When It's Over

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
356 Pages
Reviewed on 02/17/2018
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Author Biography

Barbara Ridley was born in England, but has lived in California for over 35 years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in journals such as Writers Workshop Review, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review, Blood and Thunder and Stoneboat. Her debut novel, When It’s Over, (She Writes Press, 2017) is set in Europe during WWII, and is based on her mother’s story as a Holocaust refugee. She felt compelled to write this book after her mother's death, as a way of preserving her story, and hope readers will see some comparisons with the plight of refugees in today's world.

    Book Review

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 When It's Over: A Novel features strong historical references, and follows great public figures, without losing sight of the characters involved in the story.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.