The superb Anita Diamant, who wrote the wonderful The Red Tent, writes movingly in Day and Night of four young women held at the British Atlit internment camp in the months leading October 1945.
The war is over, but the legacy of that terrible time will linger for many years. While this is a fictionalised version of four survivors of the Holocaust, of course it’s rooted in real history and sorrow. The girls are from different countries and their war journeys are all very different but they form a bond and begin to learn to trust in friendship again. As illegal immigrants they are being held as prisoners in a British camp and their dream is to be patriated into one of the many Kibbutzes across Palestine.
The novel tells the story of the prisoners’ rescue from the camp and is interspersed with the back story of how the girls survived the war. The loss that they have suffered is heartbreaking and the novel can be hard to read. Poignantly, Anita Diamant includes an epilogue, telling what becomes of the women as their lives progress throughout the years.