Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Title: We Were the Lucky Ones
Author: Georgia Hunter
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: January 2, 2018
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.

As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.

An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive."

My Two Cents: 

"We Were the Lucky Ones" is an amazing historical fiction book based on stories from the author's own family. When you read the book, you will appreciate the story even more! The Kurc family knows is watching as their rather idyllic life in Poland is quickly changing as the devastation of World War II comes to their doorstep. The parents and their five children and their own families will be spread all over the globe from Brazil to Siberia. Will they survive?

I fell in love with the whole family! You are pulling for all of them to survive. There is a mother and father, three sons, and two daughters. They are a tight-knit family and all of them are resourceful in their own ways. Addy, the middle son, is stuck in France when he realizes that he is not going to be able to make it back home. His journey will literally take him around the world (we find out later that Addy is modeled on the author's own grandfather!). I loved seeing how each person's journey panned out.

The writing of the book was really good! The author does a great job of creating separate personalities for each of the characters. They are all so different, yet you can still see similar family threads running through them. This book is based on the author's family stories but they have been fictionalized. I thought the author did a great job of weaving a really gripping narrative. I really liked that between each chapter, there were a couple bullet points about what was going on in the overall war at the time. It was nice to be able to keep the larger picture in perspective throughout the book!

I really loved this book and was sorry that I missed it when it first came out!



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