Exile Music
Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of BoliviaAs a young girl growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Orly has an idyllic childhood filled with music. Her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic, her mother is a well-regarded opera singer, her beloved and charismatic older brother holds the neighborhood in his thrall, and most of her eccentric and wonderful extended family live nearby. Only vaguely aware of Hitler's rise or how her Jewish heritage will define her family's identity, Orly spends her days immersed in play with her best friend and upstairs neighbor, Anneliese. Together they dream up vivid and elaborate worlds, where they can escape the growing tensions around them.But in 1938, Orly's peaceful life is shattered when the Germans arrive. Her older brother flees Vienna first, and soon Orly, her father, and her mother procure refugee visas for La Paz, a city high up in the Bolivian Andes. Even as the number of Jewish refugees in the small community grows, her family is haunted by the music that can no longer be their livelihood, and by the family and friends they left behind. While Orly and her father find their footing in the mountains, Orly's mother grows even more distant, harboring a secret that could put their family at risk again. Years pass, the war ends, and Orly must decide: Is the love and adventure she has found in La Paz what defines home, or is the pull of her past in Europe--and the piece of her heart she left with Anneliese--too strong to ignore?

Exile Music Details

TitleExile Music
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 5th, 2020
PublisherViking
ISBN-139780525561811
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, Holocaust, Adult Fiction

Exile Music Review

  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    A musical family flees the holocaust by emigrating to Bolivia. To the best of my recollection, this is a little-known story. In addition to escaping the horror escalating in Austria, Orly leaves behind her best friend, the aesthetic richness of Vienna, as well as her beloved older brother and other family members. Being ten years old, she is able to adjust to the cultural differences, learn the language, and appreciate the country for what it is. Her father is able to flourish through his music A musical family flees the holocaust by emigrating to Bolivia. To the best of my recollection, this is a little-known story. In addition to escaping the horror escalating in Austria, Orly leaves behind her best friend, the aesthetic richness of Vienna, as well as her beloved older brother and other family members. Being ten years old, she is able to adjust to the cultural differences, learn the language, and appreciate the country for what it is. Her father is able to flourish through his music but her mother has less success. Filled with loss of many kinds, vengeance, growing up and building a life in a country vastly different from own’s own, ultimately hope reigns supreme.
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  • Karren Sandercock
    January 1, 1970
    1930s Vienna, Orlita lives with her parents Jakob, her mother Julia and her older brother Willi they have a beautiful family home, her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic orchestra and her mother is a talented opera singer. Orly has never known anything other than love from her parents, extended family and her best friend Anneliese. Her parents have tried to keep her childhood free from the looming shadow of Hitler and his anti Jewish ideas. Orly spends her days at school and in her free 1930’s Vienna, Orlita lives with her parents Jakob, her mother Julia and her older brother Willi they have a beautiful family home, her father plays the viola in the Philharmonic orchestra and her mother is a talented opera singer. Orly has never known anything other than love from her parents, extended family and her best friend Anneliese. Her parents have tried to keep her childhood free from the looming shadow of Hitler and his anti Jewish ideas. Orly spends her days at school and in her free time she and Anneliese make up stories about bunny rabbits and fairy tales.In 1938, Orly's family’s life is changed when the Germans arrive, as we know Jewish people lost their homes, their jobs, children couldn’t go to school, they couldn’t catch public transport or even go for a walk in a park. Willi leaves Vienna first; Jakob knows he must get Julia and Orly out of Vienna while he can. Getting passports and visas is a long expensive process and they manage to find a way out of Vienna, but they have to travel to Bolivia in South America. The Jewish refugees in the small community all help each other, but the family is worried about Willi, the other family members left behind and for years they receive no news. While Orly and her Jakob adapt to living in the mountains, they get over altitude sickness, Julia is depressed and refuses to sing. It’s amazing how quickly children adjust Orly makes friends, with a boy called Miguel, and she learns Spanish. Eventually the war ends, the news about family members they left behind in Vienna is grim and this makes Julia a bitter and very angry woman. Orly is shocked to discover what her mother does and she keeps it a secret from her father. Exile Music, is a historical saga, it’s based around Orly growing up in Bolivia, during the war years and after the war finished. Orly studies at university, she falls in love, she marries and starts a family. It’s a story about, friendship, family, hope, loss and love. I gave the book four stars, I was going to give it five stars until I read the ending, I didn't like it at all and that's my opinion. I will share my review on Goodreads, Edelweiss, Twitter, Amazon Australia and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    This epic journey is an emotional roller coaster you don't want to stop.I didn't intend to read it in two days but the storytelling, history, narrative voice - all unbelievably captivating.It's four stories in one; you become deeply immersed in each era, feeling you couldn't possibly be as vested in the next part - and yet you are!From living the privileged life of an artist's daughter, exploring the metropolitan life of Vienna pre-WWII, to living within earnest moments of change as the Third This epic journey is an emotional roller coaster you don't want to stop.I didn't intend to read it in two days but the storytelling, history, narrative voice - all unbelievably captivating.It's four stories in one; you become deeply immersed in each era, feeling you couldn't possibly be as vested in the next part - and yet you are!From living the privileged life of an artist's daughter, exploring the metropolitan life of Vienna pre-WWII, to living within earnest moments of change as the Third Reich gained power and Jews lose everything, including narrowly escaping with their lives at every turn.To finally La Paz Bovliva, and the epic journey to get there; the exploration and new identity their lives take is in a vibrant new setting.By the time Orly and Miguel get engaged you can't believe the life you've read about while knowing these characters. Julia and Willi, Anneliese, the Natzi migration after the war to Bolivia as well. Mutti, and her mother's baking. Aunt Thekla and how she survived Auschwitz...It's the fullness of this story that is only matched but an incredible narration - Orly is a relatable, charismatic, strong protagonist who learns/adapts as she grows - seeing life in all its forms!
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  • Candace
    January 1, 1970
    From the first time I heard that Bolivia was one of the countries that offered visas to Jews trying to escape Nazi repression in the 1930s, I wondered how that had worked out. Remote, at 12,000 feet, politically precarious and not known for culture, how did these erudite Europeans fare? This is what Exile Music is about.Orly's parents are musicians and they move in the world of orchestras, opera, and Viennese cafes. It's magic until they can no longer be employed, are moved to the ghetto. Willi, From the first time I heard that Bolivia was one of the countries that offered visas to Jews trying to escape Nazi repression in the 1930s, I wondered how that had worked out. Remote, at 12,000 feet, politically precarious and not known for culture, how did these erudite Europeans fare? This is what Exile Music is about.Orly's parents are musicians and they move in the world of orchestras, opera, and Viennese cafes. It's magic until they can no longer be employed, are moved to the ghetto. Willi, Orly's brother, has already vanished into Switzerland to avoid being sent to a labor camp. They manage to get visas for Bolivia, but must leave everyone else behind, including Orly's dear friend Annaliese, whom she has already realized she may desire as more than a friend. Now they're in Bolivia, where there's no air, it's dirty, they may have to work as farm laborers, and everything is very strange. News takes months to arrive, if it does at all. What sort of community will they create, if they create one at all? Jennifer Steil has written a taut, imaginative novel of loss and discovery. I was completely pulled in and reveled in Orly's surprising sense of adventure, her growth, her daring exploration of who she is. A marvelous book.~~Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that's hard to put down. I read it in two days even though it's over 400 pages. While there are many novels that portray the lives of those who experienced the tragedies of WWII, this one starts there then shows what happens to Austrian exiles who escape to Bolivia. Steil powerfully captures both places--and what it can mean to be displaced due to war and genocide. Ultimately, this books explores the mysteries of human suffering and resilience. It also asks us to think This is one of those books that's hard to put down. I read it in two days even though it's over 400 pages. While there are many novels that portray the lives of those who experienced the tragedies of WWII, this one starts there then shows what happens to Austrian exiles who escape to Bolivia. Steil powerfully captures both places--and what it can mean to be displaced due to war and genocide. Ultimately, this books explores the mysteries of human suffering and resilience. It also asks us to think about revenge in complex ways.The voice immediately swept me into the story. Steil beautifully balances the sentiments of a girl as told through the eyes of the woman she becomes. And woven into the sorrowful aspects of the book are many life-affirming human activities exquisitely offered up to the reader: making music, cooking, writing, reading, experiencing nature, making friends, learning languages, exploring cultures, and falling in love. I also very much appreciated a portrayal of bisexuality that organically emerges from the characters and plot.I was lucky to get an advanced copy. It comes out in May but you can pre-order it, which obviously I highly recommend.
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  • Jessica Haider
    January 1, 1970
    Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars. Orly had an idyllic childhood living in Austria with her older brother and her parents. Her father plays viola in the Vienna philharmonic and her mom is an opera singer. Orly spends most of her time with her neighbor Anneliese. The two girls make up stories about a make-believe country occupied by rabbits who drive carrot-mobiles. As WWII looms, Orly's family faces discrimination and harassment because they are Jewish. Some of this harassment comes from Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars. Orly had an idyllic childhood living in Austria with her older brother and her parents. Her father plays viola in the Vienna philharmonic and her mom is an opera singer. Orly spends most of her time with her neighbor Anneliese. The two girls make up stories about a make-believe country occupied by rabbits who drive carrot-mobiles. As WWII looms, Orly's family faces discrimination and harassment because they are Jewish. Some of this harassment comes from Anneliese's parents, though Ana still tries to help Orly. Orly's brother escapes over the border into Switzerland and Orly and her parents secure visas to Bolivia. Orly is 10 when she moves with her parents to Vienna. Life in Bolivia is a culture shock for the family and Orly's mother is not the same. She refuses to sing or even hum. Orly makes some friends and becomes adept at speaking Spanish. However, she yearns for her best friend Anneliese. This book was an emotional roller coaster. As a reader, you want the best for Orly and her family but know that there will be heart ache. We all know that bad things happened during World War II, particularly to Jewish people. This story takes a slightly different take on the WWII story by following a refugee family to South America. It was interesting seeing their experiences in such a different place. They moved from the very metropolitan Vienna to the mountain-top city of La Paz, where there is no philharmonic and no opera. There are other Jewish refugees there so they do have some sense of community. This book counts towards the Book Riot Read Harder 2020 Challenge Task #19: A book by or about a refugeeI won a copy of this book from a GoodReads giveaway.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Exile Music by Jennifer Steil is an excellent historical fiction that covers a different, and fascinating, aspect of the atrocities that the Jewish people faced in Europe during the 1930s-WWII.This book focusses on a Jewish family with the main character being a young girl named Orly. As tensions and risks continue to rise and with their familys safety and in question, Orlys family escape from Vienna to Bolivia. It was gripping and suspenseful. It was hard to read what this family, as well as Exile Music by Jennifer Steil is an excellent historical fiction that covers a different, and fascinating, aspect of the atrocities that the Jewish people faced in Europe during the 1930s-WWII.This book focusses on a Jewish family with the main character being a young girl named Orly. As tensions and risks continue to rise and with their family’s safety and in question, Orly’s family escape from Vienna to Bolivia. It was gripping and suspenseful. It was hard to read what this family, as well as many others, had to experience leaving all they know and love to an unfamiliar landscape and being forced to start all over again. This plight is glossed over in a lot of narratives that are currently out on shelves, so it was a fascinating read to see things from this perspective. A great pace, plot, and character cast. The text was easy to read, however the subject matter was very hard at times to accept. A needed addition to keep history in the forefront of our minds.5/5 stars. ExcellentThank you EW and Viking/Penguin Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.
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  • Jo Ann
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.Orly, the narrator of the story, is just 10 years old and living in Vienna when the Nazis come to power in neighboring Germany. Her parents are deeply involved in the musical and cultural scene in Vienna - her mother is an opera singer and her father is a concert viola player. She has an older brother and lives close to her grandparents, other family members, and close friends. As a Jewish family, their lives will change drastically.Orly continues I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.Orly, the narrator of the story, is just 10 years old and living in Vienna when the Nazis come to power in neighboring Germany. Her parents are deeply involved in the musical and cultural scene in Vienna - her mother is an opera singer and her father is a concert viola player. She has an older brother and lives close to her grandparents, other family members, and close friends. As a Jewish family, their lives will change drastically.Orly continues sharing her experiences with the reader as she grows up and the family is eventually able to emigrate to Bolivia, the only country that would give them visas. La Paz, a somewhat backward city at high altitude in the Andes, is dramatically different from the Vienna of Orly's early childhood. As the war nears completion, Orly learns to her horror that the Nazis have now arrived in the city she and her family viewed as a safe haven.Told from the unique perspective of a young girl, this was a very emotional book. The reader sees the world through Orly's eyes as she matures and understands more and more of the situation.
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  • Lisa Cobb Sabatini
    January 1, 1970
    I won an Advance Uncorrected Proof of Exile Music by Jennifer Steil from Goodreads.Readers may need to pause occasionally to take a deep breath as they read Exile Music by Jennifer Steil because the writing is that intense, the story that acute. There are moments in this powerful novel that are breathtakingly beautiful, moments that are heartwrenchingly sad, and always the knowledge that the reader is on a journey that will have tremendous impact long after the last page is read. Here is the I won an Advance Uncorrected Proof of Exile Music by Jennifer Steil from Goodreads.Readers may need to pause occasionally to take a deep breath as they read Exile Music by Jennifer Steil because the writing is that intense, the story that acute. There are moments in this powerful novel that are breathtakingly beautiful, moments that are heartwrenchingly sad, and always the knowledge that the reader is on a journey that will have tremendous impact long after the last page is read. Here is the story of man's inhumanity to man and of man's capacity for compassion. Here is the novel that may inspire courage and hope.Exile Music by Jennifer Stiel is a haunting symphony of a story that leaves readers breathless.
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  • Kim Bakos
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a wonderful story! I never knew of the refugees from Europe who went to Boliva, and know little about Boliva in general. I know that some Nazi officers went to South America but never knew there were Jewish refugees there as well.I love music and loved the parts where music was so fondly spoken of. As someone who learned Spanish in high school and college, as well as some French, it was fun to test my memory in this book. My grandparents came here from Austria after WW1 and I am so Wow, what a wonderful story! I never knew of the refugees from Europe who went to Boliva, and know little about Boliva in general. I know that some Nazi officers went to South America but never knew there were Jewish refugees there as well.I love music and loved the parts where music was so fondly spoken of. As someone who learned Spanish in high school and college, as well as some French, it was fun to test my memory in this book. My grandparents came here from Austria after WW1 and I am so thankful that they never had to live through Hitler's occupation. I found it sad to see that the native people of Boliva were treated as poorly there was blacks and Native Americans have been treated here in the US. This story is so well written and the author had the ability to "grow" the voice of the main character as she started out at about age six and was a middle-aged woman by the end. Not only did her voice have to change as she aged, but the language she spoke in changed as well.As many WW2 stories, there are many parts of this story that are very sad, but in the end, this family, like so many others, triumphed over the persecution that they faced and became stronger for it.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    This story which spans four decades is about a Jewish family from Vienna during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Orly growing up in Vienna during the 1930's. Her father plays in the Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother is an opera singer. After the Germans arrive in Vienna in 1938, life becomes unbearable for Orly and her family. Her older brother, Willi, escapes first and becomes part of the Resistance. It takes months and months for the rest of the family This story which spans four decades is about a Jewish family from Vienna during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Orly growing up in Vienna during the 1930's. Her father plays in the Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother is an opera singer. After the Germans arrive in Vienna in 1938, life becomes unbearable for Orly and her family. Her older brother, Willi, escapes first and becomes part of the Resistance. It takes months and months for the rest of the family to acquire visas to go to Bolivia, one of the few countries that is still taking Jewish refugees. They settle in La Paz, a city high up in the Andes Mountains. The high altitude and different culture prove to be among the many adjustments for the family. This is a very compelling and heart-wrenching story based on true facts. Thank you to Goodreads and Viking for the gift of this book that I received in a giveaway.
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  • April
    January 1, 1970
    Set during World War II, Steil focuses on those Jews who were able to flee before the worst of the atrocities had taken place. Exile Music is at moments tough to get through; watching as the Jews have their homes taken, their businesses and jobs taken, and most precious their dignity. Those who were able to flee found themselves unable to cope with the unfamiliar climate and the inability to communicate in an unknown language. Though thankful to be alive, they fought the darkness of the Set during World War II, Steil focuses on those Jews who were able to flee before the worst of the atrocities had taken place. Exile Music is at moments tough to get through; watching as the Jews have their homes taken, their businesses and jobs taken, and most precious their dignity. Those who were able to flee found themselves unable to cope with the unfamiliar climate and the inability to communicate in an unknown language. Though thankful to be alive, they fought the darkness of the atrocities experienced and witnessed.
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  • Nancy Price
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.Exile Music tells the story of an Austrian Jewish family, beginning in the late 1930's just before and after the Anschluss when Hitler took over Austria. The main part of the book deals with a lesser-known part of history: the escape of many Jews to the country of Bolivia, particularly La Paz. Orly and her mother and father find a new home in an environment totally unfamiliar to them, one the author lovingly recreates in vivid word pictures. I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.Exile Music tells the story of an Austrian Jewish family, beginning in the late 1930's just before and after the Anschluss when Hitler took over Austria. The main part of the book deals with a lesser-known part of history: the escape of many Jews to the country of Bolivia, particularly La Paz. Orly and her mother and father find a new home in an environment totally unfamiliar to them, one the author lovingly recreates in vivid word pictures. Each family member deals with the trauma of their experiences in a different way. Her father, a violist in the Vienna Philharmonic, creates a new life with music. Her mother, an opera singer, clamps down on the music that has been such a huge part of her life and withdraws from life until she later decides to seek justice in her own way. Orly falls in love with her new home; she turns the music that has always lived within her into poetry, eventually learning to play a native musical instrument, the charango. I had never realized that after the war, many of the Jews who had escaped the horrors of Europe were once again faced with Nazis who sought out the same locations for refuge. There were many things to like about this book. I appreciated the "news flashes" at the beginning of each chapter in the first section which kept timing in perspective. The writing flows beautifully throughout the entire book.. I did, however, feel that the story slowed down too much in the early years in La Paz; time almost seemed to stand still. I found the descriptions of Orly's inner feelings about Anneliese (and later Rachel) distracting; for me, they took away from the power of a family creating a new life in a world new to them.
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  • Charlotte Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    World War II was such a horrific time to live through. The war was going on, you never knew where you were safe, and you had to rely on other people for everything from food to shelter to clothing. Now imagine that as a young girl. Orly is that girl. She is young, she lives an ideal life with her parents and brother with her best friend living in the apartment above her. Until it all changes. Orlys story was so interesting. I was invested in the world she was living in. The story told not only World War II was such a horrific time to live through. The war was going on, you never knew where you were safe, and you had to rely on other people for everything from food to shelter to clothing. Now imagine that as a young girl. Orly is that girl. She is young, she lives an ideal life with her parents and brother with her best friend living in the apartment above her. Until it all changes. Orly’s story was so interesting. I was invested in the world she was living in. The story told not only of what was happening around her but also what was happening directly in her house and her emotions to those happenings. I could feel her joy in writing the stories of the make believe world with Anneliese, the fear of seeing the Nazi’s invade her neighborhood, the sadness at losing the things that were most familiar to her, and mostly her strength in not knowing what her future held but having to keep her head up, staying strong. She experienced a life that many did not survive, and she knew how lucky she was that she and her parents were able to be together through it all. I am a World War II fan, it is my favorite era to read about. Jennifer Steil has written an amazing book telling the story of a time where everything was different and the world was a scary place to live. Yet, with the scariness, there is hope, love, and music.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Orly, a young girl, lives in Vienna with her musician father and her opera-singing mother. Orly enjoys a carefree childhood playing with her best friend, Anneliese, and creating stories about what life might be. In 1938, when Orly is ten year old, the Nazis march into Vienna and her life changes drastically. She and her parents find themselves fleeing everything they know. They arrive is La Paz, Bolivia and must adjust to a life that no longer includes familiar music and without Anneliese. Orly, a young girl, lives in Vienna with her musician father and her opera-singing mother. Orly enjoys a carefree childhood playing with her best friend, Anneliese, and creating stories about what life might be. In 1938, when Orly is ten year old, the Nazis march into Vienna and her life changes drastically. She and her parents find themselves fleeing everything they know. They arrive is La Paz, Bolivia and must adjust to a life that no longer includes familiar music and without Anneliese. However, Orly and Anneliese meet again in 2016.This is a well-written novel about a little-known slice of Jewish history. The characters, especially Orly and Anneliese, are well drawn and likable. The storyline is complex, and the author’s research detailed and extensive, but she doesn’t allow it to overwhelm either her characters or her story.If you like time-spanning, in this case nearly 90 years, this novel should be on your to-be-read list.My thanks to Viking and Edelweiss for an eARC.
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  • Linda Haas
    January 1, 1970
    A young Jewish girl and her musical family have been living a happy life in Vienna. However, that all changes in the 1930s thanks to Hitler and the Nazi regime. We read about the day to day changes that take place in this cultural city. It is difficult to understand how people could treat their friends and neighbors as the Jewish people were treated. Seeing what was happening to the Jewish people, this family make a decision to leave Austria. Getting visas to other countries is not easy as they A young Jewish girl and her musical family have been living a happy life in Vienna. However, that all changes in the 1930s thanks to Hitler and the Nazi regime. We read about the day to day changes that take place in this cultural city. It is difficult to understand how people could treat their friends and neighbors as the Jewish people were treated. Seeing what was happening to the Jewish people, this family make a decision to leave Austria. Getting visas to other countries is not easy as they and the reader find out. The only country who will take them is Bolivia. So we read about their journey at sea and then their adjustments to their new home which is so very different from Vienna. I found this book extremely interesting. It kept me reading into the night. My favorite genres are suspense thrillers and murder mysteries which I can’t put down. I couldn’t put this novel down either. It’s that good.
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  • Darlene
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Goodreads for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.This is indeed a captivating story of Jewish history, lost love and adaptation to new and difficult situations. Orly is the daughter of two accomplished musicians, living in Vienna at the beginning of WWII. Her world, her friendships and imagination is torn asunder by the sound of jackboots and Nazi cries. As her world crumbles, she and her parents plan an escape which leads them to the city of La Paz, I received this book from Goodreads for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.This is indeed a captivating story of Jewish history, lost love and adaptation to new and difficult situations. Orly is the daughter of two accomplished musicians, living in Vienna at the beginning of WWII. Her world, her friendships and imagination is torn asunder by the sound of jackboots and Nazi cries. As her world crumbles, she and her parents plan an escape which leads them to the city of La Paz, Bolivia. There is a distance between the family now, an ache in the spirit like a knife to the soul. Secrets held, resentments harbored will threaten this family and may well destroy them in this new land. Note: some same sex intimate content.I enjoyed this book. It's a large novel but excellent in the rich historical background and finely honed character development.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I received this novel in a Goodreads giveaway from the author/ publisher in exchange for a honest review. Not quite 4 stars but more than 3. I loved the idea of music and how it influenced the various stages of Orlys world. I also enjoyed the story as Orly tells us her thoughts . We bond with her and root for her. As an avid reader of historical fiction especially WW II stories I liked the storyline of Orly escaping to South America. I found that different and particularly interesting. Part of I received this novel in a Goodreads giveaway from the author/ publisher in exchange for a honest review. Not quite 4 stars but more than 3. I loved the idea of music and how it influenced the various stages of Orly’s world. I also enjoyed the story as Orly tells us her thoughts . We bond with her and root for her. As an avid reader of historical fiction especially WW II stories I liked the storyline of Orly escaping to South America. I found that different and particularly interesting. Part of my grandfathers family ended up in Peru ; which I never quite understood how they ended up there. Now I have some realization of that. By mid book I could not put it down . Loved how the story was pulled together for the ending , especially through Orly’s eyes. Good Read.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 starsA Jewish Viennese family whose talent for the musical arts can't even save them from being persecuted under Hitler's regime. Mother, father and young daughter find themselves on a boat to Bolivia hoping that their 15 year old son will join them soon from Switzerland. They must begin their lives all over again not speaking the language and dealing with the new reality of altitude sickness, new foods, finding work and losing touch with family. Orly, their daughter must leave her best 3 1/2 starsA Jewish Viennese family whose talent for the musical arts can't even save them from being persecuted under Hitler's regime. Mother, father and young daughter find themselves on a boat to Bolivia hoping that their 15 year old son will join them soon from Switzerland. They must begin their lives all over again not speaking the language and dealing with the new reality of altitude sickness, new foods, finding work and losing touch with family. Orly, their daughter must leave her best friend behind and even though she makes other friends, she can never forget her soulmate. There are the stirrings of Orly searching for her sexuality and the life in South America that sets this book apart from other WWII refugee stories. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Janis Rich
    January 1, 1970
    I love WW2 historical fiction and this book took me into a more unexplored area of that time. This is the story of Orly, an Austrian Jew, and her family spanning the time before the war, their escape, and their subsequent life in Bolivia. I had never read about the families that fled to Bolivia and found this part of the story particularly compelling. The characters were colorful and each had a great story of his/her own. My only complaint was establishing the boundaries of the relationship with I love WW2 historical fiction and this book took me into a more unexplored area of that time. This is the story of Orly, an Austrian Jew, and her family spanning the time before the war, their escape, and their subsequent life in Bolivia. I had never read about the families that fled to Bolivia and found this part of the story particularly compelling. The characters were colorful and each had a great story of his/her own. My only complaint was establishing the boundaries of the relationship with Ana when they were still toddlers and in my mind incapable of those decisions. Nothing was added to the story by expanding the boundaries of their friendship. Other than that, great writing, great research.
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  • Pam Mooney
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing! The rare treat of a book that you simply can't stop reading. Then you turn around and read again. I loved the perspective of a young Jewish girl caught in the tragedy of WWII. Full of heroes and monsters and love and redemption the story moved me in so many ways. I enjoyed the children and how coming from different cultures gave them something to share and admire. I was impressed how the author was able to portray the horror of the adult experience and how it changed them permanently. Amazing! The rare treat of a book that you simply can't stop reading. Then you turn around and read again. I loved the perspective of a young Jewish girl caught in the tragedy of WWII. Full of heroes and monsters and love and redemption the story moved me in so many ways. I enjoyed the children and how coming from different cultures gave them something to share and admire. I was impressed how the author was able to portray the horror of the adult experience and how it changed them permanently. While no one can imagine without having gone through it the author gives us a glimpse that feels real and I felt I gained some perspective. Fascinating. Compelling. A book you will want to share. A good read.
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  • Marcia
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't put this book down. Orly is a Jewish child in Austria. Her father plays in there Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother is an opera singer. Her best friend is Ana. Things begin to worsen for the family as the Nazis take power and turn against the Jews. Ana's parents even turn agains Orly's family. They flee to Bolivia to start a new life. Ana adapts and embraces Bolivia. Her father finds some sense of peace through his music. Her mother has deadly secrets and has lost her joy in life. I couldn't put this book down. Orly is a Jewish child in Austria. Her father plays in there Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother is an opera singer. Her best friend is Ana. Things begin to worsen for the family as the Nazis take power and turn against the Jews. Ana's parents even turn agains Orly's family. They flee to Bolivia to start a new life. Ana adapts and embraces Bolivia. Her father finds some sense of peace through his music. Her mother has deadly secrets and has lost her joy in life. it's an intriguing, well-written story and totally held my attention. I recommend it.
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  • Helen Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. This book starts slow but then picks up and I could not put it down. A celebration of the redemptive power of love, art and music in the face of the cataclysms of history, this novel weaves a powerful spell. I fell in love with Orly, a keeper of secrets and stories, who holds her family together by force of will when it seems certain they will fray apart. In prose of vivid beauty and lyrical toughness, Steil illuminates the life I received a copy from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. This book starts slow but then picks up and I could not put it down. A celebration of the redemptive power of love, art and music in the face of the cataclysms of history, this novel weaves a powerful spell. I fell in love with Orly, a keeper of secrets and stories, who holds her family together by force of will when it seems certain they will fray apart. In prose of vivid beauty and lyrical toughness, Steil illuminates the life of the émigré with moments of unexpected kindness, tension, tragedy and triumph.”
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  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    The only reason I didnt give this five stars is because it took me a while to get hooked. Once I was though, I finished this incredible story in 12 hours. Since reading Number the Stars in fourth grade, Ive been fascinated by historical fiction focused on World War II. Ill never cease to be intrigued by the myriad facets of that time period. Orlys story is one of the most unique as Id never heard of the Jewish refugees who made their way to Bolivia. This is a beautifully woven tapestry of a The only reason I didn’t give this five stars is because it took me a while to get hooked. Once I was though, I finished this incredible story in 12 hours. Since reading Number the Stars in fourth grade, I’ve been fascinated by historical fiction focused on World War II. I’ll never cease to be intrigued by the myriad facets of that time period. Orly’s story is one of the most unique as I’d never heard of the Jewish refugees who made their way to Bolivia. This is a beautifully woven tapestry of a story that had me looking for pictures of the Andes and recordings of Mahler’s compositions.
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  • Jean Sarnie
    January 1, 1970
    Just finished Exile Music which I had been so lucky to have won. It was a new setting for my favorite genre of World War 11 novels. There are several events that are intertwined within this beautifully written story that follows a family that is forced to flee their home in Vienna and move to one of the only countries who would accept them, Bolivia. Being a senior and at home due to Covid quarantine, I was transported to the beautiful but savage mountain city of La Paz. I took my time reading Just finished Exile Music which I had been so lucky to have won. It was a new setting for my favorite genre of World War 11 novels. There are several events that are intertwined within this beautifully written story that follows a family that is forced to flee their home in Vienna and move to one of the only countries who would accept them, Bolivia. Being a senior and at home due to Covid quarantine, I was transported to the beautiful but savage mountain city of La Paz. I took my time reading this book because I did not want it to end.
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  • Joanne
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of Exile Music in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you very much. I really liked this book. It was a pleasure to read. The writing was beautiful. I never knew about the Jewish people who escaped to Bolivia during WWII. I wasnt sure I would enjoy this setting but it was enlightening and very interesting. All in all, it is at the top of the list for the best book Ive read this year. Thanks again. I won a copy of Exile Music in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you very much. I really liked this book. It was a pleasure to read. The writing was beautiful. I never knew about the Jewish people who escaped to Bolivia during WWII. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this setting but it was enlightening and very interesting. All in all, it is at the top of the list for the best book I’ve read this year. Thanks again.
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  • Aimee Smithline
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.I loved the introduction to the main character Orlys life in Prewar Vienna. Learning how Orly's family was able to escape and their settlement in Bolivia was fascinating. The only reason I am not giving the book five stars is that while some parts of Orlys life was described in great detail, towardS the end parts seemed rushed. Also, there were a couple of situations that were unbelievable. I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.I loved the introduction to the main character Orly’s life in Prewar Vienna. Learning how Orly's family was able to escape and their settlement in Bolivia was fascinating. The only reason I am not giving the book five stars is that while some parts of Orly’s life was described in great detail, towardS the end parts seemed rushed. Also, there were a couple of situations that were unbelievable.
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  • Marg Corjay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and this review is entirely my own opinion. I enjoyed the different perspective on escape from Europe during WWII. A story of a family of professional musicians through their lives as they flee war and resettle in South America. It brought to light the difficulties faced by immigrants trying to adjust to a new environment both physically and culturally which is timely to the situation faced by many today.
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  • Amy Rupert
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't know much about the Austrian Jews fleeing to Bolivia during WWII. It was interesting read about the culture and the city of La Paz. Even the Nazis were there although not in power. This is a coming of age story of the daughter of a musical family from Vienna and the pain that was suffered by their family as they tried to live their lives.
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  • Lucy Meeker
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book and I LOVED it. The characters are well-developed and realistic. The story builds to an ending I didn't see coming. I truly felt like I was there and would love to hear more of these characters. I liked the way this author writes, very engaging and draws me in quickly and thoroughly. A very good read and highly recommended.
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