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.
©2012 Leslie Maitland (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“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)
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!
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I'll be honest. I have a horrible time with books written about the Holocaust. It's just so awful to contemplate and it haunts me for days after the book is over. I was afraid of starting this book for that very reason. Knowing it had been written by a daughter was reassuring that there were survivors.
From the start, the author's training as a journalist is evident. The extraordinary level of research is obvious. She approaches the emotional aspects of the story intellectually as well. Where certain behaviors might have been reprehensible in another book, she really adds to the understanding of motivation.
I would hope that if I ever wrote a book about my family's history, I could do it with such care. Beautifully done. Great book club book.
Change the narrator and the author.
The story seemed to be good, but the narrator was worse than a middle school kid reading a book report and the book was a poorly written high school essay.
No voice training or experience in story narrating. Terrible voice. She's narrating a chronicle. Impossible to distinguish the different characters. Impossible to inmerse into the story or the emotions that make up the story. One thing is to be the author and a character who participates and is a witness of the events in the story, but this does not qualify you to professionally narrate the story.
Remake the entire audiobook.
Yes and no. Reading it in print would have been more challening with the French and German language, and having the author narrate the book did add a few things to it... but I think the book stands on its own either way
I liked the historical and biographical connections. it was very well done
Yes. The story is meant to be savored, not devoured, and Leslie Maitland's narration does succeed to that end
As another reviewer put it, Blackstone could and should have done a better job toward the end of the book of editing out the re-takes. There are several repeats of the same few sentences.
Also, I have to say that I do not agree with the author's final conclusions regarding the love story in this book. She does do a good job of detailing the complex emotions of her parents' lives and marriages, balancing her love for her father with her anger at his faults; I wish she had done the same with the relationship between Janine and her long-lost love.
the narrator was very good and I'm glad she chose to read her own book, making the story that much more real and appealing.
Blackstone Audio needs to take another editing pass through this book. Many, many times a sentence was repeated, especially towards the end - where an interruption, however slight, is unwelcome.
sorry I couldn't even finish it
someone with a little more enthusaism
I have gotten into the second part of three but had to stop. The narration by the author is too weak for my taste.
I love that this story is both a romance and historical. I learned alot and have gained more empathy for those affected by WWII
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