When It's Over: A Novel

Book Cover


1940s & '50s

Barbara Ridley

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When It’s Over is set in Europe during World War II. Lena Kulkova, a young Czech Jewish woman is separated from her family, a refugee in war-torn London.


War, Historical Fiction, Political,

Short Summary

Coming of age in Prague in the turbulent 1930's, Lena meets Otto, a refugee from Nazi Germany, and follows him to Paris, leaving her Jewish family behind. But as WWII breaks out, Otto escapes to England. Lena is unable to get a visa to join him.


Prague, Paris, London, rural England

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age, Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Lena Kulkova

Age: 19

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Educated, Insecure, Naive, Strong Moral Code, Aspiring, Empathetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Otto Eisenberg

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Confident, Decisive, Educated, Lone Wolf, Masculine, Outspoken

Additional Character Details

Name: Milton Calder

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Engaging, Honorable, Romantic, Strong Moral Code, Confident, Educated, Gracious, Visionary, Charming, Empathetic

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

About The Author

Target Audiences

Age: 55+

Target Gender: Female leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: She Writes Press

Year Published: 2017

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed




Lena leaves Prague to get away from her abusive father. She ends up in the city of lights where she meets Otto, a German, trying to escape the Nazis. When World War II breaks out, she leaves for England where she survives and thrive with other young Jewish men and women. Lena's marriage to Otto dissipates as she falls in love with Milton and waits for word of her family after the war ends.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: FAIR

Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

Draw of Story

Lena is a young, vibrant women trying to make her way in the world when the Nazis’ agenda threatens her life and family. She is a very relatable character who still lives her life in the worst circumstances.

Possible Drawbacks

The book is not very gripping especially when dealing with WWII. This shows a different story, because the characters were able to evade Hitler’s grasp. They faced persecution in England but had a much better go of it. This leads to long stretches of the story being about everyday life and experiences that are mundane.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

I would watch this movie to see an alternative journey that a young Jewish woman experienced during WWII. She wasn't in the camps or hiding in an attic but was pushed out of her country and had to build a new life.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a decent fanbase if developed properly. It's not as compelling of a story as audiences are used to when hearing about a Jewish woman from Prague during WWII.

Awards Potential

This could have awards potential if given more gravitas. It feels too lighthearted at times.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

What makes this original is that this deals with crimes against Jewish people during WWII but those who fled before it got very bad. It's the fear for their families, not being about to contact them, and hearing about the atrocities but being helpless.

Lead Characters

The lead character is a strong woman who lives life on her terms. She doesn't let society’s rules dictate how she lives.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an average story. There isn't much of a plot especially with the back drop of WWII. It needs more suspense and drama.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

There should be more focus on the events dealing with the Nazis. Lena’s story shows too much of her everyday life which slows down the story.