The Girl They Left Behind + Giveaway
A sweeping family saga and love story that offers a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest and life behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet Union occupation—perfect for fans of Lilac Girls and Sarah’s Key.
On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger, undergoing increasingly violent persecution. The girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind. They are even further from her mind when Romania falls under Soviet occupation.
Yet, as Natalia comes of age in a bleak and hopeless world, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading gradually to a discovery that will change her destiny. She has a secret crush on Victor, an intense young man who as an impoverished student befriended her family long ago. Years later, when Natalia is in her early twenties and working at a warehouse packing fruit, she and Victor, now an important official in the Communist regime, cross paths again. This time they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor’s dark secrets.
When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.
This book is a perfect example of how real life experience can enhance a story. This book is kind of modeled off of the author's real life. Thus you could feel the labor of love by reading this book. The characters came alive as did the story.
Natalia was a strong woman. Which I imagined was not an easy thing to come by during that time period. Yet, on the other hand, I can see a lot of women showing strength in adversity. I have read a lot of books during the WWI and WWII era. I am a fan of these types of books. Instantly, from the beginning, I felt like I was in Romania.
Victor was another shining light in this book. His and Natalia's relationship was true. He risked a lot to help save her. While, the focal point of this book may have been on Natalia and Victor; the other characters were not muted or downplayed in roles. The story really picks up in the last half of the book. If you are a fan of historical fiction, memoirs, WWI, WWII, or on the look out for a wonderful book to read; you need to pick up a copy of this book.
Instagram tour stops:
Monday, October 8th: @girlwithnoselfie
Monday, October 8th: @theliterarybirds
Tuesday, October 9th: @somekindofalibrary
Wednesday, October 10th: @hotcocoareads
Wednesday, October 10th: @girlsinbooks
Thursday, October 11th: @read.write.coffee
Friday, October 12th: @prose_and_palate
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Saturday, October 13th: @bookishmadeleine
Sunday, October 14th: @shereadswithcats
Review tour stops:
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Tuesday, October 9th: @bookoffee
Wednesday, October 10th: Lit Wit Wine Dine
Thursday, October 11th: @bookishconnoisseur
Monday, October 15th: Books a la Mode – Guest Post/Giveaway
Wednesday, October 17th: Run Wright
Thursday, October 18th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, October 22nd: @jennblogsbooks
Tuesday, October 23: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, October 25th: @thecaffeinated_bibliophile
Monday, October 29th: @novelmombooks
Tuesday, October 30th: @sarahs_reads
Tuesday, October 30th: The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, October 30th: @lavieestbooks
Thursday, November 1st: @mountain_reader
Thursday, November 1st: Really Into This
Friday, November 2nd: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, November 5th: Girl Who Reads
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Friday, November 9th: @kate.olson.reads
Monday, November 19th: Kritter’s Ramblings