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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

Inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive - and to reunite - We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds.

“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.” (Glamour)

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.

An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the 20th century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive. 

©2017 Georgia Hunter (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“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)

What listeners say about We Were the Lucky Ones

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    7,833
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    1,610
  • 3 Stars
    396
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Story
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it but...

I loved this book. It was well written and compelling. The actor did an amazing job.

My problem with the book was the number of characters made it really hard for me to keep their stories straight. There were 5 children, their spouses, a granddaughter, and the parents. As Hunter bounced from story to story, I found myself constantly wondering who we were talking about now. Was a past story being updated or was yet another new character was being introduced? I have a hard time remembering names as it is and keeping things straight made the audio book very difficult to follow.

I finally spent a half hour on an internet search for information on the family tree. It was a little difficult to find. Below is what I found. I kept it nearby as I listened.

The Kurc family member is listed first, their spouse 2nd and children next.

Sol, Nechuma - Parents
Genek, Herta, Jozef
Mila, Seilim, Felicia
Addy, Caroline (First GF Eliska)
Jakob, Bella
Halina, Adam

320 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was okay...

Any additional comments?

The book and characters didn't grab me. I couldn't get fully invested in the story, to the point that I started the book over a few chapters in because I realized I didn't know who 2 of the 5 main characters were. It was a little difficult trying to keep everyone straight, and the description of each character was kinda glazed over, making it difficult for me to create a picture in my head of what they looked like. I finally gave up with about 4 hours left to listen to, I just didn't care what happened to the characters anymore.

30 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My Best Audible "Read" Ever

What made the experience of listening to We Were the Lucky Ones the most enjoyable?

The story behind this book -- a TRUE story -- is compelling, suspenseful, terrifying, and joyous. It is a wonderful reminder of atrocities we should never forget, and of the way the human spirit can overcome even the most horrific of experiences. This is by far and away the best book I've ever listened to on Audible.

75 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible story

This was a hard book for me to put down. I thought I was reading historical fiction and then realized that these were real events the author was speaking of. It is a miracle that so much of her family were able to make it out alive. This should be required high school reading at least to understand history and what happens when evil prevails.

30 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exceptional story- written beautifully

I rarely walk around breathless as I listen to all the books I listen to. This book grabbed me and didn't let go. It's a families true story, their harrowing experiences and survival. Just amazing.

40 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heartwarming and genuine

This wonderfully written story is a treasure. As I listened to Kathleen Gati recount the incredible story of this family, I am reminded of what makes survivors of the Holocaust so resilient - family. While listening to this book I found myself laughing, crying, and celebrating along with the family, usually with tears in my eyes. If you are considering this book, you won't be disappointed!

37 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Must Read

This is a beautifully written and perfectly narrated true story of one family's struggles to survive the Nazi invasion of Poland. Their family bond and Jewish traditions immediately grab the interest of the listener. The horrors of the Nazi hold on Europe are heart breaking. The story grips you from the start. You feel as if you are personally lnvolved. Fabulous book!

24 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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NOT FEELING SO LUCKY

I love historical fiction and especially the WWII period so I thought this one would fit the bill. However, the entire story, at least as far I got, (up to Chapter 13) was told in such a detached way that I just could not stay interested. The characters almost never speak for themselves. In fact, the story is written from a third-person perspective and narrated in a disinterested monotone. I found my mind constantly wandering and had to keep rewinding to try to pick up the story line. But soon the words would become a droning mumble again and I'd have to force myself to pay attention. While the story might have a lot of great historical content, the writing style and narration made it just too much work to listen to. It might be one of those books I need to read for myself so I can give the characters voice and personality inside my head.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the good from the bad

The story isn't new but it's a refreshing version that celebrates survivors and the emotional and physical turmoil that coincides with this war. There are a lot of names, and more often than not I had to wait for the story to develop around the character before figuring out which family member we were hearing about. But this didn't really detract from the overall experience. The narration is sharply articulated but it isn't unpleasant and the accents were well done... even some of the southern American dialect.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I had to return this book - I didn't like the Narrators voice

I was looking forward to this book but I just didn't like the narrators voice. I'll try to find this book with a different narrator.

5 people found this helpful