by Julie Orringer
“Bighearted, gorgeous, historical, suspenseful, everything you want a novel to be” (—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less), a new book inspired by the World War II story you've never heard—the real-life quest of an unlikely hero to save the lives and work of Europe’s great minds from the impending Holocaust
In 1940, Varian Fry traveled to Marseille carrying three thousand dollars and a list of imperiled artists and writers he hoped to help escape within a few weeks. Instead, he stayed more than a year, working to procure false documents, amass emergency funds, and arrange journeys across Spain and Portugal, where the refugees would embark for safer ports. His many clients included Hannah Arendt, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall, and the race against time to save them is a tale of forbidden love, high-stakes adventure, and unimaginable courage.
Reviewed by Debbie Pesses, Former New Orleans JCC Jewish Enrichment Director