Crossing the Borders of Time

Crossing the Borders of Time

Leslie Maitland

An award-winning journalist’s investigation into her mother’s forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis – and the life she found thereafter in America.

On a pier in Marseille in 1942, with desperate refugees pressing to board one of the last ships to escape France before the Nazis choked off its ports, an eighteen-year-old German Jewish girl was pried from the arms of the Catholic Frenchman she loved and promised to marry. As the Lipari carried Janine and her family to Casablanca on the first leg of a perilous journey to safety in Cuba, she would read through her tears the farewell letter that Roland had slipped into her pocket: “Whatever the length of our separation, our love will survive it, because it depends on us alone. I give you my vow that whatever the time we must wait, you will be my wife. Never forget, never doubt.”

Five years later – her fierce desire to reunite with Roland first obstructed by war and then, in secret, by her father and brother – Janine would build a new life in New York with a dynamic American husband. That his obsession with Ayn Rand tormented their marriage was just one of the reasons she never ceased yearning to reclaim her lost love.

Crossing the Borders of Time is both a vivid depiction of a world at war and a personal pursuit of a haunting question: what had become of the handsome Frenchman whose picture Maitland's mother continued to treasure almost fifty years after they parted? It is a tale of memory and a story of undying love that crosses the borders of time.
leslie maitland

Leslie Maitland

Leslie Maitland is an award-winning former New York Times investigative reporter. She grew up in New York and New Jersey enthralled by her mother Janine’s dramatic stories of her last-minute escape from the Nazis and of her star-crossed love for a young Catholic Frenchman.

She appears regularly on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show to discuss literature. The mother of a son and daughter, she lives with her husband in Bethesda, Maryland.

She received an AudioFile Magazine Best Voice of the Year Award for her narration of Crossing the Borders of Time, included here.

Key features

  • Over 90 images
  • Musical selections
  • Historical maps
  • Family trees
  • 18 hours of audio book


  • Orson publication date: 2017
  • Original edition publication date: 2012
  • Original edition publisher US: Other Press
  • Narrator: Leslie Maitland

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