Praise for We Were the Lucky Ones

Virtual Book Talk

Like other authors, I sorely miss the chance to meet with readers in person, thanks to social distancing – a necessary element of the Coronavirus pandemic. But maybe a silver lining is the ability to reach new audiences virtually, regardless of location. This week I was delighted to be “in the room” with readers from California to Connecticut during a webinar hosted by Friends of the Alameda Free Library and archived here. Thank you, remote readers, for watching and for asking wonderful questions!

New York Times Book Review

Honored to review “We Germans” for the NYTimes Book Review, in the 8/30/20 issue devoted to World War II at 75. This does feel like an opportune moment to seek out “perspectives starkly different from our own.”

NYT table of contents

 

 

Top pick at indie bookstore {pages}

It’s always nice to see independent bookstores featured in the media. I loved visiting {pages} in Huntington Beach, CA, during my 2018 paperback tour. Read all about this “book world destination” here. And thank you, Alex, for remembering my appearance!

“Alex Geffner-Millsten has worked at {pages} for two years. Next month, he’ll be organizing the the store’s booths at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, an annual weekend gathering which draws more than 100,000 people to the USC campus. Asked to pick a favorite author appearance, he thought for a while, then settled on Georgia Hunter discussing “We Were the Lucky Ones,” her novel about a Jewish family separated at the beginning of World War II and their struggle to reunite. The novel is based on Hunter’s own experiences — according to publisher Penguin Random House, she was 15 when she discovered that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors — and Geffner-Millsten recalled that Hunter’s talk centered around the extensive research she did, including visiting university archives and tracking down people in Eastern Europe.”

Sound Watch Interview

Georgia is featured in an in-depth interview in the January-February 2020 edition of Sound Watch News, a brand new publication distributed to all residents of Rowayton and Darien, CT. Lauren Henry delved into the backstory on We Were the Lucky Ones and asked about Georgia’s new projects.

“Inspired Stories” Keynote

Georgia is honored to be featured as keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Conference of Churches Annual Dinner, to be held in Oklahoma City on November 7, 2019. As reported by The City Sentinel, the theme of this year’s event is “Inspired Stories.” Registration info.

Thomas Kail featured in Vogue

Congrats to my friend Tommy Kail for the in-depth feature in the current Vogue Magazine on his myriad theatrical accomplishments and projects. And I’m thrilled to see “We Were the Lucky Ones” included in his news, below.

Among Kail’s strengths as a director, his greatest, Miranda says, may be that “he always makes sure that we bet on ourselves.” Clearly, Kail’s bets have been paying off (and, looking ahead, he has optioned his friend Georgia Hunter’s best-selling Holocaust novel We Were the Lucky Ones as a limited TV series). “I’m a populist—I want to make things that lots of people can have access to,” Kail says. “But I don’t ever think about what’s going to sell. I have a good instinct about what I think deserves to be seen, so—whether it’s a play for a hundred people or a TV show for potentially millions—all I can do is trust that instinct, do my homework, and let the chips fall where they may.”   –Vogue Magazine

What are Stanford Graduate School of Business Professors Reading?

Recently, Stanford Business Magazine published faculty recommendations for books to inspire readers to place the common good above their own personal interests. Topping the list posted by CNBC MakeIt is We Were the Lucky Ones. Szu-chi Huang, Associate Professor of Marketing, said, “This truly moving novel shows that even in the toughest battles, empathy and love can be our strongest weapons.” More recommendations here.

CTPost Sunday Arts & Style Interview

“After escaping the Holocaust, Rowayton writer’s family members lived lives worthy of a bestselling book, and now a TV series,” headlines a CTPost story by Joel Lang. The in-depth interview appears online as well as in hardcopy in the February 17, 2019, Sunday Arts & Style section of the Norwalk Hour and other Connecticut papers. Asked about plans to televise We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia speculated that interest probably comes from the fact that it’s a “very global story told through one family’s eyes.”

Boston School Event

At an all-school assembly, Georgia addressed the 600+ students at Noble & Greenough School, then visited classes to continue the conversation in the context of their studies in writing, genocide and power. She was impressed by their insightful questions and comments. “Talking with such smart, curious and engaged students gives me hope for the future of public discourse,” Georgia said. Parents had a chance to see a presentation and meet with Georgia the evening before.

Full House in Richmond, VA

Over 400 people turned out to hear Georgia speak about We Were the Lucky Ones at the Woman’s Club Monday Program in the elegant Historic Bolling Haxall House in Richmond, VA, on November 19, 2018. Georgia considers Richmond a second home, and it was a special honor to see so many friends and family in the audience. Here is a brief video interview with the Woman’s Club Eva Marie Clarke.

Virtual Retrospective in Poland on December 11

The Resursy Cultural Center of Radom, Poland, announced that Georgia will be interviewed online at a Retrospective featuring her book, We Were the Lucky Ones, the story of the lives of her Radom-based grandfather and his family during World War II. Sponsored by Resursy, Retrospectives are interactive events held monthly to explore the history of Radom and to share insights, memories and artifacts relating to the city.

During the December Retrospective, visitors will be able to buy the Polish edition of “We Were the Lucky Ones” (“My Mieliśmy Szczęście”), much of which takes place in Radom. Georgia is grateful to Resursy’s Jakub Micek, who contributed to the narrative by assisting with fact finding about the history of Radom.

The event will also feature a vocalist performing “List” (“The Letter”), a song written by Addy Kurc when he lived in Radom. The original recording by Viera Gran may be heard here.

The Retrospective on “We were Lucky Ones” will be held on December 11, 2018, at 6:00 pm local time (12:00 pm EST), in the Chamber Room at Resursy, ul. Malczewski 16. After the event, the interview will be viewable on Resursy’s video archive (“Retrospotkanie 12“).

What Should I Read Next?

Georgia’s conversation with Anne Bogel for her “What Should I Read Next?” podcast is live on the Modern Mrs. Darcy literary website. The interview, dubbed “The stories behind the stories we love to read,” gives listeners an inside scoop on Georgia’s process in conceiving, researching, and writing We Were the Lucky Ones, as well as some  current suggestions on what to read next.

News of TV Adaptation Spreads

“Great news, historical fiction readers,” announced BookBub. “A We Were the Lucky Ones TV show is now officially in the works!” Thomas Kail, the Tony-Award-winning director of Hamilton, is set to direct. “I am overjoyed to be partnering with [Georgia] to create a television version of this story that honors this incredible book,” Kail said. Hunter’s response: “For [Tommy] to put his signature touch on my family’s story is an honor and a thrill.” Read the full story here.

We Were the Lucky Ones optioned for TV

Deadline Hollywood announced that Thomas Kail’s Old 320 Sycamore has optioned We Were the Lucky Ones to adapt for television. Kail, who won an Emmy Award for directing Grease:Live for Fox and a Tony for directing Hamilton, will be a director and producer for the We Were the Lucky Ones TV series. Read full release.

Screen Adaptations Announced

As soon as plans for a We Were the Lucky Ones TV series were announced, Jewish Journal’s Hollywood Schmooze column featured news of two Holocaust-themed books – We Were the Lucky One is one of them – to be adapted for the screen. The article notes, “Old 320 Sycamore has optioned Georgia Hunter’s novel, which was inspired by her grandfather’s wartime experiences.”

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.

“Across the Miles and the Years”

The Fall edition of Virginia features a story on alumna Georgia Hunter and We Were the Lucky Ones. The article posits that Georgia’s college study of behavioral psychology helped with gathering of oral histories for the book. “She’d learned that people’s actions provide the clearest window into who they are. So instead of asking, ‘What kind of person was your father?’ she’d say, ‘Tell me his favorite joke.’ Or, ‘Tell me what annoyed you about him.'” This approach helped her “collect the compelling details that she could then imagine into conversations among her characters, bringing them to life on the page.” You can read the full article here.

“You will fall head first into this masterpiece”

“A thrilling novel is hard to put down,” says Jessica Vainer of The Baltimore Post-Examiner of her “top book picks.” She singles out five novels for which to “buckle up for an adventurous ride to depths of breathlessness,” including We Were the Lucky Ones, about which she promises, “…you will fall head first into this masterpiece and never come out.”

TV Feature Weaves Historical and Musical Threads

A recent HEC-TV interview delves into the historical and personal environments that frame the themes of We Were the Lucky Ones. Music and images are woven throughout the “First Person, One on One” interview, conducted by host Paul Schankman and filmed in St. Louis. While Georgia describes her research findings and the family’s legacy, her grandfather Addy’s music, including his moving ballad, “List,” a pre-war hit in Poland, can be heard in the background.

“Books give us pause to be thankful”

Ted Buss writes in The Wichita Falls Record News that “sometimes it is healthy to revisit history” and singled out We Were the Lucky Ones as an “outstanding” book that will leave readers “moved and educated,” giving us “every reason to take a knee on the Fourth of July and thank God for all who paid for our freedom.”

An Odyssey “Must Read”

We Were the Lucky Ones Belongs on Your Top 10 Books to Read This Summer,” according to an Odyssey review. “Georgia Hunter’s work is one of the best you will read about what is was like for Jews before, during, and after the war,” writes Megan Hayes, describing the book as “a beautiful story … packed with action, destruction, love, and above all hope.”

“We Were the Lucky Ones” is a Grand Central Reads selection!

Penguin Random House just launched GRAND CENTRAL READS in partnership with Grand Central Terminal. It’s a website that offers visitors to the station free extended excerpts of popular books, including We Were the Lucky Ones. The innovative program was created in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that preserved the iconic terminal as a historic landmark (and prohibited the construction of a 53-story office building overhead). Watch for posters in the station and on Metro North trains and platforms, and check out the wonderful selection of books.

We Were the Lucky Ones: Israeli Edition

For the February 2018 release of We Were the Lucky Ones in Israel, Maariv magazine interviewed Georgia. “I wanted future generations to be able to pick up the book and understand from a personal, human perspective what their ancestors endured in order for us to be here today.” For any readers of Hebrew, here’s the full article.

Hunter Featured in Cupola Magazine

We Were the Lucky Ones was inspired, in part, by a high school “I-Search” project. In last month’s Cupola magazine, put out by her alma mater, Moses Brown, Georgia talks about the discoveries she made thanks to that project, and about the journey to unearth and record her family history that followed.

 

Are We Agents or Recipients of History?

In advance of Georgia’s talk at Interabang Books in Dallas, podcast host Jack Freeman asked her to reflect on the historical context of We Were the Lucky Ones, with thought-provoking questions such as “To what extent are the characters of the story agents of history, and in what ways are they the recipients of history?” Listen to the full episode of the Interabang Podcast.

Paperback Radio Tour

One day after the paperback release of We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia fielded 15 interviews on podcasts and radio broadcasts across the country, including live programs such as The McGraw Show out of St. Louis, MO, and The Mountain Life out of Park City, UT. Get the Funk Out in Los Angeles posted an in-depth conversation about Georgia’s backstory just in time for the West Coast portion of the paperback book tour.

Hunter on The Author Stories Podcast

In his podcasts, Hank Garner digs deep to understand and share “the story behind the stories, and the storytellers.” He talked with Georgia about her inspiration and her process. “Happy New Year 2018! To kick off the new year, I have an interview with the incredible Georgia Hunter. In this show we talk about the incredible true story that inspired her book We Were The Lucky Ones, her creative process, research, the power of story, and much more.” Read more and listen to podcast.

“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.”

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

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

A Q&A on Historical Fiction for Read it Forward

Georgia Hunter (We Were the Lucky Ones) and Jillian Cantor (The Lost Letter) share their insights on the intricacies of writing historical fiction:

One of my absolute favorite genres to read is historical fiction. I loved being transported to a different time and place and I enjoy combining learning something new with falling in love with fictional characters. But I have often wondered if the rigidity of having to maintain historical accuracy impinges on an author’s creativity as they write. I asked two of my favorite historical fiction authors, Jillian Cantor and Georgia Hunter, to spill the details… –Read it Forward

 

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

Hunter for Lit Hub: Learning from the Past is Our Moral Imperative

What My Grandfather’s Displacement Taught Me About the Refugee Crisis

The images are far too familiar—the photos and videos of families pressed shoulder to shoulder in boats at double or triple the vessels’ capacity, desperate to flee the violence, oppression, and starvation in their home countries. Thousands, we’re told, perish during their attempts to escape. A lucky few make it to a safe haven. Millions are stuck—“warehoused,” I’ve learned, is the technical term—in bleak refugee camps, facing waits of unknown duration for a chance to start a new life somewhere, anywhere, safe and welcoming. Many wait their entire lives without getting that chance…–Georgia Hunter for Lit Hub

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

4 Tips on Writing Historical Fiction for Signature

“I thought hard about penning my book as nonfiction–I’d done all of the research; the facts were there–but in the end I decided I wanted the story to feel immersive, visceral. I wanted it to read like a novel, not a history book. Whether creating your own work of historical fiction or simply curious about what it takes to do so, here are a few things I learned along the way about blending fact with fiction.” –You Weren’t There? So What: 4 Tips on Writing Historical Fiction

 

Doing the Right Thing, Then & Now

“Maybe it’s the foreboding sense of uncertainty in the current political climate, or maybe it’s the countless hours in the last decade I’ve spent thinking about what it means to be a refugee…whatever the reason, I’m haunted now not only by what the Kurcs endured, but by the fact that around the world today, hundreds of thousands of refugees are, as my family once was, in desperate need of safety, of a place to call home.” –Gransnet (UK)

Hunter Contributes to the Jewish Book Council’s Visiting Scribe Series

Hidden in a Stash of Old Letters, a Grandfather I Never Knew

“Nine years ago on a rainy day in January, I sat down with a binder full of condolence letters my mother had saved after my grandfather died. I remember the day well, as I had circled it on my calendar as the one on which I would officially commit to unearthing and recording my family history…” [read more]

Chapter One, Revisited

“As authors often do, I spent months laboring over the opening for my book. Since many of the Kurcs lost touch with one other during the war, I knew each chapter would need to be told from a different relative’s perspective. I also knew I wanted Chapter One to be told through my grandfather’s eyes, and that it would be set in a jazz club in pre-war Paris—my grandfather was my link to the family story, and one of his best-known lifelong attributes was his passion for music…” [read more]

A Q&A with Foyles (UK)

“I left Radom understanding why my great-grandparents had decided to raise a family there – the city was quaint, liveable; I appreciated its understated, small-town vibe. But I couldn’t help but also feel the presence of the 30,000 Jews who had once inhabited the city (a community that was reduced to fewer than 300 by war’s end), who had enjoyed it for what it was before their lives were turned upside down.”  Foyles

 

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 

A Q&A with Sarah’s Book Shelves

“Hunter did a masterful job at keeping the story moving along, making it feel like a “quick read” in a page-turning sense, even though it’s not a short or light book. Rather than the war itself, the story is more about what life was like during the war for a Polish Jewish family and Hunter’s caring attention to detail made the backdrop come alive. We Were the Lucky Ones would be a fantastic choice for anyone who enjoyed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.” —Sarah’s Book Shelves

“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.”

 

Georgia Hunter on the Genesis of We Were the Lucky Ones for Waterstones

Waterstones highlights We Were the Lucky Ones, to be released February 14 in the UK by Allison & Busby

“When I was fifteen years old, a year after my grandfather had passed away, my high school English teacher assigned our class an “I-Search” project – a study in looking back at our roots. I sat down with my grandmother for an interview and it was then that I discovered, over the course of an hour, that my grandfather (whom I’d assumed until then to be American through and through) was raised in Poland, and that he came from a family of Holocaust survivors…” [Read More]

 

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

“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.” –Glamour magazine, on We Were the Lucky Ones

We Were the Lucky Ones is picked by Glamour magazine 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.”

“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 Ones is like being swung heart first into history. 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

Publishers Weekly Talks with Georgia Hunter

The novel is based on your grandfather’s family’s experiences in Poland during the Holocaust. Why was this a story you needed to tell?

Growing up, I had no idea that [fleeing the Holocaust] was a piece of my grandfather’s past. He had chosen to put it behind him. I discovered it at this age when I was figuring out who I was and where I came from. So part of it was my personal journey in self-discovery. The other part was, the more I researched it, the more I realized that this was a story unlike any story I’d ever heard. I mean, the whole town of Radom, Poland, where my family was from, had about 30,000 Jews before the war, and less than 300 survived. For an entire family to have survived—and they didn’t survive together, too, they survived scattered—was remarkable.

Read more: Picking Up the Pieces: Publishers Weekly Talks with Georgia Hunter.