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We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who scatter 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 (pronounced Koortz) family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows ever closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships facing Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. Soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurc family will be flung to the far corners of the earth, each desperately trying to chart his or her own path toward safety. As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death by working endless hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an extraordinary will to survive and by the fear that they may never see each other again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.

I loved this book! The strength and ingenuity of each family member to stay alive made me keep reading far past my bedtime. I found myself teary-eyed not just at the end, but also at several points throughout the book. I also enjoyed the format of the book: each chapter is about a different family member along with the date. In addition, at the end of a majority of the chapters, the author incorporated what was happening during the war at that particular point in time. This was helpful to me so that I could place the events in context. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of WWII historical fiction.

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