Book Review: We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter


My book review of We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. A breathtaking and heart-wrenching novel that captures the indomitable spirit of the human soul amidst the horrors of World War II.

Title: We Were the Lucky Ones

By: Georgia Hunter

Genre: Historical

Pages: 403

Release Date: February 14th, 2017

Publisher: Viking

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

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.


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We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter is a breathtaking and heart-wrenching novel that captures the indomitable spirit of the human soul amidst the horrors of World War II. Based on the true story of the Kurc family, Hunter delivers a masterful tale of resilience, love, and hope that leaves a lasting impact on the reader.

From the very first page, Hunter’s eloquent prose immerses you in the lives of the Kurc family members, whose lives are upended by the Nazi invasion of Poland. Each chapter shifts perspective, giving a multifaceted view of the family's experiences as they are scattered across continents, enduring unimaginable trials and tribulations. This narrative style is both powerful and intimate, allowing readers to deeply connect with each family member's unique journey.

What makes We Were the Lucky Ones truly exceptional is its meticulous historical accuracy combined with the emotional depth of its characters. Hunter’s extensive research shines through, painting a vivid picture of the era’s political and social landscape. The authenticity of the setting and events grounds the story in reality, making the Kurc family’s courage and determination all the more inspiring.

The characters are wonderfully developed, each exhibiting a strength and resilience that is both awe-inspiring and humbling. From Addy’s escape to Brazil and Genek’s harrowing experiences in a Siberian labor camp to Mila’s fight for survival in the ghettos, every storyline is compelling and heart-rending. The Kurc family’s unwavering faith and commitment to one another serve as a poignant reminder of the power of love and hope, even in the darkest times.

Hunter’s narrative skillfully balances the portrayal of the atrocities of war with moments of profound humanity and tenderness. The story is not just one of survival but also of enduring love, familial bonds, and the small acts of kindness that sustain us. It’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a tribute to the strength of the family unit.

In conclusion, We Were the Lucky Ones is a monumental achievement in historical fiction. Georgia Hunter has created a deeply moving and beautifully written tribute to her ancestors, and to all those who suffered and survived during one of history’s darkest periods. This novel is an essential read for anyone who appreciates powerful storytelling, historical accuracy, and the triumph of the human spirit. It's a book that stays with you long after you've turned the last page, a true testament to the enduring power of hope and love.

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