We Were the Lucky Ones

We Were the Lucky Ones

by Georgia Hunter


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399563089
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

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. Hunter’s website, georgiahunterauthor.com, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the extensive research this project has entailed. She lives in Connecticut.

Read an Excerpt

Jakob and Bella
Bella steps carefully so as not to clip the backs of Anna’s heels. The sisters move slowly, deliberately, talking in whispers. It’s nine in the evening, and the streets are empty. There isn’t a curfew in Lvov as there is in Radom, but the blackout is still in effect, and with the street lamps extinguished, it’s nearly impossible to see.

Excerpted from "We Were the Lucky Ones"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Georgia Hunter.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1.         The Kurc family was assimilated into Polish life before the war. What are some examples of that assimilation, and how do you think that helped or hindered the family’s chances of survival?
2.         Who was your favorite character, and why?
3.         Which scene did you find most harrowing? Most comforting?
4.         Addy meets Eliska en route to Brazil. Did you find it strange that he would fall in love despite the circumstances? In what ways do you think Eliska and Addy’s feelings for one another would have been similar or different had they met under more normal circumstances?
5.         Jakob has been the love of Bella’s life since she was a teenager, and yet not even he can comfort her when Bella learns of her sister and parents’ deaths. In the end, though, Bella turns the corner and is able to let Jakob back into her life, and being with him helps her to heal. Have you ever had a relationship with a friend or partner that was either damaged or strengthened by sharing a tough experience?
6.         Halina is the most rebellious of the five Kurc siblings and follows only one set of rules—her own. In what ways do you think Halina’s personality affects the family’s fate throughout the war?
7.         When Poland falls in September 1939, Germany takes over the west and Russia the east.
Genek, who finds himself on the eastern side, refuses to accept Soviet citizenship, thereby labeling himself a resistor. Why do you think Genek felt so strongly about holding onto the nationality of his home country, despite the fact that, technically, it no longer existed? Would you have done the same? What does your national identity mean to you?
8.         Although the author does not deliberately draw parallels to other major events in history or to today’s current events, some readers have commented on what they see as shared circumstances. What similarities, if any, did you notice?
9.         What are some messages in the book that you feel would be valuable to pass along to future generations?
10.       There are several examples in the book of strangers who put their lives at risk to help the Kurcs, such as the Górskis, who take Sol and Nechuma into hiding; the Mother Superior, who allows Felicia into her convent; and Herr Den, who vouches for Halina’s Aryan identity. What would you have done had you been in these characters’ shoes? What motivates people to put themselves on the line—despite the deadly risks of getting caught—to help people in need?
1.         The author did not know about her family’s Holocaust past, or even realize she was one-quarter Jewish, until she was fifteen years old. Why do you think this was the case? How do you think this delayed awareness of her past impacted her approach to writing We Were the Lucky Ones?
2.         The book is written from multiple perspectives. What was your experience in trying to follow the different narratives of the scattered family members? Did you use any particular strategies to keep track?
3.         Why do you think the author, having amassed a thorough factual history of the family’s saga, chose to write We Were the Lucky Ones as historical fiction rather than nonfiction?
4.         The author chose to provide historical context through factual snippets inserted between some of the chapters, rather than through the eyes of the characters. How did these historical interludes affect your experience as a reader?
5.         Most historical fiction is written in the past tense. Why do you think the author chose to write this story in the present tense? What impact, if any, did this have on your reading experience?

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We Were the Lucky Ones 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I began reading this book life stopped. I couldn't put it down. The challenges; the not knowing where other family members were; the cruelty of the Nazi's and all of the "near misses" of being captured (and being captured) - were riveting. The author did an amazing job of bringing the reader into the experience with all of the associated emotions. This true story needed to be written. Thank you for sharing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best pieces I have ever enjoyed reading! At first I thought the author used stories from various people . When I read the final notes, I was once again gripped with emotion to learn that it was all one family . I have never read a book with quite these emotional feelings . The view into the what else happened to people during the Holocaust besides the camps was so informative and moving .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book continuously once started. An amazing family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This family was indeed lucky but also smart and brave. Everyone should never forget the horrors that Hitler inflicted on the Jews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can read this book , you will never be able to forget it..!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing novel and reminder of what is important
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to believe after reading many, many Holocaust books that this was real life for so many. The author transports the reader to a time that so many would like to forget, but I am fascinated with each and every account of what life was like during this devastating time. Wonderful book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a good thing that I'm retired or Ii would have had use vacation days in order to keep reading this wonderful book. You will realise the scarfices Jewish people had to make just to stay alive!!! If you read only one novel about WW2 please make it this one!!!! Highly recommend!!! FYI: I instantly ordered everything this amazing author has written!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put down. A story of love, fear, resilients, courage. Excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mother grew up in Austria during WW2. She never spoke much about it. I believe this is the reason I so enjoy reading about this time in history . Of all the books I have read, this is by far the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't miss this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This moving story reminds us of who we are and what we are capable of, both good and horrible! BUT we must not forget these stories though we never seem to learn the lessons of the Holocaust As someone who watched her cousin's number tatoo when I was young and heard about his survival from Auschwicz, I am ever grateful for my great grandparents exodus from Europe long before the war and grateful too to the author for keeping this history alive for all! Great book--thank you, Addy's granddaughter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book started a little slow but as I connected with the characters I enjoyed it more. There were times that were hard to read and I shed many tears for this family. It was a good read and I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This makes me want to dig deeper into my Jewish families roots in Eastern Europe as David Laskins the Family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a heartwarming story of a very close knit family. Heartbreaking at time, but very redeeming. They truly were the lucky ones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its hard to imagine these horrors went on. How can humans treat other humans like that. An excellent read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book. Made me think. An incredible story of survival.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not easy to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful read. I could not put it down. The author really makes you feel like you are part of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We Were The Lucky Ones balances the horrors and pain of war with the strength and determination of an extended family through their years of uncertainty and separation. Each character is fully developed, changes as his or her situation changes, and rises to the most horrific situations with calm intelligence and bravery. Combining the actual historic events that take place as the war progresses, put the story into perspective. Georgia Hunter is a talented writer who displays great compassion for all the Kurc family endured. The title is very appropriate as they were truly the lucky ones as most Holocaust stories do not have a happy ending. I look forward to her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book beyond words. I love to read about thw Holocaust and this is THE BEST book I have ever read, along side Anne Frank. A must read book to which you will never forget nor put down. Thank you to the author from the depth of my soul for loving your family so much and for sharing their story. I so appreciate thw time and effort you put into this book. Thank you so very, very much!