Praise for We Were the Lucky Ones

“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.”

We Were the Lucky Ones is picked by Glamour as one of the Best Books to Read in 2017!

“Based on a true story, this novel tells the tale of how the Polish, Jewish Kurc family was separated by World War Two and eventually found its way back together, traveling across continents and years and through all manner of hostility. Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.” —Glamour magazine

 

Prix des Lectrices Charleston

Honored to be selected as a reader’s choice finalist by my French publisher, Les Editions Charleston. The Prix des Lectrices is awarded annually by literary bloggers and influencers – a group of 60 this year. The winner is chosen in June. Merci, Editions Charleston!

Book of the Month

Thanks, UK publisher Allison & Busby, for selecting We Were the Lucky Ones as the Editor’s Choice Book of the Month for May! And for including Chapter One as a “free taster.”

Book Riot Recommendation

We Were the Lucky Ones is one of Book Riot readers’ all-time favorite World War II fiction books. Honored to be in such good company!

A “Most Beloved WWII Novel of the Last Decade”

Based on popularity and top ratings, We Were the Lucky Ones has been selected by Goodreads as one of its readers’ most “beloved” books about World War II. The full list of top picks is here.

Bookclique Pick

Megan Brevard of bookclique calls We Were the Lucky Ones “a phenomenal WWII novel” and “a brilliant eye-witness account,” noting that the novel “possesses the dual intrigue of being inspired by the true story of Hunter’s grandfather and tautly written.” Read full review.

CT Book Award Winner

We Were the Lucky Ones is the 2018 Connecticut Book Award winner in the fiction category. The honor was announced at a ceremony on October 14, 2018, at which Okey Ndibe, 2017 winner in non-fiction, gave a moving keynote speech.

“One of those books that will draw you in”

“You will pick it up and then not put it down until you’ve finished the very last sentence on the very last page,” writes the reviewer of We Were the Lucky Ones in the just-published Author Interview & Review: The Scoop on Georgia Hunter.

A People Magazine “Best New Book”

We Were the Lucky Ones is featured as a “Best New Book” in the January 29, 2018, issue of People: “The author researched the experiences of her own forebears to write this gripping, emotional novel…”

Top 3 on Publishers Weekly Bestseller List

We Were the Lucky Ones just came out in paperback, landing at Number 3 on Publishers Weekly Bestsellers List. The PW review calls the book an “extraordinarily moving tale.”

National Jewish Book Awards Finalist

The Jewish Book Council has selected We Were the Lucky Ones as a 2017 National Jewish Book Awards Finalist in its Book Club Award category. Rachel Sara Rosenthal wrote the review for the Council. The awards followed a busy season of author talks and readings around the country, sponsored by the Council, for which Georgia also served as a Visiting Scribe.

Costco selects We Were the Lucky Ones as January’s Pennie’s Pick

Pennie’s Pick is Costco’s monthly book feature – and for January 2018, Pennie writes, “First-time novelist Georgia Hunter delivers just the kind of story I love…”  Hope Katz Gibbs reviews the “epic historical novel” as an Arts & Entertainment feature in the Costco Connection.

“Holocaust novel braces the human spirit”

In advance of her upcoming appearances in La Jolla, CA, Georgia Hunter was interviewed by The San Diego Jewish World about We Were the Lucky Ones. The review concludes: “In short, this is a wonderful novel, filled with courage, honor, and uprightness, even in the worst of times. For anyone who wants to be uplifted by the nobility of the spirits of honorable human beings, this is a book well worth reading.”

“Some stories demand to be told. This is one of them.”

We Were the Lucky Ones is a 2017 favorite in the Prose & Pastime online book club. “Occasionally, you find a book that moves you, that stays with you, that demands you share it. A story that is simultaneously heart wrenching and gratifying. One that is too unlikely to be true, yet it is true. We Were the Lucky Ones is that book.” This review at The Art of “Why Not? concludes: “Should you read We Were the Lucky Ones? Let’s just say you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.”

Running ‘n Reading features We Were the Lucky Ones

For the literary site Running ‘n Reading, November 2017 is non-fiction month. As part of this deep dive, the editors chose Goodreads Finalist We Were the Lucky Ones to pair with its non-fiction selection, The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, also set in World War II and highly researched. Although told from different perspectives, both books are lauded as “highly inspiring tales of perseverance through extraordinary circumstances and a devastating period in our history.” About We Were the Lucky Ones, the reviewer writes: “I cannot say enough complimentary things about this novel…YOU MUST READ IT.”

Vote Here for We Were the Lucky Ones – a Goodreads Best Book of the Year!

We Were the Lucky Ones is a top ten finalist in the Goodreads 2017 Choice Awards – entries close on November 27th, so cast your vote today!

Women’s National Book Association selects We Were the Lucky Ones as a Great Group Read

The 20 titles on this year’s list were chosen “on the basis of their appeal to reading groups, which seek books that open up lively conversations about a myriad of timely and provocative and diverse topics, from the intimate dynamics of family and personal relationships to major cultural and world issues.”

According to Shelf Awareness, National Reading Group Month chair Jill A. Tardiff says: “Our goal is to have these outstanding and often inspiring titles become reading-group staples with facilitators and that booksellers and librarians across the country feature them during the month of October, which is, of course, National Reading Group Month–and, throughout the year.” –Shelf Awareness, October 5, 2017

“heart-stopping, heartwarming, and extremely difficult to put down”

“This heart-stopping yet heartwarming story of the Kurc family ebbs and flows beautifully, but always leaves the reader with the desire to keep going, keep turning the pages…I came away with a greater understanding [of the Holocaust]…and I also walked away with a new sense of, and pride in, the human spirit.” –more from Historical Fiction Addiction

Audible Names We Were the Lucky Ones a Best Book of 2017

Even though it’s early, this year is already jam-packed with winners: spellbinding author-narrated memoirs, poignant and timely young adult novels, captivating original productions, and more. Explore some of the best audiobooks of the year so far across your favorite genres, plus…the books listeners like you have been wishing for the most this year. –Audible, June 2017

This is by far and away the best book I’ve ever listened to on Audible.” –Reader Review

BookBub calls We Were the Lucky Ones “Breakthrough Historical Fiction”

“If you love historical fiction and are looking for a new author to read, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest recent historical fiction debuts. Featuring new releases from first-time novelists, these reads will transport you from Civil War America to 1970s South Korea.” –BookBub 

The Providence Journal Reviews We Were the Lucky Ones

“World War II and the Holocaust continue to provide fodder for contemporary novelists. Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale are just two examples of runaway bestsellers that capture the fear and horror that gripped Europe in those days. Now comes first-time novelist Georgia Hunter with a tale that is equally gripping and based on the experiences of her family . . .  If you pay attention to international news, this book should make you more than a little uncomfortable. The plight of Europe’s Jews and the hesitancy of other countries to come to their aid brings to mind today’s refugees who flee violence in Syria, Somalia, and the Sudan.  . . . Hunter writes movingly from many different perspectives the book moves at a swift, devastating pace, and she makes us care about every soul whose life is threatened.” The Providence Journal

New & Noteworthy in Virginia Magazine

Virginia Magazine highlights We Were the Lucky Ones as one of six New & Noteworthy new books from alumni and faculty:

The Jewish Chronicle (UK) Reviews We Were the Lucky Ones

“…a striking re-creation of the breathtaking courage of an ordinary family inspired by their deep love for one another” –Anne Garvey of the Jewish Chronicle

“the next big thing in literature”

“Brace yourself. I am about to introduce you to the next big thing in literature, Georgia Hunter. Her first novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, is already receiving fantastic reviews. And having read an advanced proof I can tell you first hand that is is exquisitely written and heartbreakingly good. It took Georgia almost a decade to write this book as she delved into her family’s history during World War II…” –Lindley Pless of The Sentimentalist

“a dark moment [turned] tale of love, persistence and hope”

Most writers are terrified of the blank page. Not the Hunters, the father-daughter duo and former East Siders who know how to spin a yarn and then some… –Elizabeth Rau of the East Side Monthly

An Indie Bestseller

We Were the Lucky Ones ranked #18 on the Indie Bestseller list for hardcover fiction!

New York Post calls We Were the Lucky Ones a Must-Read Book

“Thirty-thousand Jews lived in the town of Radom, Poland, at the start of World War II, a number that would shrink to fewer than 300. One of many, the Kurc family is ripped apart as one sibling tries to flee Europe, another is forced into exile and others hide as gentiles in plain sight.”New York Post

We Were the Lucky Ones Featured in The Jewish Voice

“Turning history into fiction can be tricky, especially when using real names and details. Hunter finesses the challenge. Her novel brings the Kurcs to life in heart-pounding detail, from passionate young love and beloved traditions to narrow escapes, heartbreaking choices, starvation, imprisonment and torture. We come to care deeply about the fate of each of these resourceful, determined characters.”—The Jewish Voice

“a testament to the strength of the human spirit and ingenuity”

“…We Were the Lucky Ones serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and ingenuity. It, and accounts like it, should form the basis of what we understand about the Holocaust–it’s all very well reading dry, academic texts about what happened, but the lived experience of that dreadful time is so much more compelling.” –more from It Takes a Woman

We Were the Lucky Ones “a lesson in humanity”

“There are many lessons to be learned from reading this book other than how people cope with great sadness. It is about resilience, the strength of the human spirit, family, and love. Hunter is a writer to watch.” —more from Bookworming Tonight

Tara Leigh compares We Were the Lucky Ones to The Diary of Anne Frank

“Although Hunter has been researching, interviewing and writing for several years, this novel seems quite timely; it is a heartbreakingly realistic reminder that we all share the same desires, the same needs, the same humanity. It is also a reminder that the most horrifying, traumatic experiences of our lives never leave us; rather, they become incorporated into our story, our being, and place us on an entirely different path than the one we might have expected. ” –Tara Leigh 

“putting faces and names to the victims of the Holocaust in a way that a history class or textbook can’t do”

Cool Material recommends We Were the Lucky Ones as one of 11 New Books You Should Read in 2017:

“Most of the time, when we talk about the horrors of the Holocaust, we do so with sweeping statements and big picture statistics. We don’t actually dive into the minutiae of what it meant to be one of the Jewish families broken up, scattered, or exterminated. But exploring that minutiae is exactly what We Were the Lucky Ones aims to do. The book follows a single family, the Kurcs, as they struggle to survive Nazi persecution, each sibling finding their own way to deal with a government that has made it explicitly clear what they are trying to do. The Kurcs are putting faces and names to the victims of the Holocaust in a way that a history class or textbook can’t do.”

 

“This book is powerful, aching heartbreak wrapped up in hope and love.”

Quiet Fury Books reviews We Were the Lucky Ones: [Hunter] puts us there, in the heart of the Holocaust, from beginning to end. She lets us feel what the characters felt. She shows us what they see. Her research is impeccable…This book is powerful, aching heartbreak wrapped up in hope and love, and tied together with beautiful writing.”

Audible names We Were the Lucky Ones a Best New Release for February

“WWII and its heartbreaking history have served as the backdrop to some of my all-time favorite novels (Code Name VerityThe Nightingaleto name a few). 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

“full of tangible details [with] thriller-style pacing”

The Historical Novel Society calls We Were the Lucky Ones “an amazing piece of historical reconstruction, expertly translated into fiction . . . The novel is full of tangible details but has thriller-style pacing. Reading it is a consuming experience.”

A Harper’s Bazaar Top Pick

We Were the Lucky Ones is selected by Harpers Bazaar as one of 14 Books You Need to Read in February…”a tale of resilience and commitment to one another amidst the direst of obstacles.”

“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.”

We Were the Lucky Ones is picked by Glamour as one of the Best Books to Read in 2017!

“Based on a true story, this novel tells the tale of how the Polish, Jewish Kurc family was separated by World War Two and eventually found its way back together, traveling across continents and years and through all manner of hostility. Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.” —Glamour magazine

 

“Fifteen New Authors You’re Going to be Obsessed With” –Bustle

Bustle includes We Were the Lucky Ones in their “15 New Authors You’re Going to be Obsessed With” roundup!

“Based on the true experiences of the author’s grandfather, Georgia Hunter’s debut novel We Were the Lucky Ones tells the gripping and moving story of three generations of one Jewish family, the Kurcs, who are ripped apart at the start of World War II, and whose lives quickly become unrecognizable — as they lose their homes, their jobs, their friends, their safety and other basic rights, and each other. But despite the unrelenting horrors of the war and the Holocaust, the Kurcs still manage to hold onto their humanity: sharing moments of hope and love, resilience and new life with those around them, and remaining determined to reunite with one another after the violence has subsided.”

“the most gripping novel I’ve read in years”

We Were the Lucky Ones is the most gripping novel I’ve read in years.  Georgia Hunter pulled me into another world, vivid, horrifying, astonishing, and heartbreaking, and I walked with the Kurc family as they traversed the edges of life and death.” —Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author of City of Light and And After the Fire.

“A novel of breathtaking sweep and scope”

“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 . . . A novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to Kraków’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 can find a way to survive, and even triumph.”—Book Bub “Biggest Historical Fiction Releases Coming in 2017” and “11 Great World War II Novels Coming in 2017

“bring[s] into sharp relief the millions of displaced today”

“Elegantly executed and always clear, Hunter evokes pre-war Poland with loving detail, clearly showing what was left behind and lost . . . We Were the Lucky Ones immediately bring[s] into sharp relief the millions of displaced today: Syrians, Yemeni, Somalians, and others. They, too, are musicians, doctors, sophisticated and well-educated humans, individuals with lives worthy of empathy, just as the Jewish refugees of the 1930s and ‘40s were. Just as the Kurcs, they have been uprooted – each with a web of children, siblings, parents, and cousins whose safety and happiness are of paramount importance . . . We Were the Lucky Ones is a compelling read, notable for Hunter’s clear portraits of her plucky, resilient family, and for her ability to build suspense and investment without emotional manipulation.” —Courtney Naliboff, Reform Judaism Magazine

“skillfully woven…emotionally resonant, gripping”

“Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones is a skillfully woven reimagining of her own family’s struggle for survival during World War II. Hunter takes us from the Polish ghetto to Siberia to Brazil, all with spectacular historical detail. This emotionally resonant, gripping portrait of the war is filled with beautifully drawn and wonderfully heroic characters I won’t soon forget.” —Jillian Cantor, author of Margot and The Hours Count

“a truly tremendous accomplishment”

“Reading Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky One is like being swung heart first into history. Her engrossing and deeply affecting account of how the Kurc family survive the Holocaust, against every possible odd, will leave you breathless. But the true wonder of the book is how convincingly Hunter inhabits these characters, each modeled after her own family members. This is their story Hunter is telling o beautifully and profoundly, and ours as well. A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.”

—Paula McLain, bestselling author of Circling the Sun and The Paris Wife

“an astonishing saga of hope, of luck, of destruction, and …love”

“In her debut novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia Hunter has crafted her own family history into a sprawling, yet still intimate portrait of those swept up in the devastation of war and scattered to the winds.  It is an astonishing saga of hope, of luck, of destruction, and most remarkably of love, made all the more astonishing because of the true story at its core.” —David R. Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women

“an inspiring read”

“When Georgia Hunter learns that she is a descendant of large family of Holocaust survivors, she knows that she is destined to be the recorder of their story. This is the result of years of research to gather as much detail about her relatives as she possibly can…an inspiring read, and one that honors the memory and struggle of not just the author’s family, but all of the people who suffered during the war.”Library Reads

“bringing history to life”

“The story Hunter tells through the eyes of her grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives is one of amazing endurance, bravery, determination and unwavering love . . . Hunter does an excellent job of bringing history to life . . . conveying the desires and hopes of the Kurcs as they fell in love, got married, and had children.” —Shelf Awareness

“extraordinarily moving novel”

“Debut author Hunter excavates the remarkable history of her own family this this chronicle . . . Hunter side-steps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving novel.” —Publishers Weekly