Those Who Are Saved

Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau

Published:  February 2021 – G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Finished copy courtesy of the publisher 

Description:

As a Russian Jewish émigré to France, Vera’s wealth cannot protect her or her four-year-old-daughter, Lucie, once the Nazis occupy the country. After receiving notice that all foreigners must report to an internment camp, Vera has just a few hours to make an impossible choice: Does she subject Lucie to the horrid conditions of the camp, or does she put her into hiding with her beloved and trusted governess, safe until Vera can retrieve her? Believing the war will end soon, Vera chooses to leave Lucie in safety. She cannot know that she and her husband will have an opportunity to escape, to flee to America. She cannot know that Lucie’s governess will have fled with Lucie to family in rural France, too far to reach in time.

And so begins a heartbreaking journey and separation, a war and a continent apart. Vera’s marriage will falter under the surreal sun of California. Her ability to write–once her passion–will disappear. But Vera’s love for Lucie, her faith that her daughter lives, will only grow. As Vera’s determination to return to France and find Lucie crystalizes, she meets Sasha, a man on his own search for meaning. She is stronger with Sasha than she is alone. Together they will journey to Lucie. They will find her fate.  (publisher)

My take:  This novel about people fleeing to what they hope will be a safe place touched my soul. As a woman, a mother, a human being – I couldn’t imagine being faced with the decision of leaving my only child with her trusted governess.

It’s clear from the start that Vera and her husband are wealthy but that doesn’t protect them from the changes in their life in France. We follow their life in America where Vera meets a man who will soon mean a lot to her. He has ghosts in his past that he doesn’t quite understand. When things come together in that regard he is driven to learn more about his start in life while at the same time, help Vera.

It seemed the story was a series of impressions, scenes that moved the plot. That worked for me and I grew to appreciate the author’s evocative writing. This is the third novel of WWII I’ve read in 2021 and, although all very different from the other, I’m very glad I had the chance to read Those Who Are Saved. Recommended.


 

Spotlight: Those Who Are Saved

Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau

Published:  February 23, 2021 – Putnam

Content provided by the publicist

About:

In the summer of 1940, as the Nazis prepare to occupy France and force its foreign inhabitants into internment camps, wealthy Russian Jewish émigré Vera has just hours to make an impossible choice: does she subject her four-year-old daughter Lucie to the horrors of the camp, or does she send her into hiding with her trusted governess until safe to retrieve her? Believing the war will end soon, Vera chooses to leave Lucie in safety. She could not have known that she and her husband would have an opportunity to escape to America—or that Lucie and her governess will have fled to family in rural France, too far to reach in time. Five years later, with her marriage faltering and her writing stalled, Vera—safe under the surreal sun of California—is haunted by her love for Lucie and her faith that her daughter still lives. As her determination to return to France and find Lucie crystallizes, she meets Sasha, a man on his own search for meaning. Together, Vera and Sasha will journey to Lucy and find her fate. Undeniably powerful and gorgeously written, THOSE WHO ARE SAVED recounts a mother and daughter’s heartbreaking journey and separation, a war and a continent apart.


About the author:

Alexis Landau is a graduate of Vassar College and received an MFA from Emerson College and a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. She is the author of The Empire of the Senses and lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.


Advance praise for THOSE WHO ARE SAVED:

“Powerful. . . Landau brilliantly explores the blurred lines between good and evil as the characters wrestle with their own dire decisions and the choices of those they love. Once this magnetic book takes hold, it doesn’t let go.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

“With muted power, this book plumbs the role privilege plays in fate.”

Kirkus Reviews

 

Those Who Are Saved is a stunning tale of indestructible love, of sacrifice and faith, and of one woman’s fierce determination to find her lost daughter in an unrecognizable, war-ravaged France. Imbued with vivid, lush imagery and written with enormous sensitivity and heart, this gem of a novel has everything that I love in historical fiction, and it is one of the best I’ve read this year.  I treasured every page.”

—Roxanne Veletzos, bestselling author of The Girl They Left Behind

 

Those Who Are Saved is a gorgeously written, emotional novel about the unshakable bonds of mothers and daughters, even in the darkest times. Spanning characters and continents during WWII, Alexis Landau’s vividly drawn book swept me up into the lives of Vera, Sasha, and Lucie. An unforgettable story of heartbreak, but ultimately of hope, resilience, and love – I could not put this book down!”

—Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of In Another Time and Half Life

 

“A profound and engaging story—Landau writes of the endurance of parental love in the face of Nazi occupation and terror, of finding those who were lost. I loved it.”

—Paulette Jiles, author of National Book Award finalist News of the World

 

“With poetic, mesmerizing prose, Alexis Landau creates a heartrending story of the unbreakable bond of maternal love. Those Who Are Saved brings to life a moment in history when all that is familiar disappears and every choice is potentially tragic. This gripping and compassionate novel continues to haunt me.”

—Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author of And After the Fire, recipient of the National Jewish Book Award

 

“Such subtle and skilful writing, so evocative of the Second World War and the period following. We are drawn deep into the story of a mother who, escaping to America, had no choice but to leave her daughter behind in the heart of Nazi-occupied France. Absolutely haunting.”

—Frances Liardet, New York Times bestselling author of We Must Be Brave

 

Those Who Are Saved is an achingly beautiful epoch about love’s endurance. I was hooked from the start by the chance meeting of Sasha and Vera who are driven by creative energies to remake their fractured worlds. This tense journey encompasses exile from Eastern to Western Europe, then across the ocean to the glittering promise of Hollywood, only to be haunted by whispers of what was left behind. Alexis Landau is an amazing storyteller and her novel will whisper to you long after you finish.”

—Devin Murphy, author of The Boat Runner


THOSE WHO ARE SAVED · By Alexis Landau · G. P. Putnam’s Sons

· On Sale: February 23, 2021 · ISBN: 9780593190531 

· Price: $27.00 ·

Also available in e-Book & audio