Tuesday, November 5, 2013

" Their ship is coming in, maybe, but who's going to board is anybody's guess." ~Pete

"For ex-patriots living in Europe in the summer of 1940 nothing is certain. The couples in The Two Hotel Francforts have made it across France, Spain, and into Lisbon, Portugal, the last neutral port in Europe. There they wait for a ship that will deliver them back to America. But will the ship even let them board with so many desperately trying for passage? And once on board, will the Germans sink the ship? There is nothing to do but wait, drink coffee, wait, see the sights, and maybe mingle with others in the same position.

Pete and Julia had been living the good life in Paris before the Germans started dropping bombs. They escaped, barely, and this escape was especially consequential to Julia because she is Jewish. Once safely in Lisbon they meet bohemian wanderers Edward and Iris. Edward is whip-smart, charismatic, rich, and sweeps Pete off his feet while Julia dissolves into a mysterious melancholia. Iris seems to know everything that's going on, but has her own reasons for looking the other way while the men transgress.

In the movie Casablanca, the character Rick says that 'the problems of three little people (or four little people and a dog in this novel) don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.' Maybe not. But these two couples --- with their dreams, desires, family dysfunctions, career aspirations or lack thereof -- sure make it an interesting wait. Their ship is coming in, maybe, but who's going to board is anybody's guess." 


1 comment:

Tea norman said...

I would love to read this one.