The Flight Portfolio
by Julie Orringer
Knopf. 562 pages, $28.95
THE FLIGHT PORTFOLIO is a fictionalized account of American Varian Fry’s attempt to aid refugees in Vichy France in 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II. Working against both an increasingly oppressive French regime and American diplomatic indifference (at times outright hostility) to those hunted by the Nazis, Fry manages to get many European artists and intellectuals, as well as their families, out of France and into safer places, including Marc Chagall, Victor Serge, and Heinrich Mann. Meanwhile, he encounters Grant, an old lover from his Harvard days, rekindling the romance while being drawn into the man’s life of intrigue.
Charles Green is a writer based in Annapolis, Maryland.