We Were the Lucky Ones

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Modern Age

We Were the Lucky Ones
Author: Hunter, Georgia
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1939-1946
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: Poland
Topics: WWII
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Young Adult, Adult
Format: Novel
Published: 2018

World History > Modern Age > WWII

Inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds.

“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.” —Glamour

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.

Emily's Review

I've had this on my tbr for quite a while, so when I saw it was being adapted as a tv series I moved it to the top of my must-read pile. This is absolutely going to make it to my best-of-the-year list. I don't even know how to review this book, beyond saying that it was a moving story. I have read so many books set during this period that left me emotionally exhausted and devastated. That isn't necessarily a bad thing - those stories have their place. But to read a book set in the dark days of WWII about a Jewish family that survives? In Poland? With all those odds stack against them? That is nothing short of amazing. And the things they went through to survive! I just...this book is an amazing testament to will to live and the lengths we will go through to get back to the people we love.

I'm very excited to see how Hulu adapts this story. The story itself has such a big scope, it covers the entirety of the war and the aftermath. I especially appreciate that the story doesn't end with the war. I always like to see what happens after.

Overall, this was an excellent story about a horrible time in history and I recommend it if you are looking for a story that centers Jews during WWII.

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