Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Lena Kulkova is a Czech with known socialist connections, a Jewish woman uprooted from her country because of political tensions. When she meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, she follows him to Paris. They have come to Paris to give their support to the Republicans in the Spanish War, but something deadlier awaits humanity. Compelled by the war to remain in Paris, Lena has no news of her family, now living in a Nazi-occupied country. Otto and Lena won’t be together for long as Otto flees to England where he expects Lena to rejoin him later. But Lena can’t get a visa.
The reader follows their gritty story until the two finally reunite, but they are met with a lot of hostilities and discrimination from those not ready to welcome refugees. Follow her as she embraces a new romance and plunges into a political path that will transform her life and allow her to play a role in the overthrow of Churchill. When It's Over: A Novel by Barbara Ridley is inspired by real life events, a story that explores the dangerous climate of WWII, a woman’s quest for love, and the joys and perils of refugees.
Barbara Ridley is a great storyteller with a unique gift for character and setting. I enjoyed her characters very much and it was interesting to see how they fitted into the political setting of the novel. The themes of family, war, love, solitude, and hope are beautifully woven into the fabric of this spellbinding story. When It's Over: A Novel features strong historical references, and follows great public figures, without losing sight of the characters involved in the story. Well-written with awesome dialogues and arresting prose, this story will both entertain and inform readers about what it feels like to be a refugee.