The Flight Portfolio: A novel

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The Flight Portfolio follows the rescue efforts of real-life hero Varian Fry, a Harvard-educated journalist who moved to Vichy France to help Jewish writers, artists, intellectuals, and other anti-Nazi refugees escape war-torn Europe. Not only is Varian’s work dangerous, but so is his homosexual romance with Elliot Grant, a Harvard friend who Varian had a short affair with twelves years prior to reconnecting with him in France. Grant has secrets of his own; all his life he has passed as white despite his black heritage. With very little resources and support from neutral America, Varian, Grant, and their colleagues stop at nothing to preserve the lives of as many refugees as they can.

Julie Orringer is a master at creating fully realized characters. She tenderly explores Varian’s rumored homosexuality; the relationship between Varian and Grant alone makes this novel worth reading. Orringer’s ability to imagine Varian’s experiences and thoughts is thrilling. However sometimes her writing is so detailed that it borders on excessive. The novel asks important moral questions that readers will struggle with. The Flight Portfolio beautifully highlights a little known historical figure that deserves to be remembered.

Reviewed By:

Author Julie Orringer
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 576 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2019-05-07
ISBN 9780307959409 Buy this Book
Issue March 2020
Category Modern Literature


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