My love affair with Alyson Richman’s books began with A Mask Carver’s Son, a story written in simple and beautiful language and steeped in 20th century Japanese culture. The reader comes to understand the absolute respect demanded of the son and the craft he chose to continue, using his own interpretation. The mask carver’s son stayed with me long after the book’s last page.
Ms. Richman’s calming voice and graceful words again beckoned me in The Swedish Tango, a story of political ambition and upheaval, its outcasts and their perseverance, characters intertwined yet separate, as they claw their way toward restoration.
And then The Last Van Gogh, which is told through the eyes of the delicate Marguerite, in love with a master we know will break her heart. It is the immersion in 19th century France that brings the story alive and allows the reader an insightful look at the artist and the demons that torture him.
In The Lost Wife, Alyson Richman brings together two worlds, Auschwitz, its history and horror, the lives of the talented artists who survive by their wits, and the story of love, between two innocent children in wartime, between families, prisoners, lost love, and finally reunion in spectacular form. Daisy Ridley will star in the soon-to-be movie of The Lost Wife.
Ms. Richman has invited us into the living room of countries such as Japan, Chile, Sweden, France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, and most recently Italy, in her book, The Garden of Letters. It is the richness of these geographic forays that most entice this reader, as I know I will discover yet another world laid out before me in Technicolor.