An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive - and to reunite.
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 listeners 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 20th century's darkest moment, the human spirit could find a way to survive and even triumph.
Editors Select, February 2017 - WWII and its heartbreaking history have served as the backdrop to some of my all-time favorite novels (Code Name Verity, The Nightingale, to name a couple). It is in these dark times that we search most desperately for a person's humanity - and these stories all share incredibly brave yet incredibly human characters. Georgia Hunter's debut novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, was born of her childhood discovery that she descended from a family of Holocaust survivors and her years-long attempt to unravel her family's history. Rich in setting, poignant in delivery, and amplified by moving performances from Robert Fass and Kathleen Gati, Hunter's novel is set to enter the impressive canon of WWII literature that touches you at your core. Katie, Audible Editor
"Reading Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history.... A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment." (Paula McLain, New York Times best-selling author of The Paris Wife)
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the good from the bad
- Stephanne Dennis "A good story is something that makes life feel... enriched by having experienced it."
Yes I certainly would listen again in as much that the story line is very well composed. It seems to flow much as if a symphonic piece of classical music. Certainly kept me listening and in such a way that I was disappointed once the last chapter had arrived. Family in my case is a vital part of life. Given the dire circumstances of the book, it was a blessing to see the family once again share their lives around the supper/dinner table.
Enjoyed Kathleen's narrative. The accents and languages are very well done and a pleasure to listen to.
- Judy L. Knaapen "doggirl"