Book Review: We Were the Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter (2017)
Bronze Anthology Book Review
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (2017)
Unfortunately, family histories often fade away as time goes on and the business of the present keeps us from learning about the past. Thankfully, this was not the case for the author, Georgia Hunter. During a high school English project, she first learned that she was a descendant of Holocaust survivors. Later, during a family reunion, she learned:
‘”Our family,” Felicia said in her thick French accent, her tone sober, “we shouldn’t have survived. Not so many of us at least.” She paused, listening to the breeze rattling the leaves in the scrub oak trees beside the house. The rest of us were silent… “It’s a miracle in many ways,” she finally said, looking out toward the tree line. “We were the lucky ones.”‘
Those words echoed through her mind and became the catalyst for a book that would preserve for future generations her family’s story of survival. You already know that any story about the persecution of Jews during World War II is going to be emotional and this book was no exception, but as the title implies, the ending of this story was a happy one – a phenomenal rarity.
In Three Words
The author interweaves the multiple accounts of her great-grandparents and their five children into a single timeline from 1939 through 1946. Each chapter is spoken from the perspective of a different family member and continually moves the story and timeline further along. As a result, the book quickly covers world events, but slowly recounts the family’s personal experiences. It is surprising that the book was not longer given all it covers.
The author equally covers everyone in the family without favoritism for her grandparent. It is not until the epilogue that she includes her personal story. There is also an accompanying website (wetheliving.com) that is worth perusing, because it not only includes photographs of the family, but also details the journey the author undertook in researching this book. It is important to remember that even though this is a novel, it is ‘based on true events,’ that real people faced not that long ago.
Our Bronze Star Rating
It is a good read for anyone that wants to remember that even during our most trying times, we are blessed. It is not a good read for anyone who is not emotionally prepared to face the evils man is capable of inflicting on another. Overall, it is a four bronze star read; minus one star because even though it is a story that stays with you, it is not a book I would gain new insight by re-reading.