Customer Reviews for

Day After Night

Average Rating 3.5
( 105 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

From barbed wire to barbed wire: a painful, beautiful story of healing and forgiveness

Day after Night is the latest offering from acclaimed author Anita Diamant (The Red Tent). In this novel, Diamant transport the reader to Palestine, 1945. In the wake of Nazi Germany, the remaining Jews of Europe, recently liberated from the death camps, frail, hollow, ...
Day after Night is the latest offering from acclaimed author Anita Diamant (The Red Tent). In this novel, Diamant transport the reader to Palestine, 1945. In the wake of Nazi Germany, the remaining Jews of Europe, recently liberated from the death camps, frail, hollow, and raw, are now gathered in Displaced People's Camps (DP's) across Europe. Many young people stand at a cross roads. They've lost everything - parents, siblings, friends. They've seen and experienced every horror, and now they must decide what to do with their lives. Should they return to their homes and communities in Europe? Should they take inspiration from the Zionist camp songs of their younger days and immigrate to Palestine? Should they try to find relatives in America? And ultimately: can they even live in the world, after having been through the camps?

Diamant gives us a peak into the lives of five young women - teenage girls, really - each of whom ended up by a twist of fate in Palestine on the eve of Israel's statehood. "Welcome Home!" they are greeted by fellow survivors as they enter the barbed wired gate at Atlit - a prison compound on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, just south of Haifa.

Having arrived in Palestine as a result of different motivations - some Zionist, others desperate, and still others from a sense of having nothing left in Europe, the girls undertake the seemingly insurmountable task of healing. They find themselves alive and alone in a world turned completely upside-down. They've been surviving from day to day for years, and now must adjust once again to a "new normal." Their struggle with this is palpable.

A commonality they share is a great reluctance to remember - to remember the horrors they experienced in the camps. and even more poignant and more painful, to remember what life was like before the camps. Each girl has secrets that cannot be brought into the light of day. Each must battle her inner demons to find peace and self-forgiveness. Each girl finds her healing in different ways and at different times. And despite their tough outward appearances and actions, they support one another.

Within Atlit the detainees break themselves into communities, often by their origins (Romanians, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, etc.). They come together as communities to converse in their native tongues, to ask for information about their neighbors and friends, and pray in familiar tunes. In a particularly moving scene, the entire camp comes together to recite Kaddish at the end of Yom Kippur. So many souls over which to pray.

The number of young people in the camp makes sexual tension inevitable. These are young men and women in their late teens and early twenties. They flirt with each other. They tease one another. At one point a bus of Syrian Jews is brought into the camp (these young men had been captured by the British crossing the border into Palestine). They are muscle-bound, dark-skinned, black-haired men - very foreign and exotic-looking to the pale, thin European girls witnessing their arrival.

Day after Night "has it all" - a wonderful story-line based on some of the most important moments in Jewish and Israeli history; empathetic characters; sex; intrigue; a prison break and chase scene; and even an epilogue to answer the questions of "whatever happened to" so-and-so. It's a beautiful book, from cover-to-cover, full of weepy moments and opportunities to reflect on life and how we play the cards we're dealt.

posted by Amy_D_Z on December 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Enjoyable

I did enjoy this book as I have others by this author, but like others have said, the characters aren't really fleshed out and the reading is light yet emotional. The subject itself is very fascinating. I was sadly touched by the end, but I feel it lends credibility to ...
I did enjoy this book as I have others by this author, but like others have said, the characters aren't really fleshed out and the reading is light yet emotional. The subject itself is very fascinating. I was sadly touched by the end, but I feel it lends credibility to the story. I would mildly recommend this book.

posted by TayMac on December 6, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Enjoyable

    I did enjoy this book as I have others by this author, but like others have said, the characters aren't really fleshed out and the reading is light yet emotional. The subject itself is very fascinating. I was sadly touched by the end, but I feel it lends credibility to the story. I would mildly recommend this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    From barbed wire to barbed wire: a painful, beautiful story of healing and forgiveness

    Day after Night is the latest offering from acclaimed author Anita Diamant (The Red Tent). In this novel, Diamant transport the reader to Palestine, 1945. In the wake of Nazi Germany, the remaining Jews of Europe, recently liberated from the death camps, frail, hollow, and raw, are now gathered in Displaced People's Camps (DP's) across Europe. Many young people stand at a cross roads. They've lost everything - parents, siblings, friends. They've seen and experienced every horror, and now they must decide what to do with their lives. Should they return to their homes and communities in Europe? Should they take inspiration from the Zionist camp songs of their younger days and immigrate to Palestine? Should they try to find relatives in America? And ultimately: can they even live in the world, after having been through the camps?

    Diamant gives us a peak into the lives of five young women - teenage girls, really - each of whom ended up by a twist of fate in Palestine on the eve of Israel's statehood. "Welcome Home!" they are greeted by fellow survivors as they enter the barbed wired gate at Atlit - a prison compound on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, just south of Haifa.

    Having arrived in Palestine as a result of different motivations - some Zionist, others desperate, and still others from a sense of having nothing left in Europe, the girls undertake the seemingly insurmountable task of healing. They find themselves alive and alone in a world turned completely upside-down. They've been surviving from day to day for years, and now must adjust once again to a "new normal." Their struggle with this is palpable.

    A commonality they share is a great reluctance to remember - to remember the horrors they experienced in the camps. and even more poignant and more painful, to remember what life was like before the camps. Each girl has secrets that cannot be brought into the light of day. Each must battle her inner demons to find peace and self-forgiveness. Each girl finds her healing in different ways and at different times. And despite their tough outward appearances and actions, they support one another.

    Within Atlit the detainees break themselves into communities, often by their origins (Romanians, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, etc.). They come together as communities to converse in their native tongues, to ask for information about their neighbors and friends, and pray in familiar tunes. In a particularly moving scene, the entire camp comes together to recite Kaddish at the end of Yom Kippur. So many souls over which to pray.

    The number of young people in the camp makes sexual tension inevitable. These are young men and women in their late teens and early twenties. They flirt with each other. They tease one another. At one point a bus of Syrian Jews is brought into the camp (these young men had been captured by the British crossing the border into Palestine). They are muscle-bound, dark-skinned, black-haired men - very foreign and exotic-looking to the pale, thin European girls witnessing their arrival.

    Day after Night "has it all" - a wonderful story-line based on some of the most important moments in Jewish and Israeli history; empathetic characters; sex; intrigue; a prison break and chase scene; and even an epilogue to answer the questions of "whatever happened to" so-and-so. It's a beautiful book, from cover-to-cover, full of weepy moments and opportunities to reflect on life and how we play the cards we're dealt.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Typically Diamantely Excellent

    Great read! Based on real events, which opened my eyes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    Sketchy and Rushed

    The Red Tent had such an impact on all of us that years later, we are still talking about it. With high hopes, my book club and I read The Day After Night. We were intrigued by the subject matter which has not been touched on in recent literature. With so much written about the Holocaust, we were interested in finding out more about what was happening in Israel right at the beginning. This is the first novel in our experience that touched on the subject. Expecting another revealation, my book club and I were so disappointed with Day After Night. The characters were so poorly described and developed that we kept confusing the women and could not form clear pictures in our heads about their looks and personalities. The story was also simple, redundant and ended so quickly, it felt like a kid in class who had to finish a story because the bell had rung. We are going to see Anita Diamont speak tomorrow night, se we are curious to see what she has to say about this rather intriguing subject, but poorly executed novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Ok

    This book was a dissapointment after reading the red tent! I had high hopes for this one! :/

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2010

    Wow! Highly Recommend!

    Wow! This book gives you another look at what happened after World War II. A view that opens you up to wondering how anyone could survive the atrocities that occurred, how people could go on after losing everything. How could they have any hope or will-power. I am not sure there are many in our society today that could endure and go on. I had never really given any thought to how the people from the concentration camps survived after they were released by the Allies. Unfortunately we teach our children about World War II when they are really too young to think about what happened to individual people. Where they went, how they survived after the War.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Reminder

    This book humanizes the Holocaust, sometimes we tend to put everyone in one category. Each one of these women survived different situations in different ways. Also, when a war is over we tend to forget that the impact of that war will affect that entire generation for the rest of their lives and in turn the lives of those they care about. GREAT BOOK.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the Best

    I never heard of this place and was really given a view of things in the beginnings of Israel that was educational, thrilling and hope inspiring. A must read for all those who love books about Israel and what inspires Americans, like me, to realize the need for Israeli endurance so it never happens again and I really don't think the British, ala this and Cyprus, were very good to the Jews and young people should be made to read this if they care anything about their heritage.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2015

    Great reading....cannot put down

    Excellent story that while sad, is refreshing and uplifting. Makes you want to read all work by Diamant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2014

    Excellent. Highly recommended!

    Loved this story. It was informative but with great character development. Interesting novel about the aftermath of WWII, survivors, and the forming of a new nation. It focused on friendship, hopes, fears and forgiveness of mostly 4 women in a detention camp. This book was well worth my time and money. Another great survival story on th NOOK is The Partisan by William Jarvis. It recently won an Indie Award. Both books deserve A+++++++

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    excellent story

    I am fascinated by WWII stories. Having been born after the war, it was surprising to me how we could have allowed the slaughter of so many Jews. And I had no idea that they continued to be interned after the war. This book seems to be a very personal account of the trials of the people. The characters were very well developed- you could FEEL what they were thinking and going through. I loved the entire story and cried while reading the last several pages. A must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    Interesting but...

    Actually a really original story and that was good . Wish they had not felt compelled to have a forced (instant) love thrown into the story. That felt forced and unfounded.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2014

    I enjoyed

    I thought this was a good read. Offered as a daily deal or a Free Friday about 2 months before The Red Tent mini series on Lifetime. Very difficult to imagine the various hardships these women endured and how they coped and are learning to cope. The story could benefit w/ further character development; I wouldn't have minded a longer read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2014

    Interesting

    Strong women who endured much during the war and were able to see a better life and still had to live through more hardships

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Good but not awesome

    The story is awesome, but the novel seems to not go deep enough into people

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    Three star for subject matter but not the writing

    This time of refugees trying to find safety and turned back as in u.s.a. too fleeing to china and india are all dramantic i was not a fan of the red tent or was our book club so did not ecpect too much of the author but this was really a disappointment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

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    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    midly recommended

    while the topic is extremely interesting and not well-known the book was light. It is an easy read with not much content analysis given the difficult topic. I would have liked to have more in-depth character development and historical background woven into the story.
    However, i read this on an airplane and for this purpose it is a good book.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    Another great book from Diamant

    I read The Red Tent and really enjoyed it so I thought I would give this book a try. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The study of each of the individual personalities and backgrounds all coming together in unusual and difficult circumstances was very well done. I immediately recommended the book to a coworker who enjoyed it as much as I did.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Historical Snapshot

    Recently finished Day after Night and I have to say that I found it a very good and enlightening book. I really did not know about this event. Such a powerful story. I really liked the switch back and forth between the character's stories. Sometimes it was difficult to keep track of who was who as the author switched frequently from one character's story to another, but I think that it worked. If you are interested in WWII and the stories of individuals, I don't think you will be disappointed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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