Leslie Maitland is an award-winning former New York Times investigative reporter whose mother and grandparents fled Germany in 1938 for France, where, as Jews, they spent four years as refugees—the last two under risk of Nazi deportation. In 1942 they made it onto the last boat to escape France before the Germans sealed the harbors. Then, barred from entering the United States, they lived in Cuba for almost two years before immigrating to New York.
This sweeping account of one family’s escape from the turmoil of war-torn Europe hangs upon the intimate and deeply personal story of the passionate romance between Maitland’s mother and a Catholic Frenchman. Separated by war and her family’s disapproval, the young lovers—Janine and Roland—lose each other for 50 years. It is a testimony to both Maitland’s investigative skills and her devotion to her mother that she successfully traced the lost Roland and was able to reunite him with Janine. Unlike so many stories of love during wartime, their's has a happy ending.
“A mesmerizing memoir of one family’s shattering experience during World War II. It’s a tale at once heartbreaking and uplifting.” (Linda Fairstein, New York Times best-selling author)
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I didn't want it to end..absolutely wonderful!
The author was also the narrator and she did an outstanding job. The story itself was incredible..a young Jewsih woman escapes France at the last moment before the final deportations. She leaves behind her fiancee and they vow to reunite after the war. The book covers her escape to several different countries and spans the next 50 years of her life. The author has so much love and feeling for all of the characters which makes this an extra special experience. I highly recommend this book!
There are too many to count.
She is the daughter of the main character and mother and daughter have always had an extremely close relationship. They know more about each other than an author outside the family could ever find out. You can hear this in her voice. She also can speak French and some German which really adds to the reading.
Be prepared to fall in love with these characters!
Meticulous writing and research