Left Coast Writers®: Barbara Ridley - When It's Over (Corte Madera)

Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

World War II envelops Europe and Lena Kulkova flees Czechoslovakia to join her lover, Otto, in England, leaving her Jewish family behind in Prague. But Lena soon finds herself navigating anti-refugee sentiment, wartime deprivations, a new romance with a wealthy Englishman, and the progressive politics that will eventually oust Churchill. Based on family history and a trove of personal letters, When It’s Over is a moving, resonant, and timely debut. 

Coming 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.

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.

Location: 
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
When It's Over Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781631522963
Availability: Backordered
Published: She Writes Press - September 26th, 2017

Coming 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.