The House of Dreams by Kate Lord Brown is a fictionalized account of Air-Bel, a villa in Marseilles, France.  During the early part of WWII, the American Relief Center worked to relocate refugees out of Vichy controlled Marseilles to protect them from Nazi arrest.  These people were usually on a list as a “degenerate” artist or someone who had been politically critical of Nazism.  Varian Fry was the American journalist who ran the organization that got so many people to safety.  The fictional character which the novel focuses on is the renowned artist Gabriel Lambert.  He had been provided with an escape route to the US.  He is now in his nineties and has become a recluse.  Sophie Cass is a New York City journalist who is hoping for an exclusive, revealing interview about the WWII era relationship which he had with her great aunt.  Flashbacks tell the story of the real Varian Fry’s heroic efforts and reveal a very complex secret that the fictional artist Lambert had kept for all his life.



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