413 pages ; 23 cm
"An atmospheric and meditative novel based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, following 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 within the city limits. Only vaguely aware of Hitler's rise or how definitive her Jewish heritage will become to her family's identity, Orly spends her days immersed in play with her best friend and upstairs neighbor, Analiese. Together they dream up vivid and elaborate worlds, where all of the things they love about their own lives can exist forever. But in 1938, Orly's peaceful life is shattered. 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. La Paz couldn't be more different from Vienna--the altitude alone sabotages her mother's efforts to bake the pastries they loved back home. Even as the number of Jewish refugees in the small town grows, her family is haunted by the music that can no longer be their livelihood, by the missing brother who was once the heart of their family, and Orly yearns for the solace of her friendship with Analiese. Yet they find a daily rhythm in this strange, new land. Years pass, the war ends, and suddenly the threat they fled looms again. Just as Bolivia took in Jewish refugees, the country now accepts a small number of Nazi refugees. Orly reckons with a darkness that not even victory at war can extinguish, and she must decide: Is the security and joy of her day to day life in La Paz what defines home, or is the pull of her past in Europe too strong to ignore? In lyrical and atmospheric prose, Exile Music illuminates one girl's coming of age in a family separated and defined by war, whose hope takes root on an unfamiliar shore"-- Provided by publisher.