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We Were the Lucky Ones Hardcover – 14 Feb 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (14 Feb. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399563083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399563089
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Review

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 theirstory 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
""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""

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 theirstory 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 sWe Were the Lucky Onesis 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 ofMargotandThe Hours Count
In her debut novelWe 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"

[A] remarkable history . . . Hunter sidesteps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving tale.
Publishers Weekly
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 theirstory 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 sWe Were the Lucky Onesis 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 ofMargotandThe Hours Count
In her debut novelWe 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"

"[A] remarkable history . . . Hunter sidesteps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving tale."
--Publishers Weekly
"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

"[Georgia Hunter is] just as courageous as the characters her writing will never let us forget."
--Harper's Bazaar, "14 Books You Need to Read in February"
"Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely."
--Glamour, "Best Books to Read in 2017"
"[A] gripping and moving story."
--Bustle, "15 New Authors You're Going To Be Obsessed With This Year"
"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."
--Newsweek
"[A] must-read."
--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."
--Publishers Weekly
"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

-[Georgia Hunter is] just as courageous as the characters her writing will never let us forget.-
--Harper's Bazaar, -14 Books You Need to Read in February-
-Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.-
--Glamour, -Best Books to Read in 2017-
-[A] gripping and moving story.-
--Bustle, -15 New Authors You're Going To Be Obsessed With This Year-
-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.-
--Newsweek
-[A] remarkable history . . . Hunter sidesteps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving tale.-
--Publishers Weekly
-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. Georgia's blog, weweretheluckyones.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

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book tells the story of a Polish Jewish family through WWII. Obviously that means that at times it isn't an easy read. It's not giving anything away to say however that it is a story of survival against all the odds (you can work that out from the title after all).
As the family gets split up, they encounter almost every possible route through the terrible times they face. The chapters alternate between different members of the family, so sometimes you are desperate to get back to one particular story to find out how they coped.
Things are moved forward with brief factual snippets about the war - some of these are more chilling than the actual narrative.
It's made all the more affecting by the realisation that this is based on the author's own family history. It's an accomplished novel, and an important one. Right now feels like a good time to be reminded just how truly evil us humans are capable of being when we are twisted into believing that one part of society is to blame for all its ills.
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By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Feb. 2017
Format: Paperback
Georgia Hunter's novel, "We Were the Lucky Ones", does depict a family of Polish Jews who were very lucky, indeed. Their nuclear family - parents and five children - all survived the Holocaust, and ended up living all over the world. "Lucky Ones" is not exactly a novel, because Hunter uses her mother's family as the basis of the story, giving real names and situations. She was smart to write the book this way, as she seems to have written non-fiction with the license of creating her own dialog.She begins each chapter with a short report on what was going on in the war.

Hunter begins her book in Radom, Poland, a city in central Poland with a large and thriving pre-war Jewish community. The Kurc family was celebrating Passover,1939, with four of their five children and their husbands around the table. The only child missing was Addy, who was living in Toulouse, France, and couldn't return home to join in the celebration. For the next six years as the winds of war tossed Polish Jews from the ghettos set up by the German occupiers, to the killing fields, and finally to Treblinka and Auschwitz, the Kurcs fought in the resistance armies, labored in the concentration camps, and were unbelievably lucky in their fate. (This is not a surprise to the readers as they're told that the family survived; the book tells their stories.)

Georgia Hunter is a good writer and the story of the family's survival is presented well. She is the daughter of Addy's daughter, who was born after the war to Addy and an American woman he met while living in Rio. The Kurc's tale is an interesting one.
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Format: Paperback
I have no words to describe this book really which is not so good when writing a review, but it’s the fact that this is one of the most moving and most harrowing books I have ever read. It feels so personal, IS so personal since the author has paid homage to the experiences and memories of her own family, that I feel humbled to have read it. I can’t begin to imagine the horror they must have felt although the writing evokes the feelings, the unspoken words and the fear etched on them all.

I had to sit and think after reading this. I hope the author is proud of this book and proud of the memory it reawakens of her family. How one family escaped , how they managed to survive the ways they did, is testament to their strength. When your entire identity is being erased with pogroms, renamed street signs, new terms and conditions as to what you can and can’t do, when your home is destroyed and even your faith is being taken away, where else do you go?

Each of the family members has their own story to tell – how their village is changing but its the gradual changes that are the problem as at first, nothing is too bad, people learn to adapt, but then things spiral out of control. Each one of them has their own story to tell and their own journey to face. Fear guides them all and when all stories are interwoven, then this is one epic read on so many levels.

This is an important book to read on so many levels and it should be included on so many reading lists. Every chapter in the family’s journey began with the date and location, and named the character in question as well as a bit about the historical background which really gave the novel a fascinating arc.

The story and research are very impressive but what choked me up the most? Seeing the picture of the real life Addy at the end of the book. Highly recommended. The book is on thebooktrail.com with background information
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Format: Paperback
I would have given this book five stars but must admit to being a bit confused with all the people's names, but saying that I did find this book to be a harrowing story of the Jewish community in world war two. It follows the Kurc family and is based on true events.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it MANY more stars 10 Mar. 2017
By carilynp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While only the second month into the year, I can say with certainty that Georgia Hunter’s debut novel WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES is my favorite book of the year. Definitely one of the books that I will cherish. It is not only a poignant story, written so eloquently and with such heart, but the fact that it is based on the true story of her family makes it that much more special. The book is about a family of Polish Jews who were separated during World War II and what became of them. At many times, this is a difficult book to read, as it should be, given the subject. But because it is so hard to read, all the more reason to do so.

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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done 14 Mar. 2017
By MountainReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel was very thorough. I liked all of the characters and enjoyed getting to know them. I felt satisfied at the end. What a story. It's so hard to believe it was all true. This book should be required reading somewhere during one's education. The author really knows how to paint a picture with her words. I felt I was there with the characters every step of the way. I felt their pain and fear. A truly remarkable story.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story... 16 Feb. 2017
By Jill Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Georgia Hunter's novel, "We Were the Lucky Ones", does depict a family of Polish Jews who were very lucky, indeed. Their nuclear family - parents and five children - all survived the Holocaust, and ended up living all over the world. "Lucky Ones" is not exactly a novel, because Hunter uses her mother's family as the basis of the story, giving real names and situations. She was smart to write the book this way, as she seems to have written non-fiction with the license of creating her own dialog.She begins each chapter with a short report on what was going on in the war.

Hunter begins her book in Radom, Poland, a city in central Poland with a large and thriving pre-war Jewish community. The Kurc family was celebrating Passover,1939, with four of their five children and their husbands around the table. The only child missing was Addy, who was living in Toulouse, France, and couldn't return home to join in the celebration. For the next six years as the winds of war tossed Polish Jews from the ghettos set up by the German occupiers, to the killing fields, and finally to Treblinka and Auschwitz, the Kurcs fought in the resistance armies, labored in the concentration camps, and were unbelievably lucky in their fate. (This is not a surprise to the readers as they're told that the family survived; the book tells their stories.)

Georgia Hunter is a good writer and the story of the family's survival is presented well. She is the daughter of Addy's daughter, who was born after the war to Addy and an American woman he met while living in Rio. The Kurc's tale is interesting.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed 17 Feb. 2017
By IH Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a page-turner, as one astonishing experience after another is revealed about a family struggling to stay alive - and connected - during the Holocaust. A truly gripping story that builds and builds as you become emotionally entwined with the characters. Although on the surface it could be seen as a war story, it's really about love, hope, and perseverance. Everyone I know is talking about it, and it's flying off the shelves - readers are buying multiple copies to share with friends. Not to be missed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never ever give up! 28 Feb. 2017
By susieintexas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
400+ pages read in just 3 days.... yes it is that good. Such perseverance to survive against insurmountable odds .
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