Barbara Ridley knew that her mother’s life story was compelling: She’d fled Czechoslovakia before the Nazi invasion, leaving her family and her Judaism behind, and ultimately ended up in England.
While Ridley had recorded her mother’s oral history, she realized after her death in 2002 that “there were a lot of gaps,” Ridley explains on her website. “I certainly didn’t understand many of the details, and my mother never discussed the emotional impact of what she went through. So I thought, well I love fiction, I’ll make up what I don’t know, I’ll write a novel.”
Folding in historical facts about the wartime years in England (including some political insights she gleaned from a stash of letters her father had written), Ridley crafted the historical fiction “When It’s Over.”