“Beautifully lyric . . . [Lawrence Thornton’s] prose is finely honed and his touch sure.”—Chicago Tribune
The year is 1936. The tide of fascism is overwhelming Europe. In Spain the Guardia Civil wages war on the citizens. Spanish-German novelist Joaquín Wolf leaves his adopted home in Paris for a short visit to Spain, where he will spend an evening that will change his life. For there he meets the great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and in two brief hours they forge a close friendship. Within days Lorca is dead, executed by the civil guard, an event that sets Wolf on an irrevocable course as he joins the struggle against Franco.
Wounded, Wolf returns to France to find German fascism threatening the city he loves. Banding together with a fiercely political group of writers named the Lorca Club, he again becomes a soldier of the resistance—this time using his most potent ammunition: words.
Through the Lorca Club he meets Ursula Krieger, another exiled Berliner living in Paris, a survivor not only of war but of the bloodless horrors of postwar life. Though the scars of her past keep her from reaching out to him, Wolf’s quiet, steadfast love vanquishes shame and pain. And while Lorca taught Wolf what must be fought against, even to the death, it is Ursula who teaches him what is worth fighting—and living—for.