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Editorial Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Georgia Hunter (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    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

127 of 132 people found this review 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.

44 of 48 people found this review 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.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Mediocre book but wildly popular

I just can't reconcile the popularity of this book among leaders in the actual reality. Granted, I am picky about my fiction but this book was flawed. The character development was shallow and and although the point of the book was about the various members of this family, I didn't feel close to any of them. The narrator's performance was wooden and made the book sounds like reading out loud to class in fifth grade. Many of the lines and descriptions of these people were cliché and they were parts of the book that sounded like a Hallmark card.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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!

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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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!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Just Ok

I found this book to be somewhat boring . I have read several historical fiction books from this same period and this book did not hold my interest, as I struggled to get through it. Just my opinion .. you may find it otherwise.

4 of 4 people found this review 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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful