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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos

Fever at Dawn - Gárdos Péter, Elizabeth Szász

It’s July 1945 and Miklos is seriously ill having just barely survived the Nazi camps during WWII.  In a Swedish hospital, Dr. Lindholm said he has no more than six months to live; he has incurable Tuberculosis (TB).  Impulsively, Miklos began seeking a wife.  He wrote to Hungarian women in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Sweden —  117 letters in all.  He had beautiful handwriting with “shapely letters” and “elegant loops.”  Lili Reich was one of the few who took the time to respond. He tells his friend, “… she’s the one.”  She was a patient at the Smalandsstenar rehabilitation hospital.  After many letters, they finally agreed to meet.  He traveled quite some distance.  Lili had also suffered during the war and was left in a very frail state from the brutality she’d endured within a Nazi camp.


Peter Gardos is the author.  He is also the son of Miklos and Lily.  He tells this sweet romantic story from the letters exchanged between his parents – two people who survived the Holocaust.  This book was originally written in Hungarian, so I’m not sure if it was due to translation issues, but the writing told in third person is broken periodically referencing ‘my father’.  The story was charming, and of course based on reality, but I didn’t feel the author personified the emotional level I would have expected of their relationship.  Rating: 3 out of 5.