The Lost Wife Tour
As Reported by Janet Schneider
In conjunction with the Long Island Reads 2012 selection of The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman, the Lost Wife Tour recently returned from its breathtaking 9 day trip to the cities of Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Made up of a congenial mix of librarians, library friends and relatives, the adventurous 23-member tour group was unanimous in its enthusiasm for the trip. According to tour organizer Loretta Piscatella, Adult Services Librarian at Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, NY, ”Our trip included just the perfect amount of settings from the book combined with unforgettable cultural experiences.”
In books such as “The Lost Wife,” it is the combination of geography as well as the richness of the fictitious characters which makes the stories seem so real. For those participating in the Lost Wife Tour, the most moving aspect was a visit to Terezin, better known by the German name Theresienstadt, a fortress and walled town used during World War II by the Gestapo as a ghetto. In particular, tour members were able to picture for themselves the camp’s severe overcrowding. The visit to Terezin also brought to life scenes from the book which focused on a select group of brave artists who besides creating propaganda art for their German captors, managed to secretly record through their art the endless queues for food, horrific conditions and deportations.
In the city of Prague, as well as in Budapest and Vienna, expert tour guides explained their city’s rich histories, including the impact of the post-Communist reality. There were also visits to such highlights as the beautiful streets of Prague, Prague Castle, Bratislava, Buda Castle district and Market in Budapest, Danube River cruise and Vienna museums celebrating the 150th birthday of painter Gustav Klimt. With wonderful local food and drink to relax with at the end of each day, the evenings were truly enjoyable as well.
The Long Island Reads Committee hopes to incorporate more literary landscape tours as programming to celebrate future One Island-One Book selections. According to Nassau County co-chair Janet Schneider, who participated in the tour, “This wonderful Literary Tour brought together a group of us who love both books and travel. I can’t wait for the next one!”
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