We Were the Lucky Ones
The Kurc family shouldn't have survived the Holocaust. In the spring of 1939 three generations are living relatively normal lives in Poland, despite the hardships Jews face. When war breaks out and the family is cast to the wind, the five Kurc siblings do everything they can to find their way through a devastated continent to freedom. Addy, a musician, charms his way into possession of a Brazilian visa and into the first class piano lounge on a ship full of refugees bound for Rio; Jakob marries the love of his life in an abandoned house to a soundtrack of air sirens; Mila hides her daughter in a Catholic convent outside of Warsaw, only to return weeks later to find the convent in ruins; Genek endures a brutal winter in a Siberian gulag before embarking with his wife and newborn son on a year-long exodus through Persia to fight for the Allies; and Halina attempts to flee over the Austrian Alps on foot - while pregnant. All this, across continents and often in ignorance as to the fate of the rest of their family, while the wheels of war turn. We Were the Lucky Ones is a profoundly moving and memorable novel based on the author's family experiences.
"Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely." Glamour (US)"Hunter side-steps 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;"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 Margor 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 Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women; "Everyone interested in the history of the Holocaust will surely want to read this compelling and moving story, based on actual events, of how three generations of a (or 'the author's') Polish Jewish family found their different escape routes from a war-torn continent, to freedom and eventual reunion." Lyn Smith, author of The Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust;"It's a remarkable book" Choice "We Were the Lucky ones is a striking re-creation of the breathtaking courage of an ordinary family inspired by their deep love for one another." Anne Garvey, The Jewish Chronicle (UK); "The book does not merely serve as a series of anecdotes, but rather there is a strong narrative flow. ... the characters are well written and their experiences, while harrowing, are never included just for effect. ... At times devastating to read, We Were the Lucky Ones serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and ingenuity. It, and accounts like it, should form the basis of what we understand about the Holocaust - it's all very well reading dry, academic texts about what happened, but the lived experience of that dreadful time is so much more compelling." It Takes A Woman blog; "Hunter manages to create authentic personalities with distinct voices, all of whom have fascinating stories to tell. ... An incredible story of resilience, of hope, of survival. ...The book is expansive in scope, the language is vivid, and the storyline compelling." Hilary Daninhirsch, The Jewish Chronicle
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. She lives in Connecticut, USA.