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Exiles in the Garden by Ward Just
In Exiles in the Garden, freelance photographer Alec Malone tells his life story to his dying father. His father was a senator for 54 years, deeply involved in political conflict and deal making. Alec, though, is the antithesis to his father, seeking to avoid conflict and live a simple life. Alec's wife, Lucia, is a Czech woman raised in Switzerland by her socialist mother. When a count and countess move next door to their Georgetown home and throw parties in their garden for European expatriates and exiles, Lucia feels a longing for home and eventually leaves Alec for a European man. Alec discovers Lucia's missing father, resistance fighter who spent decades in a Soviet gulag, and finds his story inspiring. This causes him to re-evaluate his own life. Ward Just's novel has reeceived positive reviews with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying, "ust's denouement, when it comes, is perfect. Exiles in the Garden is Ward Just at his best. It is a serious and thoughtful book written with a page-turner's flair."