Exile Music

Exile Music Details

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 Bolivia

As 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?

Get a Copy :

Amazon ABEBOOKS
Title:Exile Music
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525561811
Format Type:

    Exile Music Reviews

  • Tammy

    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 behin...

  • Janet

    This fascinating, deftly-plotted and well-characterized novel by the author of The Ambassador's Wife follows a family of Jewish musicians in the 1930's, Austrian natives who never suspect that their l...

  • Jillian Doherty

    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 s...

  • Karren  Sandercock

    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 m...

  • Candace

    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, ...

  • Kate

    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 ...

  • Chrisl

    Recommend. Enjoyed learning about Bolivia.Author caught my attention with her 'Overture'p xiii - "Anneliese shook her head, the ends of her long hair dancing across the paper. 'How could we not have e...

  • Suze

    This was a fascinating read, about refugees from Nazi Germany escaping to the only country that would accept them - Bolivia, South America. Imagine uprooting your world to flee for your lives to a cou...

  • Jessica Haider

    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 sin...

  • Rachel

    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 bo...