Recent Book Reviews

“Lisa Barr’s Fugitive Colors is a debut novel that reads like the work of a seasoned novelist. Deep, heartfelt characters play out their passions—personal, artistic, religious, and political—against the backdrop of the Nazi rise to power in Europe. With vivid prose, Barr explores a little-known historical moment in which Hitler’s hatred of ‘degenerate art’—modern art that he deemed elitist, un-German, and contaminated by Jewish influences—destroys not only paintings but the artists who created them. Insightful. Fascinating. Un-put- downable.”

—B. A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger

“Masterfully conceived and crafted, Barr’s dazzling debut novel has it all: passion and jealousy, intrigue and danger.”


Fugitive Colors is a searing tale of passion, jealousy, love, loyalty, and revenge. Lisa Barr paints with vivid prose the grim setting and dire choices of the era to create a haunting tapestry of human heroism and sacrifice that is truly unforgettable.”

—Pam Jenoff, international bestselling author of The Kommandant’s Girl 

“As a historical novel, Fugitive Colors offers a fascinating account of the Nazis attempt to ‘purify’ art (when they weren’t busy purifying the population).As an epic thriller, former Jerusalem Post editor Barr’s fiction debut keeps the pages turning by killing off the good guys and steadily upping the evil.”

—Judith Basya, literary editor, HEEB Magazine, which listed Fugitive Colors among its “Top 10” Books of 2014

“Lisa Barr succeeds in drawing attention to a tragedy of the human condition whose ramifications are still shuddering through the vaults of high art. This novel is an important and engrossing tale that kept this reader burning a late candle.”

—Raoul Peter Mongilardi, producer, director, and author of the “Next to the Gods” series

“Written in bold and emotive strokes like the Expressionist painters and modern artists the novel tributes one can’t help but be deeply moved by this arresting and driving drama.Told with heart and precision, one is drawn into the Parisian and German art world at the onset of World War II.”

—Stephanie Renee dos Santos, blogger

“Barr’s page-turning plot line includes the elements of a gripping story: rivalry, hate, jealousy, lust, ambition, intrigue, disloyalty, and true friendship, set in a tense, cruel historical time period.The book adds a personal, behind-the-scenes flavor to a wartime episode that continues to have contemporary relevance.”

—Abigail Klein Leichman, The International Jerusalem Post

“Fugitive Colors is a thrilling page-turner with twists and turns at every step.”

—Amy Klein, columnist for the New York Times

“Barr creates dynamic characters that the reader can love and hate while weaving together a complex plot. As Fugitive Colors educates the reader on art history, the book gives the reader a portrait of how far a character can be pushed while under duress, both physically and emotionally. In the end, Fugitive Colors is about resiliency in one’s passion for art as well as resiliency in friendship and love.”

—- Jessica Smith, Coal Hill Review

“Fugitive Colors is a riveting, heartbreaking tale of art, politics, love, and suspense set in Europe in the days before the Second World War. In this impressive debut novel, Lisa Barr asks the question:What is the value of art? Her answers take us on an exciting roller-coaster ride we won’t forget.”

—Christina Haag, New York Times bestselling author of Come to the Edge: A Love Story

“Lisa Barr’s well crafted novel is nearly impossible to put down.The passion and pain the characters experience is beautifully evident and practically sings from the pages. Graphic and disturbing in places, Fugitive Colors is a book about love, friendship, jealousy, betrayal, and the things that give people a passion for life. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, this book is haunting, and will stick with the reader for some time.”

—Whitney Smyth, Portland Book Review

“Well-written and engaging, Lisa Barr has provided a specific look into one area of the Nazi movement and how it affected the painters of that time. . . . Follow Julian’s story as he discovers the perils of being a Jewish expressionist painter duringWorldWar II and just how far he will go to protect art, and his friends.”

—Lenna Stites, San Francisco Book Review

“I read this World War II novel about the Nazis’ pursuit of modern artists in three days and felt a sense of suspense from scene to scene. I honestly couldn’t put it down and would have read it in one day if I didn’t have to attend to my family!”

—Nina Badzin, Pithy Book Reviews

“I could not put this book down! Lisa Barr takes readers behind the scenes as the Nazis begin eliminating artists and ‘degenerates’ prior to World War ll. Her characters, Julian, Rene’, Felix, Adrienne, and Charlotte come to life as she paints a painful and intriguing story of love, life, and loss.”

—Susan Nieman, publisher/editor of Jewish Scene Magazine 

“Period melodrama that will appeal to those who enjoy art or are receptive to a new take on Nazi Germany.”

—Kirkus Reviews 

“There a lot of Holocaust books written lately but this one is in a class by itself, character driven and a believable story line that could very well have happened. the Hitler and his Nazis were cruel and inhuman people and it is always heartbreaking to read about the atrocities committed against a race of people.I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the writing is very descriptive and enables the reader to almost be there. I love historical fiction and this time frame is especially interesting. I would highly recommend this book. I loved it!

— Kathleen Kelly, Celticlady’s Reviews

“Fugitive Colors is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time.”

—Jackie Pilossoph, author of Free Gift With Purchase 

“Like a great painting, Lisa Barr’s book has combined skill and imagination to

explore various profound concepts in their myriad colors.”

—Brad Herzog, author of Turn Left at the Trojan Horse

“Lisa Barr’s writing is mesmerizing, her palette of words is as colorful and energetic as the art and the artists she envisions.”

—Deby Eisenberg, author of Pictures of the Past

“The suspense and thrill make this a quick, can’t-put-it-down book—and establish Barr, a journalist for more than twenty years, as a bona fide novelist.”

—Michigan Avenue Magazine

“Mixing romance and horror, history and imagination, high art and double- dealing artifice, Lisa Barr has fashioned a dynamic page-turner of young artists caught up in the Nazis rise to power and their leaders’ attempted control over the definition, sanctioning and purposes of art. . . . Fugitive Colors has a cinematic feel.”

—Philip K. Jason, professor emeritus of English at the United States Naval Academy, and Special to the Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee

“Fugitive Colors became a fascinating and frightening history lesson for me. . . . It is rare that I read a book twice. However, Fugitive Colors is one of those rare finds that is worthy of a second read.”

—Sandy De Lisle, author of Pure Enough

“Sinister one moment and uplifting the next.All the twists and turns and sex

and violence; I was totally hooked. . . . like Sarah’s Key but so much better.”

—Bonnie Rochman, contributor to the Wall Street Journal

“The book is fabulous. It is full of excitement plus so much information about art and World War II. It is a must-read for all.”

—Samuel R. Harris, president emeritus of the Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and author of Sammy: Child Survivor of the Holocaust

“Powerful pacing, well-developed characters, expert twists of the plot, and the capacity to effectively convey genuine human and artistic sensibilities informed by in-depth period research result in a book that is hard to put down.”

—Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Philadelphia Jewish Voice

“Barr’s book reads like a sweeping epic film, a nail-biting, on-the-edge-of- your-seat thriller, a cinematic tour-de-force in brilliant literary form . . . a story that mixes the deep sadness and isolation of a van Gogh painting with the uplifting love and joy of a Monet.”

—Malina Saval, author of The Secret Lives of Boys and Jewish Summer Camp Mafia