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In Laura Z. Hobson’s debut novel, a well-to-do Austrian family, exiled in Switzerland in the early years of World War II, struggles to survive on the charity of an American socialite

As World War II rips through Europe, the Vederles have found themselves in an impossible situation. In temporary exile in Switzerland, the Vederles are caught in a bureaucratic limbo, unable to return home and unable to move on to their dreamed-of life in America. Their sponsor in the United States, Vera Marriner, is embroiled in her own sort of conflict: an affair with Jasper Crown, a radio magnate and egotist of the highest order.
Herself the child of Russian socialists who found asylum in the United States, Laura Z. Hobson paints a stark contrast between the sheltered comfort of Vera’s life in New York and the tense, distant uncertainty of the complete strangers she hopes to rescue.

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