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We Were the Lucky Ones Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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“[A] gripping and moving story.”
—Bustle, “15 New Authors You’re Going To Be Obsessed With This Year”
“[Georgia Hunter is] just as courageous as the characters her writing will never let us forget.”
“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.”
—Glamour, “Best Books to Read in 2017”
“Turning history into fiction can be tricky, especially when using real names and details. Hunter finesses the challenge. Her novel brings the Kurcs to life in heart-pounding detail, from passionate young love and beloved traditions to narrow escapes, heartbreaking choices, starvation, imprisonment and torture. We come to care deeply about the fate of each of these resourceful, determined characters.”
—The Jewish Voice
“The story that so grippingly comes across in the pages of We Were the Lucky Ones isn't strictly fiction—the characters and events that inhabit this Holocaust survival story are based on her family's own history.”
—New York Post
“[A] remarkable history . . . Hunter sidesteps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving tale.”
“Reading Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history. Her engrossing and deeply affecting account of how the Kurc family survives the Holocaust, against every possible odd, will leave you breathless. But the true wonder of the book is how convincingly Hunter inhabits these characters, each modeled after her own family members. This is their story Hunter is telling so beautifully and profoundly, and ours as well. A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.”
—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
“We Were the Lucky Ones is the most gripping novel I've read in years. Georgia Hunter pulled me into another world, vivid, horrifying, astonishing, and heartbreaking, and I walked with the Kurc family as they traversed the edges of life and death.”
—Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author of And After the Fire, A Fierce Radiance, and City of Light.
“Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones is a skillfully woven reimagining of her own family’s struggle for survival during World War II. Hunter takes us from the Polish ghetto to Siberia to Brazil, all with spectacular historical detail. This emotionally resonant, gripping portrait of the war is filled with beautifully drawn and wonderfully heroic characters I won’t soon forget.”
—Jillian Cantor, author of Margot and The Hours Count
“In her debut novel We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia Hunter has crafted her own family history into a sprawling, yet still intimate portrait of those swept up in the devastation of war and scattered to the winds. It is an astonishing saga of hope, of luck, of destruction, and most remarkably of love, made all the more astonishing because of the true story at its core.”
—David R. Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women
“Elegantly executed and always clear, Hunter evokes pre-war Poland with loving detail, clearly showing what was left behind and lost. . . . We Were the Lucky Ones is a compelling read, notable for Hunter’s clear portraits of her plucky, resilient family, and for her ability to build suspense and investment without emotional manipulation.”
—Courtney Naliboff, ReformJudaism.org
About the Author
When Georgia Hunter was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones was born of her quest to uncover her family’s staggering history. Hunter’s website, georgiahunterauthor.com, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the extensive research this project has entailed. She lives in Connecticut.
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Top Customer Reviews
I don’t remember the last time that I was so moved by words on a page, characters with such determination, and the evil that lay before them. To read page after page about the destruction of the war, the harsh reality of their living conditions, the brutality of the Nazi regime, and what the Jews were literally stripped of. It is a lesson in humanity, in history, and in how Poland was desecrated. As a third-generation immigrant, like Hunter, my grandparents came from Poland, and while they were in America before the war, nothing has impacted my heart more than reading this book. Surely my grandparents left behind friends and family and felt similar heartache as the Kurcs did with their beloved country.
There are many lessons to be learned from reading this book other than how people cope with great sadness. It is about resilience, the strength of the human spirit, family, and love. Hunter is a writer to watch. Hunter's ancestors would be so proud of what she has done with this book. She has not only written a remarkable piece of literature but the effort that she put forth to gather her family’s history seems to have been no small feat, as you will learn. As a Jew and a human, I feel it was an honor to read WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES, to learn about every member of her family. I feel like I know each of them. They were the lucky ones and so are we to be given this book.
First off, thank you Penguin-Viking for allowing me to read this beautiful ARC. I've been given this ARC for my honest feedback.
The following review is my mere opinion. I will start with the dislikes, move on to the likes, and my own personal thoughts.
What did I dislike about this novel?
What did I like about this novel?
1. The characters. Even though I know it's based on a true story, I enjoyed the characters.
2. It made me cry, laugh, and cry a ton.
3. Finding out more about what the Jewish community really went through in order to survive.
4. Well-written. Hats off to Mrs. Hunter. I'm an instant fan.
5. The careful research that went into making this a novel.
6. The patience Mrs. Hunter must have had. Not many writers want to talk about their family's history. It takes so much time to research and fact-check. Kudos to Mrs. Hunter.
7. The ending and the acknowledgement. For the first time, I feel completely satisfied and that's hard to achieve.
Now for my personal thoughts.
What are you waiting for? Go buy this book already! It will make you laugh, cry, cry some more and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I won't give anything away. You have to be willing to have a box of tissues nearby. It also makes me thing of my ancestors. What they went through to make it this far. Would I ever write about my family's history? No. I don't have the patience. We cannot deny the painful part of our prior history. We need to learn from it and do better as each generation passes. I cried, I honestly did. It made my stomach churn and drop. But this is a book about sacrifice and love. I know as a mother, I would do anything to save my children. But this family is simply remarkable. Yeah, maybe some parts were dramatized but Mrs. Hunter took me there. I could imagine the horrors her family went through. If this book doesn't make you feel something, I don't know what else to tell you. I plan on buying this book on hardcover and it will remain a treasure for the rest of my life. What we need is a whole lot more love in this world and a lot less hate. Thank you, Mrs. Hunter. Bless you and your beautiful family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I'm sure it was painful for her to write this. I could only imagine.