We Were the Lucky Ones [Book Review]

March 23, 2018

We Were the Lucky Ones
by Georgia Hunter

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (cover) Image: a black and white photo of a man and woman sitting in metal garden chairs with backs to the camera

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Jewish, Inspirational, WW11, family

….. family and faith …..

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


In the spring of 1939, the extended Kurc family is living a modest and happy life in Radom, Poland. In the midst of joyful family celebrations, however, there is increased talk of the mistreatment of Jews. Soon the entire close-knit Kurc family faces separation, makes attempts to flee, and desperately focuses on safety and survival. Family members share a will to survive and seeing one another again is their greatest goal. Through cleverness, determination, faith, hope, and hardship they endure.

Amazon Rating (March): 4.8 Stars

My Thoughts:


Very often when writing a review I change my star rating. This was the case here as I closely reflected on the endearing commitment to family themes. I changed my initial rating of 4 stars to 4.5, finally rounding it to 5. To solidify my thinking I noticed that 84% of the 914 reviewers on Amazon also rated it 5 stars. This is a solid, satisfying, and inspirational read.

What Worked:

For me, themes are one of the more compelling elements in literature, and a story with strong themes has a great chance of earning a 4 or 5 from me.  In addition to the story’s harsh themes of survival, fear, prejudice, and hardship, the theme that means the most to me is the importance of family. Even though the children are adults, there is a devotion and commitment to family that is especially joyful, endearing, and inspirational.

In addition, I appreciated the author’s inclusion of religion as an important part of family life and a basis for their hope. Sedars are described and prayers and song lyrics are explicit. It is becoming more rare in fiction to see religious themes presented in positive ways.

Finally, I enjoyed that this story is closely based on the author’s own family history. That added an element of investment that I felt toward each character. I cared deeply about each one and their survival. Researching and writing this story must have taken the author on quite an emotional journey.

The Challenge:

There were so many characters! I should have kept a character chart with important details in my journal as I read. Because this story is about the survival of a family, I don’t see how the author could have left any one out. Just be prepared to keep track of many individuals!


We Were the Lucky Ones is a book that I highly recommend for readers of engaging WW11 historical fiction, for those who love family stories with heartfelt themes, and for those who enjoy against-the-odds and inspirational reads. As with any WW11 survival story there are some difficult parts, but it is balanced nicely with humor, hope, and lovely characters. Plus the title is comforting because I kept reminding myself “they will find a way through this situation!” We Were the Lucky Ones is going on my potential favorites of the year list.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars rounded up to 5


we were the lucky ones

We Were the Lucky Ones Information Here

Meet the Author, Georgia Hunter

Georgia HunterWhen Georgia Hunter was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones was born of her quest to uncover her family’s staggering history. Hunter’s site, http://www.georgiahunterauthor.com, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the extensive research this project has entailed. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.


Have you read We Were the Lucky Ones or is it on your TBR?

I’d love to hear all about what you are reading this week!

Happy Reading Bookworms!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection!
Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Links I Love

*Photo credit: Good Cheat Eats

My newest favorite recipe, zucchini and sweet potato hash, is from Good Cheap Eats

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty, and healthy side dish (or I could eat this as a main dish), try this recipe! I usually double it, and I’m not a mushroom lover so I leave that out. You can pair this hash with any meat or even top it with an egg for breakfast. Here’s how I’ve been using it: I pop salmon into the oven and while that’s baking, I make the hash. Or if I have left over chicken (or other meat) from a previous meal, I make this and it helps me forget I’m having leftovers. I’m an avocado lover so I always pair it with avocado as in the picture. Below is a pic I snapped as it started cooking. I’m not a great cook and I always look for ways to cut down my kitchen time so that I can spend more time reading….. so this recipe is a win for me because I eagerly look forward to making it and it fits with my need for easy and quick. For gardeners, this would be a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini!

hash 2

Other Links:

The Hungry Bookworm: 12 Memoirs for Nonfiction Newcomers

DefinitelyRA: Thoughts After Seeing The Wrinkle Movie.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society coming to theaters April 20!
(notice the Downton Abby actors!)


Author Panel + Brunch

If you live in Southern California near Corona, you might be interested in an Author Brunch at the Corona Public Library on Saturday morning, April 21. Authors are Susan Meissner, Laura Kamoie, and Michelle Gable. Here’s the flyer:

histfic author brunch

Let’s Get Social!

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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com


  1. I’d give this book 5 stars as well Carol! It was really an almost unbelievable story until you read the epilogue that it was the actual story of the the authors family. So much courage and love within the family. In spite of the glut of WWII books now be published, this one really stands out. Love your reviews!

  2. This sounds like so much fun! and I’m close enough– but we’re out of town then. I’ll be watching your blog to see if things like this come up again! thanks Carol. xo

      • I was the Easter cook…..well…..Stefano (stefano’s golden baked hams) and I 👍😄 I ordered the potatoes and gravy from them too….so I really only made a couple of sides and did the “heating” 😄 I can imagine your fam loves to come to your house with all the fabulous recipes you have!!! Today is a day of rest!

      • Sounds delicious Carol. We had ham too. So today I had leftover biscuits toasted for breakfast and leftover ham on a quesadilla for lunch. Hooray for leftovers! Since you had a day of rest, did you get in a little reading?? I finished Tom Hanks new book of short stories this morning. Have you read it?? Would be interested to know what you think.

      • I haven’t read Hank’s book yet because I’ve read some mixed reviews and I had other reads lined up…..not sure if I will. I finished Eden today and will review Friday. … a family saga with an adoption theme 😄 Currently I’m reading Crenshaw, a middle grade book with a homelessness and poverty theme… do you choose to read middle grade or YA now that you’re retired?!

      • Not too much. I feel like I’m so far behind on children’s books since I’m not seeing what’s new at the school library! So I’ll look forward to your suggestions! Happy reading… xo

  3. […] (I read these almost back to back and because of the themes I always think of them together….so this is my sneaky trick to include one more!) Themes make these stories memorable: I love the theme of faith in Sand and Ash; in We Were the Lucky Ones, I love the themes of family and faith….especially the beautiful ending). Sand and Ash review here. We Were the Lucky Ones review here. […]

  4. […] (I read these almost back to back and because of the themes I always think of them together….so this is my sneaky trick to include one more!) Themes make these stories memorable: I love the theme of faith in Sand and Ash; in We Were the Lucky Ones, I love the themes of family and faith….especially the beautiful ending). Sand and Ash review here. We Were the Lucky Ones review here. […]

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