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Financed by the Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, unlikely heroes--feisty graduate student Miriam Davenport, Harvard-educated classical scholar Varian Fry, beautiful and compelling heiress Mary Jayne Gold, and brilliant young Socialist and survivor of the Battle of Dunkerque Danny Benedite and his British wife, Theo--cajole, outwit, and use every means possible to stave off the Nazis and newly installed Vichy government officials circling closer with each passing day. The chateau was a vibrant artistic salon, home to lively debates and clandestine affairs, to Sunday art auctions and subversive surrealist games. Relationships within the house were tense and arguments were common, but the will to survive kept the covert operation under wraps. Beyond the chateau's luscious facade war raged, yet hope reverberated within its halls. With the aid of their young rescuers, this diverse intelligentsia--intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified--was able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.
"Villa Air-Bel" is apowerfully told, meticulously researched true story. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs, and letters of the individuals involved while uncovering their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed. Filled with suspense, drama, and intrigue, "Villa Air-Bel" is an excellent work of narrative nonfiction that delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history.
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