Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Quick Review: "We Were the Lucky Ones"

From Goodreads:  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. 

My Thoughts:   This was quite the story!  I almost don't know where to start.  We Were the Lucky Ones follows every member of the large Kurc family throughout the course of World War II.  There story is an extraordinary one and I was shocked to see how it all turned out for them considering the circumstances they had to overcome.  Each chapter was told from a different characters' point of view and since each one was living somewhere different and experiencing their own unique struggles, it made for a very exciting read.  Sometimes jumping around between characters can get complicated but I think the author did a good job of creating a smooth transition between each chapter.  At times, it felt like the story dragged on a bit but I think it was necessary because there was so much happening.

The Kurc family's Holocaust experience is a very unique and unusual one and what I enjoyed most about the book is that it was based on true events.  The story is about the author's grandfather and his family and she wrote an extensive author's note at the end of the book explaining her writing process and the extensive research she did.  I've seen a lot of hype surrounding this book and I definitely think that the story lives up to it.  4 stars. 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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