Mary Relindes Ellis is "a magician with historical details."
In the opening pages of “The Bohemian Flats,” a shellshocked German-American named Raimund Kaufmann comes to in a London hospital in 1919. He has been unconscious for a week, and when he wakes he does so from a dream of life in Minneapolis along the river flats, a part of the city Ellis is soon to bring to wondrous life.
From that London hospital, Ellis takes readers back to the story of Raimund leaving Germany and arriving in Minneapolis. His is the classic American immigrant story, one fueled by the notion of a better life in the Promised Land, a life Raimund does find, even if it’s a somewhat more complicated version than the one he imagined — or the one we’ve come to expect from history books.