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Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of Bolivia As a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-rega Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of Bolivia As a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-regarded opera singer, her beloved and charismatic older brother holds the neighborhood in his thrall, and most of her eccentric and wonderful extended family live nearby. Only vaguely aware of Hitler's rise or how her Jewish heritage will define her family's identity, Orly spends her days immersed in play with her best friend and upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they dream up vivid and elaborate worlds, where they can escape the growing tensions around them. But in 1938, Orly's peaceful life is shattered when the Germans arrive. Her older brother flees Vienna first, and soon Orly, her father, and her mother procure refugee visas for La Paz, a city high up in the Bolivian Andes. Even as the number of Jewish refugees in the small community grows, her family is haunted by the music that can no longer be their livelihood, and by the family and friends they left behind. While Orly and her father find their footing in the mountains, Orly's mother grows even more distant, harboring a secret that could put their family at risk again. Years pass, the war ends, and Orly must decide: Is the love and adventure she has found in La Paz what defines home, or is the pull of her past in Europe--and the piece of her heart she left with Anneliese--too strong to ignore?


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Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of Bolivia As a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-rega Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of Bolivia As a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-regarded opera singer, her beloved and charismatic older brother holds the neighborhood in his thrall, and most of her eccentric and wonderful extended family live nearby. Only vaguely aware of Hitler's rise or how her Jewish heritage will define her family's identity, Orly spends her days immersed in play with her best friend and upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they dream up vivid and elaborate worlds, where they can escape the growing tensions around them. But in 1938, Orly's peaceful life is shattered when the Germans arrive. Her older brother flees Vienna first, and soon Orly, her father, and her mother procure refugee visas for La Paz, a city high up in the Bolivian Andes. Even as the number of Jewish refugees in the small community grows, her family is haunted by the music that can no longer be their livelihood, and by the family and friends they left behind. While Orly and her father find their footing in the mountains, Orly's mother grows even more distant, harboring a secret that could put their family at risk again. Years pass, the war ends, and Orly must decide: Is the love and adventure she has found in La Paz what defines home, or is the pull of her past in Europe--and the piece of her heart she left with Anneliese--too strong to ignore?

30 review for Exile Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    4+stars rounded up. “In 1933, Hitler is appointed chancellor of Germany. The Dachau concentration camp is established near Munich.” “In July 1937 the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps open tge Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. “ “In late April 1938, the Gestapo rounds up some fifteen hundred Jews deemed ‘unwilling to work’ and sends them to concentration camps.” “On August 8, 1938, Nazis open the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.” “On Jan 30, 1939, Hitler announces his desire to anni 4+stars rounded up. “In 1933, Hitler is appointed chancellor of Germany. The Dachau concentration camp is established near Munich.” “In July 1937 the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps open tge Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. “ “In late April 1938, the Gestapo rounds up some fifteen hundred Jews deemed ‘unwilling to work’ and sends them to concentration camps.” “On August 8, 1938, Nazis open the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.” “On Jan 30, 1939, Hitler announces his desire to annihilate all the Jews of Europe.” The dated chilling and haunting facts announced at the beginning of many of the chapters show the progression of what Hitler and the Nazis are doing in Europe, foreshadowing the horrific events of the Holocaust that we know is coming. There are millions of Jews who end up in the concentration camps and become part of Hitler’s annihilation, but there were others who whose lives were saved because they were able to flee. It seems I always have something new to learn about the Holocaust as depicted in this story of how Jewish refugees were taken in by Bolivia, as they desperately try to escape the horrors of Hitler and the Nazis. This beautifully written novel brings this to life in its fictional telling of a family who leave Vienna for LaPaz in search of safety. The story is told by Orly reflecting back on her past beginning when she is 5, in her world in Vienna, where her innocence abounds with a stuffed rabbit Lebkuchen and a fantasy place with her best friend, Anneliese, amidst her parents’ musical and almost magical lives. The writing drew me in from the beginning. I highlighted so many passages that struck a chord with me. “When I think of Austria, I remember what a child remembers —details as vivid as the bright shards of a dream. The coffee-warmed air of the kitchen. The rough fabric of my father’s suits against my cheek. The chalk dust of my classroom tickling my nose. The ice-crusted snow in the Jesuitenwiese meadow that cut my eyebrow open when I fell off the toboggan halfway down the slope. My Anneliese. “ But that innocence is shattered just as the shops and homes and synagogues are on “Kristallnact”. They are forced to leave their home, their family, their music, their son Willi, and Annaliese, Orly’s best friend. While they survive the worst of the concentration camps, their plight and flight is heartbreaking. They have their lives, but have lost so much. Since the story is told by Orly and it’s her heartbreak we see front and center, as the story progresses and the years pass, we see her growing love for her new home and the people there, and her own music. Her mother’s struggle is unbearable, though. Her beautiful operatic voice is lost, but the not knowing about her son is what devastates her. The burdens of suffering never going away even after the war. Orly discovers her mother’s dark secret and private war. So much happens in these following years to continue the family’s sadness, but also the wonderful ways Orly finds herself, finding what is home, finding love and a connection between two divergent worlds. The descriptions of the mountains, the flowers, even the potatoes are beautiful. The last part of the novel - simply amazing and I won’t say more to spoil it for future readers. There were a few times when I felt the story could have moved a bit faster, and I originally gave it 4+ stars. I’ve been thinking about this book the last couple of days and I have to round up to 5 stars. I highly recommend this to fans of WWII fiction, and in particular to those, like myself, who believe how imperative is that we never forget what happened. I received a copy of this book from Viking through Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook....read by Jennifer Steil One of MY FAVORITE AUDIOBOOK-*HISTORICAL-FICTION-STORYTELLING* experiences this entire year. For those who think they can’t imagine ‘greatness’ in historical fiction audio-format...,then its only because they haven’t listened to ‘this’ one. ENJOYABLE and HIGHLY IMAGINATIVE .... I cried 3 times ( not bawling - but definitely tears).... I’m soooo in love with this wonderful-world-of-historical-fiction-land.... .......it’s hard to wake from its spell. Thank you...Ma Audiobook....read by Jennifer Steil One of MY FAVORITE AUDIOBOOK-*HISTORICAL-FICTION-STORYTELLING* experiences this entire year. For those who think they can’t imagine ‘greatness’ in historical fiction audio-format...,then its only because they haven’t listened to ‘this’ one. ENJOYABLE and HIGHLY IMAGINATIVE .... I cried 3 times ( not bawling - but definitely tears).... I’m soooo in love with this wonderful-world-of-historical-fiction-land.... .......it’s hard to wake from its spell. Thank you...Marilyn, (for the direct recommendation), Angela, Tammy, Janet, Jillian, Ulla,Katie, Amy, Karren, Candace, Kate, Christie, Penny, Suze, Jessica, Rachel, Jean, Jo Ann, Ava, Margo, Lisa, Kim, Judy, April, Cheryl, Stephanie, Irene, Ellen, Melanie, Pam, Marcia, Joanne, Amy,Emily, Nancy, Heather, Charlotte, Mimi, Charlotte,Linda, Pamela, Darlene, Donna, N, Erin,Janis, Kim, Mary, Gail, Barb, Olivia, Merle,Morgan, Ginny, Suzanne, Aimee, Mitu But Chi, Heather, Jeanne Michele, Amy, Andrea,Susan, Camille,Evie,Amanda,nLaura, Eileen, Denise, Debbie, Kathei, Renee,Laura, Tara,Lisa,Marge, Sarah, Suzanne,Donna, Erica, Tamara,,Bob,Tucker, Wade, Lucy, Donia, Helen, Amy, Sue, ( only 1 star), Diana, Renee..... I ENJOYED ALL THE ABOVE READERS REVIEWS!! Me..... I’m speechless....AND......have sooo much to say at the same time. I’m soooo moved....soooo satisfied .....SO FULFILLED....wanting MORE.... of WHATEVER **THIS** experience was!!!! .....incredibly ENGAGING storytelling.... It’s a GORGEOUSLY WRITTEN NOVEL..... ....Once in a while I was floored at ‘myself’ for LOVING EVERY WORD....all those flowery sentences, too. It’s so lyrically descriptive that normally I might start the tire at so many visual descriptions....but not at all!! I was literally swept away!!!! I’m going to rest my brain and body… but I might come back - ha....if I can find the energy.....and re-write my own more descriptive review. Thank you to all the readers before me. GOD I LOVED IT!!!! At least....**Marilyn? can we phone chat this book? Other suggestion?... MORE BOOKS LIKE THIS PLEASE? ....Swept-away-effortless storytelling???? I’m all ears..... For others looking for that swept away feeling.... ....IN AN AUDIOBOOK? ....look no further....than “Exile Music”. To Jennifer Steil: Magnificent writing ....incredible draw-us-in-writing.... putty-in-your-hand. Thank you! I’ll read your books again! Note of interest: Bolivia’s Oskar Schindler saved 10 times as many Jews from the Holocaust.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    A musical family flees the holocaust by emigrating to Bolivia. To the best of my recollection, this is a little-known story. In addition to escaping the horror escalating in Austria, Orly leaves behind her best friend, the aesthetic richness of Vienna, as well as her beloved older brother and other family members. Being ten years old, she is able to adjust to the cultural differences, learn the language, and appreciate the country for what it is. Her father is able to flourish through his music A musical family flees the holocaust by emigrating to Bolivia. To the best of my recollection, this is a little-known story. In addition to escaping the horror escalating in Austria, Orly leaves behind her best friend, the aesthetic richness of Vienna, as well as her beloved older brother and other family members. Being ten years old, she is able to adjust to the cultural differences, learn the language, and appreciate the country for what it is. Her father is able to flourish through his music but her mother has less success. Filled with loss of many kinds, vengeance, growing up and building a life in a country vastly different from own’s own, ultimately hope reigns supreme.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This fascinating, deftly-plotted and well-characterized novel by the author of The Ambassador's Wife follows a family of Jewish musicians in the 1930's, Austrian natives who never suspect that their loyalty and citizenship will be soon challenged by the darkest of political force. When, in 1939, the borders of most of the world's countries had closed to the Jews, there was still one window. Bolivia, that landlocked country whose Andean capital looms at 12,o00 feet, was accepting applications for This fascinating, deftly-plotted and well-characterized novel by the author of The Ambassador's Wife follows a family of Jewish musicians in the 1930's, Austrian natives who never suspect that their loyalty and citizenship will be soon challenged by the darkest of political force. When, in 1939, the borders of most of the world's countries had closed to the Jews, there was still one window. Bolivia, that landlocked country whose Andean capital looms at 12,o00 feet, was accepting applications for visas. Exile Music is the story of one family's emigration to that farthest shore, and encompasses several overlooked corners of history. Wisely, Steil tells her story through the eyes of their young daughter, Orly, an imaginative child who lives in a world of fantasy, together with her non-Jewish best friend, the downstairs neighbor Annaliese--to whom she is absolutely devoted. The two girls live inside the story of a land in which rabbits live safe from their neighbors and have glorious adventures, a perfect but unconscious parable for what we know is gong to threaten their idyllic childhood. As the noose of the Nazi threat gradually closes around Austria, the musician parents discover that talent and fame is no protection against nationalized hatred. Eventually the violist father is dismissed from the symphony and the singer mother not only from opera roles but from teaching as well. Deprived of their livelihood and eventually, their house, which is owned by the mother but turned over to Annaliese's Aryan family on threat of denunciation, they are eventually forced into the Jewish quarter where they live crushed in with thousands of others to await an uncertain future. Determined to save their teenage son, they send him away to try to make it to Switzerland, while they themselves make the daily rounds of the consulates, where heir desperation is met with denial after denial. Finally, a miracle--Bolivia is still accepting applications. The rest of the novel unfolds from there. What is remarkable about this novel is how nuanced Steil is in her portrayal of the situation of the Viennese Jews. It works because of her wise choice of protagonist, a brave, curious, imaginative child, who see the trees but not the forest. Orly doesn't realize what is coming as her parents do--as a child she is focused on the minutae of every day, and her world is experienced in small details which affect her directly. Steil lets these stand for the whole, and the story moves through eviction, concentration in the ghetto, Kristallnacht, the desperate flight to Genoa, with the fragmented vision of her protagonist, making it both vivid and highly readable. Then we are in La Paz, where Orly's curiosity and imagination, her gift of friendship, opens up a world for her, a world whose the possibilities are out of reach for her parents, broken by grief at the loss of their country and the loved ones they've left behind. Newly dropped into the lunar landscape of Andean Bolivia, they cluster with the other emigres, speak German, and long for a lost world. But Orly, though she has suffered along with her family, is young enough that the strange new world intrigues her. She befriends a young boy who lives in the same house and through him, learns Spanish and begins to send out roots into the new land. She slowly makes friends with a young indigenous girl in the marketplace, learning more about the native culture into which she's arrived. A place of exile to the parents, Bolivia is to Orly a place of its own, and she begins to unravel its secrets. The story follows Orly all the way through womanhood, and the pacing of it, how far the past extends, the scope of the story and the range of its issues, including bisexuality and homosexuality, the extent and limitation of friendship, the meaning and limitation of nationality and many others, is in itself remarkable.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Exile Music by Jennifer Steil was a beautifully written story about a young Austrian girl that grew up during the Nazi invasion of Vienna. Jennifer Steil masterfully wrote about the hardships, horrors, challenges, losses, hopes and struggles and finally the ultimate journey this brave girl and her family endured. The words flowed and held me spellbound. I became so absorbed in the story. Steil effortlessly intertwined the various settings with historical significance. It is a coming of age story Exile Music by Jennifer Steil was a beautifully written story about a young Austrian girl that grew up during the Nazi invasion of Vienna. Jennifer Steil masterfully wrote about the hardships, horrors, challenges, losses, hopes and struggles and finally the ultimate journey this brave girl and her family endured. The words flowed and held me spellbound. I became so absorbed in the story. Steil effortlessly intertwined the various settings with historical significance. It is a coming of age story that will transport you back to one of the darkest times in our history and also offer a ray of hope. Orly Zingel grew up in Vienna, Austria during the 1930's. Her childhood was happy, carefree and full of music. Her mother, Julia, was a renown opera singer and her father, Jakob played the viola in the Vienna Philharmonic. Orly was so used to hearing her father practice his pieces in their spacious apartment and her mother sang all the time. She loved when her mother allowed her to go to the opera and hear her sing on stage. Orly also had an older brother, Willi, whom she adored. He was kind and charismatic. He affectionately called her Peanut and there was nothing he wouldn't do for her. Growing up, Orly's best friend, Anneliese, lived in the apartment directly above her own. Anneliese's apartment was not as grand as Orly's but neither girl seemed to notice. Orly and Anneliese were frequently found in each other's apartment playing with each other whenever they could. They were inseparable. One of Orly's and Anneliese's favorite things to do was to invent stories. They often made up stories about things that would happen in their pretend world of Friedengluckhasenland. In their made up world of Friedengluckhasenland, the two best friends, one Jewish and one not, learned to go there in their minds to escape the growing changes going on around them. When the holiday Fasching occurred in 1938, Orly's and Anneliese's carefree and encompassing friendship was altered drastically. Orly was no longer welcomed into Anneliese's apartment. Anneliese's parents did not want their daughter being friends with a Jewish child. Both girls were devastated. Regardless of the restrictions Anneliese's parents put on their friendship they found ways of defying them. Orly's peaceful life was about to be turned upside down that year with the arrival of the German Nazis. Orly's sheltered life came to a crashing halt in 1938. It was no longer safe for Jews to be in Vienna. Orly's brother, Willi, departed on his own. He would try and escape to Switzerland. Jakob relentlessly tried to obtain visas for his extended family's passage to Bolivia. Bolivia was the only country allowing Jews safe entry. After so many numerous attempts and trips to the Bolivian Consulate, only Jakob, Julia and Orly finally procured refugee visas to a town called La Paz in Bolivia. It was situated high in the Bolivian Andes. They were unable to get visas for Orly's grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Sadly and reluctantly they had to leave them behind and hope that eventually they would be granted visas as well. Assimilating into the culture and acclimating to the language of La Paz was difficult for Orly's family. Orly forged her path with more ease than her parents. There were many Jewish refugees in their community. Slowly, Jakob, Orly's father, found his way through his music. He started giving music lessons to other refugees and then to some of the locals. Jakob even began to play with others and was able to form a band and later created and joined an orchestra. Julia, Orly's mother, had the hardest time adopting to their new life. Always on her mind was her son, Willi. Was he safe? Would he find his way to join them in La Paz? I knew that Jewish refugees found their way to safety in South America. However, in all the books that I have read, I had never heard of Bolivia being a country that opened its arms to Jews during this horrific time. It was quite endearing to read about Orly's life and how she was able to absorb herself into the culture and life of La Paz and became one with it. Her friendships, experiences, and the love she found both in the people around her and in the way she came to feel about Bolivia and La Paz in particular, was beautiful. This was a story that will touch hearts. It was heartbreaking and yet uplifting, beautiful, sad and happy. I highly recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of Exile Music from Viking Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    This epic journey is an emotional roller coaster you don't want to stop. I didn't intend to read it in two days but the storytelling, history, narrative voice - all unbelievably captivating. It's four stories in one; you become deeply immersed in each era, feeling you couldn't possibly be as vested in the next part - and yet you are! From living the privileged life of an artist's daughter, exploring the metropolitan life of Vienna pre-WWII, to living within earnest moments of change as the Third Re This epic journey is an emotional roller coaster you don't want to stop. I didn't intend to read it in two days but the storytelling, history, narrative voice - all unbelievably captivating. It's four stories in one; you become deeply immersed in each era, feeling you couldn't possibly be as vested in the next part - and yet you are! From living the privileged life of an artist's daughter, exploring the metropolitan life of Vienna pre-WWII, to living within earnest moments of change as the Third Reich gained power and Jews lose everything, including narrowly escaping with their lives at every turn. To finally La Paz Bovliva, and the epic journey to get there; the exploration and new identity their lives take is in a vibrant new setting. By the time Orly and Miguel get engaged you can't believe the life you've read about while knowing these characters. Julia and Willi, Anneliese, the Natzi migration after the war to Bolivia as well. Mutti, and her mother's baking. Aunt Thekla and how she survived Auschwitz... It's the fullness of this story that is only matched but an incredible narration - Orly is a relatable, charismatic, strong protagonist who learns/adapts as she grows - seeing life in all its forms!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    1930’s Vienna, Orlita lives with her parents Jakob, her mother Julia and her older brother Willi they have a beautiful family home, her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic orchestra and her mother is a talented opera singer. Orly has never known anything other than love from her parents, extended family and her best friend Anneliese. Her parents have tried to keep her childhood free from the looming shadow of Hitler and his anti Jewish ideas. Orly spends her days at school and in her free 1930’s Vienna, Orlita lives with her parents Jakob, her mother Julia and her older brother Willi they have a beautiful family home, her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic orchestra and her mother is a talented opera singer. Orly has never known anything other than love from her parents, extended family and her best friend Anneliese. Her parents have tried to keep her childhood free from the looming shadow of Hitler and his anti Jewish ideas. Orly spends her days at school and in her free time she and Anneliese make up stories about bunny rabbits and fairy tales. In 1938, Orly's family’s life is changed when the Germans arrive, as we know Jewish people lost their homes, their jobs, children couldn’t go to school, they couldn’t catch public transport or even go for a walk in a park. Willi leaves Vienna first; Jakob knows he must get Julia and Orly out of Vienna while he can. Getting passports and visas is a long expensive process and they manage to find a way out of Vienna, but they have to travel to Bolivia in South America. The Jewish refugees in the small community all help each other, but the family is worried about Willi, the other family members left behind and for years they receive no news. While Orly and her Jakob adapt to living in the mountains, they get over altitude sickness, Julia is depressed and refuses to sing. It’s amazing how quickly children adjust Orly makes friends, with a boy called Miguel, and she learns Spanish. Eventually the war ends, the news about family members they left behind in Vienna is grim and this makes Julia a bitter and very angry woman. Orly is shocked to discover what her mother does and she keeps it a secret from her father. Exile Music, is a historical saga, it’s based around Orly growing up in Bolivia, during the war years and after the war finished. Orly studies at university, she falls in love, she marries and starts a family. It’s a story about, friendship, family, hope, loss and love. I gave the book four stars, I was going to give it five stars until I read the ending, I didn't like it at all and that's my opinion. I will share my review on Goodreads, Edelweiss, Twitter, Amazon Australia and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  8. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    From the first time I heard that Bolivia was one of the countries that offered visas to Jews trying to escape Nazi repression in the 1930s, I wondered how that had worked out. Remote, at 12,000 feet, politically precarious and not known for culture, how did these erudite Europeans fare? This is what Exile Music is about. Orly's parents are musicians and they move in the world of orchestras, opera, and Viennese cafes. It's magic until they can no longer be employed, are moved to the ghetto. Willi, From the first time I heard that Bolivia was one of the countries that offered visas to Jews trying to escape Nazi repression in the 1930s, I wondered how that had worked out. Remote, at 12,000 feet, politically precarious and not known for culture, how did these erudite Europeans fare? This is what Exile Music is about. Orly's parents are musicians and they move in the world of orchestras, opera, and Viennese cafes. It's magic until they can no longer be employed, are moved to the ghetto. Willi, Orly's brother, has already vanished into Switzerland to avoid being sent to a labor camp. They manage to get visas for Bolivia, but must leave everyone else behind, including Orly's dear friend Annaliese, whom she has already realized she may desire as more than a friend. Now they're in Bolivia, where there's no air, it's dirty, they may have to work as farm laborers, and everything is very strange. News takes months to arrive, if it does at all. What sort of community will they create, if they create one at all? Jennifer Steil has written a taut, imaginative novel of loss and discovery. I was completely pulled in and reveled in Orly's surprising sense of adventure, her growth, her daring exploration of who she is. A marvelous book. ~~Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacey B

    Wow. Great book, following suit with her other ones. Read this authors bio. It's quite fascinating.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chrisl

    Recommend. Enjoyed learning about Bolivia. Author caught my attention with her 'Overture' p xiii - "Anneliese shook her head, the ends of her long hair dancing across the paper. 'How could we not have existed? We must have been somewhere.' She traced the outline of her lips with the rubber end of her pencil as she gazed up at the ceiling. At the left corner of her mouth, a faint scar curved upward so that even at rest her lips suggested a smile. 'I know where I was,' she said definitively. 'I was Recommend. Enjoyed learning about Bolivia. Author caught my attention with her 'Overture' p xiii - "Anneliese shook her head, the ends of her long hair dancing across the paper. 'How could we not have existed? We must have been somewhere.' She traced the outline of her lips with the rubber end of her pencil as she gazed up at the ceiling. At the left corner of her mouth, a faint scar curved upward so that even at rest her lips suggested a smile. 'I know where I was,' she said definitively. 'I was in Friedengluckhasenland.' "Fridengluckhasenland. Peace, Happiness, and Rabbits, all stuck together in a single word to make a place. "I stared at her. I was pretty sure that I hadn't existed before I emerged ..." page 124 - "It took more than two days for the locomotive to heave its way up the Andes with its load of refugees and Bolivians, all of us sharing wooden benches that bruised the bones of my bottom. At times, the train hardly seemed to be moving, inching its way up the arid slopes. The cliffs on either side were massive, steep, and bare. Many of our fellow passengers were various shades of brown. They smiled at me and said things in Spanish or another language I wish I understood. I could not remember ever having been on a train with so many smiling people. Nothing the Nazis did with their mouths counted as a smile. page 207 - Wiki 'Camino de la Muerte' (search led to 'Yungas) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yungas (While reading the Yungas article, Dalene Matthee's 'forest books' came to mind https://www.dalenematthee.co.za/en/bo... page 212 - "It was difficult for me to understand why the majority of Bolivians--people native to the country like the Aymara and Quechua--would not have the same rights that the paler Spanish descendants had. The Indians were not even considered full citizens. Miguel told me. Despite my own experience with insensible divisions, this explicit segregation bewildered me. ... "There were different rules for the Indians. If they had Indian names, the Mamani or Quispe, they were simply not admitted to school. If the girls wore the traditional clothes of the cholas, they were not admitted to school. Once I asked Nayra to come to the movies with us and she said she was not allowed ... 'Bolivia' does not allow. ... The Aymara, Quechua, and other native populations were not allowed in the front seats of the tram ... When you were walking on a sidewalk and an Indian was coming the other way, the Indian was expected to step down ..."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This is one of those books that's hard to put down. I read it in two days even though it's over 400 pages. While there are many novels that portray the lives of those who experienced the tragedies of WWII, this one starts there then shows what happens to Austrian exiles who escape to Bolivia. Steil powerfully captures both places--and what it can mean to be displaced due to war and genocide. Ultimately, this books explores the mysteries of human suffering and resilience. It also asks us to think This is one of those books that's hard to put down. I read it in two days even though it's over 400 pages. While there are many novels that portray the lives of those who experienced the tragedies of WWII, this one starts there then shows what happens to Austrian exiles who escape to Bolivia. Steil powerfully captures both places--and what it can mean to be displaced due to war and genocide. Ultimately, this books explores the mysteries of human suffering and resilience. It also asks us to think about revenge in complex ways. The voice immediately swept me into the story. Steil beautifully balances the sentiments of a girl as told through the eyes of the woman she becomes. And woven into the sorrowful aspects of the book are many life-affirming human activities exquisitely offered up to the reader: making music, cooking, writing, reading, experiencing nature, making friends, learning languages, exploring cultures, and falling in love. I also very much appreciated a portrayal of bisexuality that organically emerges from the characters and plot. I was lucky to get an advanced copy. It comes out in May but you can pre-order it, which obviously I highly recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Penny (Literary Hoarders)

    Incredible. Sweeping, moving, my heart broke on every single page. What a beautiful story told to us from the eyes of a young girl, aged 10, on the events before Austria fell to the Nazis, during and their escape to Bolivia and after the war and her grounding herself forever in Bolivia. That is most definitely not summing up this beautiful story of two friends, one girl's flight for safety and building a life no longer in Austria as an Austrian but instead as a Bolivian in Bolivia. Beautiful. Ju Incredible. Sweeping, moving, my heart broke on every single page. What a beautiful story told to us from the eyes of a young girl, aged 10, on the events before Austria fell to the Nazis, during and their escape to Bolivia and after the war and her grounding herself forever in Bolivia. That is most definitely not summing up this beautiful story of two friends, one girl's flight for safety and building a life no longer in Austria as an Austrian but instead as a Bolivian in Bolivia. Beautiful. Just read it because I am unable to properly describe its greatness right now.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suze

    This was a fascinating read, about refugees from Nazi Germany escaping to the only country that would accept them - Bolivia, South America. Imagine uprooting your world to flee for your lives to a country that's completely different in almost every way. Imagine making a new life when everything you knew and loved has been left behind, including loved ones. The family's adaptation to Bolivia is different for each refugee, each family. I found myself wondering if I would be strong enough in charact This was a fascinating read, about refugees from Nazi Germany escaping to the only country that would accept them - Bolivia, South America. Imagine uprooting your world to flee for your lives to a country that's completely different in almost every way. Imagine making a new life when everything you knew and loved has been left behind, including loved ones. The family's adaptation to Bolivia is different for each refugee, each family. I found myself wondering if I would be strong enough in character and heart to move ahead, considering the circumstances. I felt as if I knew the characters personally by the end of the book, as there was much time devoted to introspection of each one. I love that in the books I enjoy. I learned quite a bit about Bolivia, thanks to the detailed descriptions by the author. Highly recommended!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kim Bakos

    Wow, what a wonderful story! I never knew of the refugees from Europe who went to Boliva, and know little about Boliva in general. I know that some Nazi officers went to South America but never knew there were Jewish refugees there as well. I love music and loved the parts where music was so fondly spoken of. As someone who learned Spanish in high school and college, as well as some French, it was fun to test my memory in this book. My grandparents came here from Austria after WW1 and I am so tha Wow, what a wonderful story! I never knew of the refugees from Europe who went to Boliva, and know little about Boliva in general. I know that some Nazi officers went to South America but never knew there were Jewish refugees there as well. I love music and loved the parts where music was so fondly spoken of. As someone who learned Spanish in high school and college, as well as some French, it was fun to test my memory in this book. My grandparents came here from Austria after WW1 and I am so thankful that they never had to live through Hitler's occupation. I found it sad to see that the native people of Boliva were treated as poorly there was blacks and Native Americans have been treated here in the US. This story is so well written and the author had the ability to "grow" the voice of the main character as she started out at about age six and was a middle-aged woman by the end. Not only did her voice have to change as she aged, but the language she spoke in changed as well. As many WW2 stories, there are many parts of this story that are very sad, but in the end, this family, like so many others, triumphed over the persecution that they faced and became stronger for it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    I began reading Exile Music slowly over a couple weeks — enjoying the detailed settings, first of Vienna, then of Bolivia, where Orly learns Spanish and Aymara — and then I was utterly roped in by a twist and devoured the ending. I appreciated the portrayal of simple, pure, childhood friendships. It was also interesting to think about how a young person adapts to a new culture. Recommended for those who enjoy losing themselves in long, beautiful tales.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Literary Hoarders)

    This sprawling novel is heartbreaking, but it also manages to fill you with hope. I adored Orly and her family, and wish I could stay with them longer. I also had no idea that Bolivia opened its doors to Jewish families during WWII when so many countries slammed theirs shut. This is a history lesson and a beautiful story all at once, and it has left a mark on my heart. Absolutely loved it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margo Littell

    Orly, the young daughter of musicians in Vienna, spends her days in blissful friendship with her upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they create an endless story about a land of bunnies and happiness. Their bond is intense, their life comfortable and predictable. But Hitler is gaining power, and soon the girls are split: Anneliese is forbidden from seeing Orly, whose family is Jewish. Anneliese’s parents are among many others who turn on the Zingels as Nazis take over Austria, and while Orly’ Orly, the young daughter of musicians in Vienna, spends her days in blissful friendship with her upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they create an endless story about a land of bunnies and happiness. Their bond is intense, their life comfortable and predictable. But Hitler is gaining power, and soon the girls are split: Anneliese is forbidden from seeing Orly, whose family is Jewish. Anneliese’s parents are among many others who turn on the Zingels as Nazis take over Austria, and while Orly’s older brother, Willi, escapes into Switzerland, Orly’s parents desperately secure passage to the only place that will take them: Bolivia. La Paz, high in the Andes, is a different world from Vienna in every way, but homesickness is complicated when the place Orly once considered “home” rejected them so violently. She must forge a new life, in a new language, along with the other Jewish families who settle nearby. The Zingels do this with different levels of success. Her father, Jakob, finds a path forward through his music. But her mother, Julia, pursues a destiny Orly can neither understand nor accept. Meanwhile, whether Willi is alive is the question that threatens to drown out everything else. Exile Music is a coming-of-age story situated in one of the most horrific periods in history, and the place where Orly’s life plays out is as harrowing as it is beautiful. It’s hard to overstate how elegantly Steil interweaves history and setting in this novel, and how moving it is to see how rapturously Orly builds a life in the face of unimaginable obstacles. This is a love story on many levels, with a love of life itself taking precedence over all else. Read this novel for the gripping story, for the heartbreakingly real characters, for the voluptuous descriptions of setting. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars. Orly had an idyllic childhood living in Austria with her older brother and her parents. Her father plays viola in the Vienna philharmonic and her mom is an opera singer. Orly spends most of her time with her neighbor Anneliese. The two girls make up stories about a make-believe country occupied by rabbits who drive carrot-mobiles. As WWII looms, Orly's family faces discrimination and harassment because they are Jewish. Some of this harassment comes from Annelie Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars. Orly had an idyllic childhood living in Austria with her older brother and her parents. Her father plays viola in the Vienna philharmonic and her mom is an opera singer. Orly spends most of her time with her neighbor Anneliese. The two girls make up stories about a make-believe country occupied by rabbits who drive carrot-mobiles. As WWII looms, Orly's family faces discrimination and harassment because they are Jewish. Some of this harassment comes from Anneliese's parents, though Ana still tries to help Orly. Orly's brother escapes over the border into Switzerland and Orly and her parents secure visas to Bolivia. Orly is 10 when she moves with her parents to Vienna. Life in Bolivia is a culture shock for the family and Orly's mother is not the same. She refuses to sing or even hum. Orly makes some friends and becomes adept at speaking Spanish. However, she yearns for her best friend Anneliese. This book was an emotional roller coaster. As a reader, you want the best for Orly and her family but know that there will be heart ache. We all know that bad things happened during World War II, particularly to Jewish people. This story takes a slightly different take on the WWII story by following a refugee family to South America. It was interesting seeing their experiences in such a different place. They moved from the very metropolitan Vienna to the mountain-top city of La Paz, where there is no philharmonic and no opera. There are other Jewish refugees there so they do have some sense of community. This book counts towards the Book Riot Read Harder 2020 Challenge Task #19: A book by or about a refugee I won a copy of this book from a GoodReads giveaway.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Exile Music by Jennifer Steil is an excellent historical fiction that covers a different, and fascinating, aspect of the atrocities that the Jewish people faced in Europe during the 1930s-WWII. This book focusses on a Jewish family with the main character being a young girl named Orly. As tensions and risks continue to rise and with their family’s safety and in question, Orly’s family escape from Vienna to Bolivia. It was gripping and suspenseful. It was hard to read what this family, as well as Exile Music by Jennifer Steil is an excellent historical fiction that covers a different, and fascinating, aspect of the atrocities that the Jewish people faced in Europe during the 1930s-WWII. This book focusses on a Jewish family with the main character being a young girl named Orly. As tensions and risks continue to rise and with their family’s safety and in question, Orly’s family escape from Vienna to Bolivia. It was gripping and suspenseful. It was hard to read what this family, as well as many others, had to experience leaving all they know and love to an unfamiliar landscape and being forced to start all over again. This plight is glossed over in a lot of narratives that are currently out on shelves, so it was a fascinating read to see things from this perspective. A great pace, plot, and character cast. The text was easy to read, however the subject matter was very hard at times to accept. A needed addition to keep history in the forefront of our minds. 5/5 stars. Excellent Thank you EW and Viking/Penguin Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jo Ann

    I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley. Orly, the narrator of the story, is just 10 years old and living in Vienna when the Nazis come to power in neighboring Germany. Her parents are deeply involved in the musical and cultural scene in Vienna - her mother is an opera singer and her father is a concert viola player. She has an older brother and lives close to her grandparents, other family members, and close friends. As a Jewish family, their lives will change drastically. Orly continues sh I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley. Orly, the narrator of the story, is just 10 years old and living in Vienna when the Nazis come to power in neighboring Germany. Her parents are deeply involved in the musical and cultural scene in Vienna - her mother is an opera singer and her father is a concert viola player. She has an older brother and lives close to her grandparents, other family members, and close friends. As a Jewish family, their lives will change drastically. Orly continues sharing her experiences with the reader as she grows up and the family is eventually able to emigrate to Bolivia, the only country that would give them visas. La Paz, a somewhat backward city at high altitude in the Andes, is dramatically different from the Vienna of Orly's early childhood. As the war nears completion, Orly learns to her horror that the Nazis have now arrived in the city she and her family viewed as a safe haven. Told from the unique perspective of a young girl, this was a very emotional book. The reader sees the world through Orly's eyes as she matures and understands more and more of the situation.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This story which spans four decades is about a Jewish family from Vienna during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Orly growing up in Vienna during the 1930's. Her father plays in the Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother is an opera singer. After the Germans arrive in Vienna in 1938, life becomes unbearable for Orly and her family. Her older brother, Willi, escapes first and becomes part of the Resistance. It takes months and months for the rest of the family This story which spans four decades is about a Jewish family from Vienna during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Orly growing up in Vienna during the 1930's. Her father plays in the Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother is an opera singer. After the Germans arrive in Vienna in 1938, life becomes unbearable for Orly and her family. Her older brother, Willi, escapes first and becomes part of the Resistance. It takes months and months for the rest of the family to acquire visas to go to Bolivia, one of the few countries that is still taking Jewish refugees. They settle in La Paz, a city high up in the Andes Mountains. The high altitude and different culture prove to be among the many adjustments for the family. This is a very compelling and heart-wrenching story based on true facts. Thank you to Goodreads and Viking for the gift of this book that I received in a giveaway.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Cobb Sabatini

    I won an Advance Uncorrected Proof of Exile Music by Jennifer Steil from Goodreads. Readers may need to pause occasionally to take a deep breath as they read Exile Music by Jennifer Steil because the writing is that intense, the story that acute. There are moments in this powerful novel that are breathtakingly beautiful, moments that are heartwrenchingly sad, and always the knowledge that the reader is on a journey that will have tremendous impact long after the last page is read. Here is the sto I won an Advance Uncorrected Proof of Exile Music by Jennifer Steil from Goodreads. Readers may need to pause occasionally to take a deep breath as they read Exile Music by Jennifer Steil because the writing is that intense, the story that acute. There are moments in this powerful novel that are breathtakingly beautiful, moments that are heartwrenchingly sad, and always the knowledge that the reader is on a journey that will have tremendous impact long after the last page is read. Here is the story of man's inhumanity to man and of man's capacity for compassion. Here is the novel that may inspire courage and hope. Exile Music by Jennifer Stiel is a haunting symphony of a story that leaves readers breathless.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ava Homa

    Exile Music is a beautifully-written and rich book that touches on many topics such as oppression, hatred, suppressed sexuality, displacement, loss, and love. It draws you in from the beginning with the friendship between two girls in Vienna and the story gets more layered as it progresses in Bolivia, reaching its highest notes after chapter sixty. You will enjoy the unexpected twists that I can't reveal here. The mother's story and the ethical dilemma she represents was haunting. It's crazy to s Exile Music is a beautifully-written and rich book that touches on many topics such as oppression, hatred, suppressed sexuality, displacement, loss, and love. It draws you in from the beginning with the friendship between two girls in Vienna and the story gets more layered as it progresses in Bolivia, reaching its highest notes after chapter sixty. You will enjoy the unexpected twists that I can't reveal here. The mother's story and the ethical dilemma she represents was haunting. It's crazy to see how much human society hasn't changed, though the targeted communities shift from Jews to Blacks, to Muslims and so on. Will we ever learn?

  24. 5 out of 5

    April

    Set during World War II, Steil focuses on those Jews who were able to flee before the worst of the atrocities had taken place. Exile Music is at moments tough to get through; watching as the Jews have their homes taken, their businesses and jobs taken, and most precious their dignity. Those who were able to flee found themselves unable to cope with the unfamiliar climate and the inability to communicate in an unknown language. Though thankful to be alive, they fought the darkness of the atrociti Set during World War II, Steil focuses on those Jews who were able to flee before the worst of the atrocities had taken place. Exile Music is at moments tough to get through; watching as the Jews have their homes taken, their businesses and jobs taken, and most precious their dignity. Those who were able to flee found themselves unable to cope with the unfamiliar climate and the inability to communicate in an unknown language. Though thankful to be alive, they fought the darkness of the atrocities experienced and witnessed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jean Sarnie

    Just finished Exile Music which I had been so lucky to have won. It was a new setting for my favorite genre of World War 11 novels. There are several events that are intertwined within this beautifully written story that follows a family that is forced to flee their home in Vienna and move to one of the only countries who would accept them, Bolivia. Being a senior and at home due to Covid quarantine, I was transported to the beautiful but savage mountain city of La Paz. I took my time reading th Just finished Exile Music which I had been so lucky to have won. It was a new setting for my favorite genre of World War 11 novels. There are several events that are intertwined within this beautifully written story that follows a family that is forced to flee their home in Vienna and move to one of the only countries who would accept them, Bolivia. Being a senior and at home due to Covid quarantine, I was transported to the beautiful but savage mountain city of La Paz. I took my time reading this book because I did not want it to end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mitu Bút Chì

    As an Asian, the Western culture and religions are unfamiliar to me. Thanks to this book I know more about the Jewish and the inhumane hatred towards them in the 1900s. I’ve known about the terrible things the Nazi did in WWII, but I never knew about them in details, about what the Jewish had to actually face and how cruel it was. This book didn’t only reveal to me the facts, but also gave me a chance to peek into those lives, and to somehow feel what they felt. The book also presented a crash of As an Asian, the Western culture and religions are unfamiliar to me. Thanks to this book I know more about the Jewish and the inhumane hatred towards them in the 1900s. I’ve known about the terrible things the Nazi did in WWII, but I never knew about them in details, about what the Jewish had to actually face and how cruel it was. This book didn’t only reveal to me the facts, but also gave me a chance to peek into those lives, and to somehow feel what they felt. The book also presented a crash of different cultures via the racial diversity in Bolivia in the 1900s, which was accepting anyone from all over the world. I was amazed by the way Aymara people see the past and the future, and so on. However, it is a little bit disappointing to me in some ways. This doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad book, it's just I had my hopes up high when I started the first several chapters. First, the book title was Exile Music and it’s about a musical family who fled Austria to escape the inhumane pogroms. I was hoping for more “music” in the book; but the role of music is very blurred. I hoped it would be the means of dealing with their new life, their new reality, but it is just a side thing. Of course music helped Orly’s father to earn their living for the whole family, but it was just mentioned, I didn’t feel its significance in the book. Music didn’t help her escape but it’s writing stories and poetry that did. She learned the charango, and then what? What happened to the song she wrote, or tried to write? Second, sometimes I find myself not liking Orly, the main character. The book is dragged on with how her felt, how she missed her life in Austria, and what she thought about her new life here in Bolivia. I mean obviously we should know her feelings, but they were repeated too much through the chapters that I don’t feel for her anymore. The author also has a bad habit of using repetition. Walking the streets by her side, I saw pretty red and yellow electric trams carrying passengers up and down the sides of the city, their bells ringing out as they rounded a corner. I saw men in brightly colored blankets sitting on the steps of the church playing little wooden flutes. I saw women in flouncy skirts laughing as they strolled in pairs down wide avenues. I saw the grand government buildings clustered around Plaza Murillo. Above all, I saw the mountains. And yes, these kinds of repetition is overused throughout the book. It’s ok if you use it once in a while but here it is used too often that it gets tiring. Third, one more reason I don’t like Orly sometimes is her character is relatively inconsistent. She was introduced to be a stubborn child, with vivid imagination, but I don’t see that kind of stubbornness while she grew up. I was confused by her personality. Finally, I was expecting that Orly (and her father) would somehow use music to bring her old mother back. Her mother kept being distant and not accepting her new life until the very end, in a very revengeful way. It’s not that the violence the mother chose that annoyed me, it’s Orly's inaction toward it that did. In conclusion, to me it was a new and interesting read, opening to me a chapter of history I never really knew of. Because of that I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I liked the first half of the book about a Jewish family who escaped from Nazi Germany to Bolivia. Once they got to Bolivia all that stood out for me was just the setting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Sokoloff

    The incredible story of one family’s journey from Nazi occupied #austria to #lapaz #Bolivia. The story centers around a musical family living in Vienna, the dad plays the #viola, the mom sings in the #opera They have a son, Willy, and a daughter Orly. Orly tells their story. The war rips Orly from everything she treasures: the concert and opera halls of #Vienna, (with their magnificent #crystal #chandeliers), and her best friend Anneliesse, with whom she created a #secretworld, populated by bunn The incredible story of one family’s journey from Nazi occupied #austria to #lapaz #Bolivia. The story centers around a musical family living in Vienna, the dad plays the #viola, the mom sings in the #opera They have a son, Willy, and a daughter Orly. Orly tells their story. The war rips Orly from everything she treasures: the concert and opera halls of #Vienna, (with their magnificent #crystal #chandeliers), and her best friend Anneliesse, with whom she created a #secretworld, populated by bunnies. Orly’s journey, through #Genoa to #LaPaz takes her to a world she never could have imagined, 12,000 ft above sea level, to a city surrounded by mountains, built in the dust, and Bolivia 🇧🇴 is a country with its own complicated history. Because Orly is young enough, and curious by nature, she opens herself up to the Bolivian people and way of life. Although it is more difficult for adults, her father adapts but it is a continuous struggle for her mother. The story continues into Orly’s adult life, and I could not put it down. It is an incredible and unusual story and one that I could not put down. Thank you @jenniferfsteil for #exilemusic. If you want to read mire about the book, check out @jenniferfsteil’s Instagram 🇧🇴🇮🇹account! I give this book #5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and #5🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵! @momsdonthavetimetoreadbooks @zibbyowens @audible_ca @hilaryhuber #15cows #twentygrandpianos #friedenglückhasenland

  29. 5 out of 5

    Irene Wittig

    I just read Jennifer Steil's EXILE MUSIC. You will love every word of this beautiful nove . As an immigrant from a Viennese musical family split apart by World War II, and author of ALL THAT LINGERS, the novel had special resonance as it took me into emotionally familiar territory, but all readers who have suffered loss and unforeseen changes will find much to identity with. Orly, the young Jewish protagonist of this evocative novel will win every reader’s heart. The power of her childhood frien I just read Jennifer Steil's EXILE MUSIC. You will love every word of this beautiful nove . As an immigrant from a Viennese musical family split apart by World War II, and author of ALL THAT LINGERS, the novel had special resonance as it took me into emotionally familiar territory, but all readers who have suffered loss and unforeseen changes will find much to identity with. Orly, the young Jewish protagonist of this evocative novel will win every reader’s heart. The power of her childhood friendship and play with her neighbor Anneliese shields her from the growing tension that surrounds her in 1930s Vienna. Readers share her parents’ heart-pounding fear as they desperately seek to escape Austria after Hitler’s arrival. When Orly and her parents are granted asylum in Bolivia, her parents struggle to adapt, but Orly embraces her new life, finding joy in new friendships, and true value in a world so different from the one she’d known before. With music as a leitmotif, Ms Steil weaves together places and people seemingly unconnected into a lyrical whole that readers will remember for a long time. This is a wonderful novel in which readers — and book clubs — can find much to ponder and discuss.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Another world war 2, Nazi horror story set this time in Vienna. Oral is a young Jewish girl whose parents are musicians. She endures all the pogroms the Nazi pour out on Austria and Germany as Hitler rises to power. In this story, however, Orly and her parents manage to get visas and tickets out of the country for Bolivia before the war begins. Orly’s older brother, Willy, though is left behind. Most of the story takes place in Bolivia and we have the chance to see this refugee family from Weste Another world war 2, Nazi horror story set this time in Vienna. Oral is a young Jewish girl whose parents are musicians. She endures all the pogroms the Nazi pour out on Austria and Germany as Hitler rises to power. In this story, however, Orly and her parents manage to get visas and tickets out of the country for Bolivia before the war begins. Orly’s older brother, Willy, though is left behind. Most of the story takes place in Bolivia and we have the chance to see this refugee family from Western Europe adjust to a new life. I almost stopped reading part way through but kept going because I wanted to know what happened to Willy. This story was a huge disappointment and took off in what could only be considered social discussions that only Americans in the 21st century think are interesting and relevant. I hated the ending beyond telling. Won’t read anymore from this author if I can help it.

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