We Were the Lucky Ones: A Novel

While it's only the second month of the year, I can say with certainty that Georgia Hunter's debut novel WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES is my favorite book of the year. Definitely one of the books I will love. It is not just a touching story, written eloquently and with such a heart, but the fact that it is based on the true story of his family makes it much more special. The book is about a family of Polish Jews who were separated during the Second World War and who came of them. On many occasions, this is a difficult book to read, as it should be, given the topic. But because it's so hard to read, more reason to do it.

I do not remember the last time I was so moved by words on a page, by the characters with such determination and the evil that stood before them. Read pages after page on the destruction of war, on the harsh reality of their living conditions, on the brutality of the Nazi regime and on what the Jews were literally stripped. It is a lesson on humanity, on history and on how Poland was profaned. As a third-generation immigrant, like Hunter, my grandparents came from Poland, and while they were in America before the war, nothing touched me more than reading this book. Surely my grandparents left behind friends and relatives and felt a pain similar to what the Kurcs did with their beloved country.

There are many lessons to be learned by reading this book if not how people face great sadness. It is about resilience, the strength of the human spirit, the family and love. Hunter is a writer to watch. Hunter's ancestors would be so proud of what he did with this book. Not only did he write a remarkable piece of literature, but the effort he put in place to gather his family's story seems not to have been a small undertaking, as you will learn. As a Jew and a human, I feel it was an honor to read WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES, to get to know all the members of his family. I feel like I know each of them. They were the lucky ones and so we are given this book.