Join local author Barbara Ridley as she discusses her debut novel When It's Over, set in Europe during WWII. Coming of age in Prague in the turbulent 1930’s, Lena Kulkova meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civli 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 England, and is staying in a small Sussex village, sponsored by the eccentric Lady of the Manor. He urges Lena to join him, but she cannot obtain visa. When Lena and Otto are finally reunited in England, they face anti-refugee sentiment and wartime deprivations, and their relationship becomes strained. Lena plunges into a new romance, and the progressive political movement that leads to the landslide defeat of Churchill in the 1945 election. But she’s desperate for news from her mother and sister.
Based on a true story, When It's Over is timely, moving and resonant.
Barbara Ridley was born in England but has lived in the Bay Area for over 35 years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, she is now focused on creative writing. In addition to the novel, her work has appeared in literary journals such as Writers Workshop Review, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review and Stoneboat.