What I’m Reading: We Were the Lucky Ones

From the book jacket:

It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety. 

As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. 

An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive.

My review:

Up until I read the author’s notes about the story, I was leaning hard towards giving We Were the Lucky Ones four stars. There was a LOT going on; between the number of characters, the numerous events, and variety of locations, it was hard to keep track at times.

That’s not to say that I didn’t admire the characters’ resilience during such a terrifying time in their lives. I found myself reading page after page just to find out what would happen to each of them. I don’t often find myself tearing up over books but there were definitely moments in this one that made me reach for the tissues, not out of sorrow but joy. I definitely wanted the world for the Kurcs but knowing the harrowing time I didn’t ever get my hopes up and always prepared my heart for the worst.

At times I found it all to be a little unbelievable, I mean, the title of the book kind of gives everything away, but then I read the author’s notes and my opinion was changed. It definitely deserved one more star, perhaps not for the writing but for the amazing journey Hunter took in collecting every bit and piece of information to put the story together. We Are the Lucky Ones is truly a family story worth passing down through every generation.

My rating: ★★★★★/5

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Race Recap: The Spring River’s Run Off 10K

At the beginning of the year I had set some pretty big goals for running, but after a lot of contemplation, I re-jigged them into something more achievable. Originally I set my sights on completing a half-marathon by the end of this year, but now I’m aiming at simply upping my distances and completing eight races in the Kamloops Run Series.

This year, much like last, we kicked off the 2019 running season at the Spring River Run Off race, hosted by the always amazing Kamloops Ridge Runners. This would be my first kick at completing a race at the 10km distance, and to say I was nervous would be an understatement. Lucky for me, Kyle decided that he’d hang out at my pace and kept me going pretty much throughout the whole race.

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We were called “The Cute Couple” but this photo is everything but cute, haha! (Photo by David Graham)

Overall, I felt really good throughout the whole race! My knees started giving me a pretty hard time somewhere between the 7 and 8 km mark, but Kyle really helped keep me going and I managed to finish fast and strong with a time of 56:29 and an average pace of 5:39/km. My main goal was to finish in under an hour, and I’m pretty jazzed that I was able to crush that one!

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Today my legs are pretty much dead to me, but it’s so worth it. I’m looking forward to the rest of the race season, and being able to confidently accomplish longer distances!

Pleased to meet you!

I’ve noticed that I have quite a few more followers and/or subscribers, so I thought I’d take a quick moment to say hello and re-introduce myself!

For those new to the blog, my name is Kara and I live in the fabulous Interior region of British Columbia. I am currently a stay-at-home-mom working to complete my administrative assistant certificate, while at the same time wrangling two daughters, Isla (6) and Norah (3), and two dogs, Campbell and Sam. I couldn’t do everything I do without the love and support from my amazing husband. He’s simply the bee’s knees!

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Visiting one of our favourite places in September 2017

When I’m not preoccupied with taxiing my kids around and studying, I enjoy reading a wide variety of books (historical fiction and chick-lit are generally my go-to’s), playing slo-pitch, and running (mostly for fun). Feel free to check out my book reviews and race recaps!

Other interesting things about me are:

  • I don’t like wine or beer. The closest I’ll get to drinking either is a radler or mimosa.
  • My favourite adult beverage would have to be Caesars, especially on a hot, summer day!
  • I’m generally pretty quiet in person until I really get to know someone.
  • I have a degree in journalism and really wanted to be a reporter once upon a time, but then the paper that I worked at closed its doors and I lost that passion. I do still enjoy writing, thus why I maintain this blog.
  • I’m half-Chinese but cannot speak a lick of the language. I’d love to travel to China one day to see where my family came from though.
  • I’m 100% a dog person and am allergic to cats.
  • Public pools stress me out because of the gunk I’ve seen floating around, but I’m a-okay with swimming in lakes.
  • I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and would go every year if it was affordable. I’m a horrible gambler but I just love the atmosphere!

I think that’s about all I have to share for now – if there’s anything you’d like to know or for me to elaborate more on, leave a note in the comments below! I’d also love to hear how you found She Writes Words.

Thanks for stopping by!