In this improbably joyous novel about two recovering concentration camp survivors, love is the best medicine.
July 1945. Miklos is a twenty-five-year-old Hungarian who has survived the camps and has been brought to Sweden to convalesce. His doctor has just given him a death sentence — his lungs are filled with fluid and in six months he will be gone. But Miklos has other plans. He didn’t survive the war only to drown from within, and so he wages war on his own fate. He acquires the names of the 117 Hungarian women also recovering in Sweden, and he writes a letter to each of them in his beautiful cursive hand. One of these women, he is sure, will become his wife.
In another part of the country, Lili reads his letter and decides to write back. For the next few months, the two engage in a funny, absurd, hopeful epistolary dance. Eventually, they find a way to meet.
Based on the true story of Péter Gárdos’s parents, and drawn from their letters,Fever at Dawn is a vibrant, ribald, and unforgettable tale, showing the death-defying power of the human will to live and to love.
Rating: 5 stars
Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos is by far the greatest read. I love reading anything that features about the Holocaust and the victims during this time period. A moment in history that will never be forgotten by all. The deaths still linger onto the souls that have survived and onto those who have never experienced the fear or danger of the Holocaust. Here, Peter Gardos has brilliantly brought a true story of his parents’ journey and turned it into one memorable fiction piece. It shows how strong the victims are even after the horror has stopped. But we shall find that after going through an unthinkable horror that victims who have survived can go on and maybe find some happiness. But as with all life, fate has other plans. This brilliant novel made me laugh, cry, and root for the victims and their inspirational strength during times of hardness, cruelty, and death.
Fever at Dawn is a novel that hits home immediately due to what lay on its page within…a man who has survived the Holocaust finds that he is dying. But instead of letting death win and take what little time he has left, he finds strength to find love before it’s too late. Miklos has lungs that are collapsing on him. Yet, he wants to find a woman that will marry him before he leaves the world. He decides to write to women who are also recovering and hopes with a something so fierce that it leaves readers with awe…he wants to find love. One woman does find Miklos letters to be magical. She is soon in love with the man who has written her a letter and soon they meet. Miklos and Lili plan on marriage…and maybe this strong man of hers might just live long enough for them to have a peaceful happy marriage…Love, courage, and bravery are strong themes within this riveting tale. I loved reading this book. Peter Gardos has brought his parents’ story to life and left me feeling inspired by it. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.