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 is the author of When It’s Over. Originally from London, U.K., she has lived in California for over 35 years. She loves the San Francisco Bay Area which is now her home, and likes to spend as much time as she can in the great outdoors. She was born in London and grew up in a tiny village in Sussex. She attended the University of Sussex and then the North London School of Nursing. She worked for 40 years as a nurse and then a nurse practitioner, specializing in the care of adults with physical disabilities. She has now retired from her day job and is focusing on her writing. She lives in the East Bay with her partner and their West Highland terrier MacDuff.