I hope you’re all having an amazing March and that it’s warming up wherever you are. Spring is almost here and I am so beyond excited! The book I want to tell you all about this week is We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. I was pretty friggin excited about this book because it’s based on a true story about a Polish family during WWII. I loved the concept, and I loved even more that it was true. Before I get started, I want to say a big thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Viking for sending me a copy of this book for review. I was so pumped when I read the description of this book on NetGalley and I couldn’t wait to read all about the journey of their somewhat large family through WWII. I really liked a few of the characters right away, especially Addy and Bella. I adored Addy’s love of music and his search to find his family throughout all of the global chaos. Addy seemed a bit like an underdog in this story, and I totally loved him for it. I also loved Bella’s determination, especially throughout her journey to be reunited with her loved ones. She had such courage and I found myself admiring her resilience. Before I get all excited, let’s get to the summary!
This book tells the story of a three-generation family who are from Poland during WWII. The book alternates between the characters’ perspectives and very emotional experiences. Many of the characters are separated from each other and are relocated to various spots around the world. I was particularly moved by their resolve and strength as they made their way through this chaotic and hellish experience. In the beginning of the book, we meet Addy, who is living in France and pursuing a career as a musician. After he writes a song called List and is met with a fair amount of success, Addy is optimistic about his future as a musician. As an artist living in France and currently separated from the rest of his family in Poland, I felt a close connection to this character. I loved following him on his search for meaning and identity. In the author’s note, Addy is identified as the author’s grandfather, and her attention to him explains a lot of what makes his character so likable. Because this story follows the family of three generations and many years of separation as well as experience, we are able to get a deeper understanding about life during the war.
In this book, I totally loved Addy and felt compassion for him during all of his struggles. When he was head-over-heels in love and he was trying to forget about the war and all of the family troubles, I could really understand what he was feeling. The description that the author incorporated into all of the bonds between each of the characters was so, so great. I could feel the immense affection that Addy had for his mother as well as the amount that he missed her. I appreciated his sense of longing to be reunited with his parents and siblings. When I met his sister’s daughter, Felicia, I wondered many things about her perspective. How was Felicia interpreting the reality that she was in, and how would her perspective change in the years to come? As a child raised in a time of war, I wondered in what ways the chaos would alter her sense of identity. Addy’s character was great and I loved the story, but was there anything about this book that I didn’t like as much? This book is told through multiple perspectives and I thought that there were just too many different narrators for me to handle. I found it super difficult to remember each character’s situation. The number of narrators made it really hard for me to connect with all of them. If there were only two or three perspectives, I think I would have enjoyed the story a bit more. Besides this small point, I thought that the story was written well. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history or war-time narratives. I learned a lot while I was reading this book and loved being transported to a different time. I absolutely adored this story!