story of tragedy and redemption, a novel that reimagines a moment in history with such stunning eloquence that we are haunted and moved by every devastating detail. Day After Night is a triumphant work of fiction.

  • (Photo source HERE)

  • My thoughts:

  • I have to agree with the synopsis' final statement, DAY AFTER NIGHT is a triumphant work of fiction. How else could you describe the fullness in your heart after reading Anita Diamant's phenomenal description of these young women's will to live? 

  • A dramatic account of what a handful of survivors of Nazi persecution faced after the liberation of the concentration camps which held them prisoners, this novel is written with care and respect for the millions of souls who lost their lives and those who fought to rise again from the ashes.

  • Each of the four young women described in this account have different stories, each survived the Holocaust, and their newest status of illegal immigrants in a British military compound weighs heavily on their heart.
  • Just the mere mention of the barbed wire surrounding the camp allows you a glimpse of what each must have felt.

  • For many relocated survivors, there was the realization that no one cared to know what happened to them, what they had lost, what they had suffered and were mourning. There were also those who avoided talks of roundups, forced marches, mass graves and death camps. Those who were lucky enough to arrive first or those who lived already in Palestine were always thirsty for news of their hometowns or relatives. When you had nothing to share, you were asked if you were ready to throw yourself body and soul into Avodah Ivrit, the work of building up the land.

  • Deprived of everything, each young woman shows in this narrative their tenacity to forget the past and make a new future for themselves. The fact that Anita Diamant wove in it the 1945 true story of how more than 200 prisoners escaped from the relocation camp makes it that much more special. 

    A triumphant account of surviving the darkest hours of WW 2, this is a novel about hope and living in its full measure. Well worth reading!!

    5 Stars!!

    Meet the Author:

    Anita Diamant

    Anita Diamant is the bestselling author of the novels The Red Tent, Good Harbor,  and The Last Days of Dogtown, as well as the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. An award-winning journalist whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting, she is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life.

    Visit her website (HERE)

    NOTE: This was a library loan and reflects only my opinion.


    1. Hi Noelle,

      Stories of survival are always so powerfully engaging, aren't they? I sometimes wonder, after watching a film or reading about such strength of the human spirit, how utterly courageous its protagonists were.

      Happy Sunday!


    2. This sounds like a good book, Noelle. I just saw a movie this weekend called "The Book Thief'" and it was wonderful. Have you seen it yet? I loved your comment on my train post. I didn't realize you like trains as much as I do.

      Have a good week ahead. It's already November!


      1. Hello Sheri, Yes, I have seen and reviewed (http://liveanddreamalittledream.blogspot.com/2011/03/powerful-words-voices-and-book-thief.html) the novel and I love it! A rare instance, the movie was as good as the book.
        10 November already and counting the days to my trip home!
        All the best,

    3. I loved The Red Tent - an exceptional book - and will certainly look out for this book after reading your synopsis. Thank you

      1. I have not read it yet and will certainly remedy that asap Marianne.
        Diamant is an exceptional writer. You cannot forget her message!
        God bless,

    4. I'm going to have to dig out my copy and read it sooner rather than later!


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