The Flight Portfolio

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer is a novel about a little known refugee rescue operation based in Marseille in the early years of WWII. The Nazi’s are tightening the noose in occupied France and Varian Fry has been sent by a committee in New York to arrange for the escape of designated artists and writers. Varian is a real figure, the rest of the characters, other than the recognizable artists, are fictional. It is a gripping story that weaves wartime love affairs, friendships, and narrow escapes into a very well written novel full of characters you come to care about. The author did a tremendous amount of research, which shows in the realistic descriptions and a strong sense of place.