Those Who are Saved

Alexis Landau. Putnam, $27 (432p) ISBN 978-0-593-19053-1
In Landau’s powerful latest (after The Empire of the Senses) a Russian Jewish family is separated and forever changed in Vichy France. Vera and Max Volosenkova report to separate internment camps as ordered by the Vichy government in 1940, leaving their four-year-old daughter, Lucie, in the care of Agnes, Lucie’s governess, who takes Lucie to a farm. After Vera and her friend Elsa Freudenberger escape, Elsa is free to pull strings to get her husband and Max freed from their camp. Vera reluctantly agrees to leave Lucie behind, understanding the increased risk of capture if they try to leave the country together. Vera, Max, Elsa, and Leon end up in California as the war continues, where Vera holds out hope for Lucie’s survival with every letter she receives from Agnes. As the defeat of the Germans by the Allied forces becomes imminent, the emotional distance between Vera and Max intensifies, and Vera meets Sasha Rabinovitch, a screenwriter haunted by a suspicion that his biological father was a German soldier whom his Russian-born mother met during WWI. Vera returns to France after the war ends to find Lucie, and Sasha sets her up with a contact from the Resistance, hoping Vera will return to him. Landau brilliantly explores the blurred lines between good and evil as the characters wrestle with their own dire decisions and the choices of those they love. Once this magnetic book takes hold, it doesn’t let go. Agent: Alice Tasman, Jean V. Naggar Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/06/2020
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 717 pages - 978-0-593-39581-3
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