“We Were The Lucky Ones”, written by Georgia Hunter and published by Penguin Books in 2017, is a beautifully crafted novel about a family’s struggles and triumphs through World War II.
Based on a true story, the Kurc family endures devastation, heartache, and much more, all with love and hope in their hearts. They, like many other Jews of the time, experienced the violations against their human rights and were stripped of dignity, and yet persevered and miraculously survived.
The author introduces readers to story through one of the children, Addy. He’s in France, expecting to be home soon in Radom, Poland, for Passover but receives a letter from his mother asking him to stay put. It’s 1939 and it’s beginning to become dangerous to travel.
Soon enough more and more hardships befall on the family and the rest of Europe. Before they know it, they’re flung into the atrocities that would go down in history as the Holocaust. The Kurcs are torn apart and launched around the world, clinging to the hope that the others are alive.
All 388 pages are full of the family's astonishing bravery. I was engulfed in all 11 family members' points of view as if I knew them personally.
This tale was magnificently written and I felt that I was truly there, seeing and feeling everything alongside the Kurcs. When there were secret weddings, train rides, quiet talks, freezing nights, and so much more, it felt as though I was right there experiencing it with them. Events that should have been normal and joyous had become painful and secretive, and it tugged at my heartstrings.
"We Were the Lucky Ones" had my full attention the whole time with its many twists, turns, and nail-biting moments.
• Olivia Rankin is a sophomore at Eisenhower High School.