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.
A novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to Krakow s most brutal prison to the ports of Northern Africa and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can find a way to survive, and even triumph.
We Were the Lucky Ones is an amazing debut novel by Georgia Hunter. I’d like to thank her for sharing her family, the Kurc’s, with us and telling us their story during a time in world history where unimaginable heartbreak happened to a countless number of innocent lives.
Nechuma and Sol Kurc have 5 adult children: Addy, Mila, Genek, Jakob, and Halina. It’s April 4, 1939 in Radom, Poland when we first meet the Kurc’s. The family is together celebrating Passover, except for Addy who’s living in Paris, France because he is unable to get approval for travel due to dangerous traveling conditions. It will be the last Passover the family celebrates together for several years because in just a few short months World War 2 will break out and they will find themselves spread out all over Poland and beyond. Each of them, for the next several years, will struggle in horrible living conditions, fighting for their lives and escaping death time and time again.
Georgia Hunter alternates the chapters focusing on a different member of the Kurc family. The chapters are written in a way that she gives you, what I like to call, a snap shot in time. At the end of each chapter, more often than not, she leaves you hanging and wondering what are they going to do, will they be able to get away or can they survive their current situation.
This is truly a remarkable story of survival based on real people, actual events and situations. Each of these family members faced uncertain death time and time again and against all odds managed to survive. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
My Rating: 5/5
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 2/14/2017 (US)
Pages: 416 (eBook)
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