Those Who Are Saved

Putnam. Feb. 2021. 432p. ISBN 9780593190531. $27. F
DEBUT In the spring of 1940, on the eve of the German invasion, Vera and Max travel with their four-year-old daughter Lucie to the French seaside for a brief escape from the growing tension in Paris. When instructed by the occupying German authorities to report to Gurs Internment Camp, the parents decide to send Lucie away with her nanny to hide in the countryside. Using wit and connections, the couple escape, eventually landing in Hollywood, but they must leave Lucie behind. The news from Europe worsens, but Vera is determined to be reunited with her daughter. Landau’s focus on a small cast of characters allows her to develop detailed settings and experiences for them to move through. She thoughtfully juxtaposes moments of daily life with the broader scale of war. Family relationships and romantic connections help build the story’s framework but don’t go into much depth. History buffs will appreciate the research that went into this book, including more than 20 titles provided in the author’s reading list.
VERDICT Readers looking for a strong foundation of historical fact blended into a fictional story, with the research sources to back it up, will find that mix right here.
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