Those interested in Czech history between the two World Wars will be fascinated by this memoir by a woman who lived it. Mia Münzer Le Comte rebelled against her bourgeois background by, in the first place, becoming an artist, leaving home and having amorous adventures, including two husbands. She knows an autobiography that is not honest and open is not worth doing. She accomplishes it with style and poignancy, right up to (and past) Hitler's takeover of Prague and her personal horrors eluding the Gestapo.
In Italy, France and Spain she was a step away from the police, a fugitive without proper papers. Her husband, Karl, abandoned her in Nice. In Marseilles, to escape the bombs, she had to lie on the concrete floor of a darkened railroad station. The next shelter was a bordello. She exchanged drawings for food. With Spain refusing to give transit visas to Jews, it was a miracle that this courageous and resourceful woman was able to crowd on to one of the last boats to leave Lisbon, bringing her to New York with three dollars left.