I had never heard of Varian Fry, but after reading over 500 pages about him, I still wanted to know more. Mr. Fry came from an upper-middle class Protestant family, attended Harvard and went on to save thousands of artists, philosophers and authors from the Nazi’s. In 1940 he was head of the Emergency Rescue Committee that was established in Marseille. His tireless efforts are described in The Flight Portfolio. However, this is not just a novel about a brave hero, it portrays Fry as a bisexual who must decide if he wants to keep his personal life a secret. Furthermore, this historic novel poses the question, is it more important to save someone with talent than someone without?
I didn’t think Orringer could do better than her first novel, Invisible Bridge, but she has. The Flight Portfolio is exciting, frightening and very well-written.