When It's Over
Barbara Ridley (Author)
DescriptionComing of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. As the war in Spain ends and a far greater war engulfs the continent, Lena gets stuck in Paris with no news from her Jewish family, including her beloved baby sister, left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Otto, meanwhile, has fled to a village in England, and urges Lena to join him, but she can't obtain a visa.
When Lena and Otto are finally reunited, the safe haven Lena has hoped for doesn't last long. Their relationship becomes strained, and Lena is torn between her loyalty to Otto and her growing attraction to Milton, the son of the eccentric Lady of the Manor. As the war continues, she yearns to be reunited with her sister, while Milton is preoccupied with the political turmoil that leads to the landslide defeat of Churchill in the 1945 election.
Based on a true story, When It's Over is a moving, resonant, and timely read about the lives of war refugees, dramatic political changes, and the importance of family, love, and hope.
She Writes Press
September 26, 2017
5.4 X 1.0 X 8.5 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author
Barbara Ridley was raised in England but has lived in California for more than thirty years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication in numerous professional journals, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in literary journals, such as The Writers Workshop Review, Still Crazy, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review, and BLYNKT. This is her first novel. Ridley lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and her dog, and has one adult daughter, of whom she is immensely proud. Find her online at www.barbararidley.com.
2018 IBPA Ben Franklin Awards Finalist in Fiction: Historical 2017-2018 Sarton Women's Book Award Finalist in Historical Fiction 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in First Novel 2018 International Book Awards Finalist in Fiction: Historical 2018 Reader's Favorite Book Awards Finalist in Fiction--Historical 2018 American Fiction Awards: Finalist in Historical Fiction "In extraordinary times, a single decision can mean the difference between life and death...When It's Over brings the forces of history to a very human level." --Booklist "...Lena is drawn as a woman with a mind of her own. Her relationship with Otto is more a story about discovering what love is than one of chasing it....Romantic or otherwise, Lena's relationships lead her toward what she wants in partnership, in politics, and in life....she continually struggles with what it means to keep up with mundane necessities like buying milk and bread while the world is on fire. Her contemplations offer a comforting solidarity for anyone living in challenging times....Romantic without triteness and intelligent without laboriousness, seeing When It's Over appear as a BBC miniseries in the ilk of Call the Midwife wouldn't be a surprise. It's a sweet read, with thoughtful, touching storytelling to provide balm and resonance for our most human selves." --Clarion Review "Compelling and complex, with a strong female protagonist, When It's Over adds a much-needed fresh perspective to the canon of World War II literature." --Lori Ostlund, author of The Bigness of the World "A vividly realised story of wartime lives. This beautiful novel weaves an enchanting path through bravery, sadness, unexpected love, and sparkling hope. Barbara Ridley's heartfelt wartime novel When It's Over, will remind you of why you love reading. An involving story, utterly convincing in its historical detail." --Amanda Hodgkinson, author of 22 Britannia Road "Barbara Ridley is a great storyteller with a unique gift for character and setting... The themes of family, war, love, solitude, and hope are beautifully woven into the fabric of this spellbinding story.. [which] will both entertain and inform readers about what it feels like to be a refugee." --Readers' Favorite "A brilliant novel..... a coming of age story about family, love, politics, grief, and hardship in a war-torn country." --OnLine Book Club Review "...a haunting story of love and loss, politics and prejudice." --East BayTimes "Lena's beautifully developed character, Ridley's commanding sense of place, and a well-drawn supporting cast bring this intricate historical fiction vividly to life." --Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of Even in Darkness "...it was intriguing, yet heartbreaking, to read about the war from the perspective of those who are safe but whose families are trapped." --Historical Novel Society "With rich, sensuous details, Barbara Ridley captures the tumultuous 1940s in England, transporting you with a captivating story about love, loss and war." --Nina Schuyler, author of The Translator "This fraught love story brings to life passionate, personal, and political struggles in the face of paranoia and prejudice in wartime England. It's a story that resonates with the tensions and blindness all too apparent in the twenty-first century." --Desmond Barry, author of The Chivalry of Crime