Day after Night: A Novel by Anita Diamant
I absolutely, positively 100% hated The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Good thing I downloaded Day after Night: A Novel (2009) to my Kindle before registering that Diamant is the author because I would have missed a very interesting read.
Always interested in well-told stories, fiction and nonfiction, about the Holocaust/Shoah, I see a gap now in my personal reading and learning. Although I knew survivors made their way to then-Palestine after World War II, I never really gave much thought to the actual experience.
Along comes this gem from Diamant about four very different women, explored in detail in alternating chapters, who made their way to Palestine, only to find themselves in a "refugee holding camp," Atlit, the British have established.
Trust me when I say that the Americans would hardly have done better if in charge at the time, but I was still horrified to read that the camp was separated from the rest of the world by barbed wire and armed guards. Talk about surviving hell only to wonder if you've returned there once again in what you thought was the Promised Land. And, yes, Atlit was a real place.
Everything involving refugees and legal immigration is always so political, though, and certainly never fair, including down to the present day in the United States. If you're from the "right" country, getting into the United States legally isn't so very difficult; if you're from, say, Mexico, your chances of entering this country legally are almost zero.
To read about the politics related to the Holocaust survivors, while sad, fits that pattern perfectly.
After three months in Atlit, October 1945 brings a rescue attempt, also a true historical event. And then what happens to these women the reader has come to know and appreciate?
If you have an interest in the Holocaust or stories about completely starting your life over again, I think the women in Day after Night will stay with you.
Learn more at Diamant's site here.
My overall personal rating of Day after Night is a B+.