Alexander Ramati's fictionalized account of his wife's childhood experiences as a Jewish refugee during World War II was originally written for their young daughter; it's stylistically gauche, but distinguished by its circumstances--for Gerda Marie Sonnenfeld was one of the thousands of German, Austrian, and Italian nationals interned by the edgy British, with Jews and Nazis absurdly penned together. In the story, the Sonnenfelds, a German Jewish family, escape from Holland under fire in a freighter crammed with terrified refugees. Once in Britain, eight-year-old Gerda Marie is shipped off to foster parents while her mother, father, and grandparents are confined separately in prisons and makeshift camps, sometimes without knowledge of one another's whereabouts, and in dread that Mr. Sonnenfeld, in particular, will be deported overseas. Through her own resourcefulness and grit, Gerda Marie is eventually reunited with most of her family in a camp on the Isle of Man. Then, after two years' imprisonment, the family settles in Lancashire, where the good-hearted locals--the ""real British""--make amends. Something of an exposÃ‰, but more a tribute to the panache of ordinary people--both refugees and resident Britishers--under stress.