We Were the Lucky Ones

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 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 twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can find a way to survive, and even triumph.

“A tale of resistance and commitment to one another amidst the direst of obstacles…”Harper’s Bazaar


United Kingdom – We Were the Lucky Ones was released in the UK on February 14, 2017 by Allison & Busby – please visit their site for details, or AmazonUK to purchase a copy! In April 2021, Amazon UK picked We Were the Lucky Ones for Prime Reading

Italian edition, Noi i Salvati, via Editrice Nord (purchase here)

Dutch edition, Wij Waren de Gelukkigen, via The House of Books (purchase here)

Polish edition, My Mieliśmy Azczęście, via Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca (purchase here)

The Hebrew edition launched in February 2018 and went straight to the best seller list in Israel.

The French title is Sur Les Ailes de la Chance.

In Brazil, it’s Somos Os Que Tiveram Sorte and in Portugal, it’s called Nós Tivemos Sorte.

The Hungarian edition is A Szabardság Illata, and the Slovakian version is Mali sme štastie.

De Heldige came out in 2020 in Denmark, and the Czech Republican version is Meli jsme štestí.

Recent translations are also available in Croatia (Mi koji smo preživjeli) , Romania (Supraviețuitorii), and Russia (День, когда мы были счастливы). Coming soon: Macedonia.


We Were the Lucky Ones, UK edition, launched February 14, 2017