books

One Family’s Story Is a Story for Us All

Georgia Hunter’s wonderful novel WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES was originally sparked by a high school project.  Talking with her grandmother about her grandfather, fifteen year old Georgia learned that he was a Jew who survived the Holocaust — information that she had never known before.  Some years later, at a family reunion, Georgia was mesmerized by stories of how family members relied upon their courage, intelligence, ingenuity, love, passion, and honor to survive and thrive and ultimately reunite.  A horrific time in the world was also a time of love, weddings, music, and the birth of babies.

After many years of painstaking research including travel to the places her relatives traveled, Georgia has created a gripping, beautiful story.  This novel artfully weaves true story with fiction to bring the reader into the ghetto, fording the stream to safety, trusting a convent with a child for her safety, tasting the sweet gift of an orange, and rejoicing in the small and large triumphs of living on one’s own wits, love, and trust in one another.  Ultimately, the horror of World War II is put behind them in order to live their beautiful now with one another.

While this novel focuses on a few specific individuals, it ultimately reads as universal.  We are all touched by war, by upheaval, by unbearable choices.  This  story of undaunted survivors is inspirational, moving, and important — and it’s a joy to read.

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