The Girl They Left Behind

The Girl They Left Behind

A Novel

Book - 2018 | First Atria books hardcover edition
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January 1941. A Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. Placed in an orphanage, she is adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As Romania falls under Soviet occupation, 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. Now Natalia works at a warehouse packing fruit and Victor is an important official in the Communist regime. When they cross paths they are drawn into a passionate affair despite the dark secrets of the past.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.,, 2018
Edition: First Atria books hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781501187681
Branch Call Number: F VEL NVD
Characteristics: 353 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Mar 07, 2021

Great novel! (Emphasis on novel.) It is definitely historical fiction, but it is written in an easy to read way and it's a very moving story. You will learn things about Romania during WW2 if you are unfamiliar. However, if you are familiar with Romania during WW2, you probably will not gain much, if any knowledge.

Feb 25, 2021

Enjoyed this book ! Very moving ! Historical fiction. Romania
2 Mothers having to face devasting choices during WWll and afterwards.

Feb 21, 2021

Would this book be suitable for an eleven year old to read?

Feb 09, 2021

Jewish parents make the ultimate sacrifice, abandoning their child in order to save her life. Set in Romania at the start of WWII, this book is the story of that little girl, Natalia, who is adopted by a well-to-family. But even the wealthy suffer the hardships of war and are forced to hock their belongings to put food on the table and burn furniture to keep warm. The book follows Natalia and her family through the war, into Romania's inclusion into the Russian Empire. This is a tale of reversal of fortune, love, and family that will leave you teary-eyed as Natalia grows from a child into a young woman who must make the ultimate decision--abandon her adopted family for a better life in the US or stay and wither under communist rule?

Jan 28, 2021

Four year old girl was left behind in the big pogrom in Bucharest. She is adopted and goes through WW11 and the cold War and the Iron Curtain. Good read.

BPLpicks Jan 25, 2020

This is a perfect book for those that love historical family sagas with a lot of heart. The story is told from a lesser known perspective of WWII and continues into the years that Romania is under Soviet occupation after the war which I found fresh and very interesting. The author used her mother’s own personal story to shape the main character which gave it a meaningful, personal touch. It is a beautiful story, told at a gentle pace.

Oct 01, 2019

Loved this book. A really great story.

Jul 27, 2019

Excellent read

Jun 21, 2019

Great story with lots of war history and details. Very informative if you enjoy this period of time.

May 30, 2019

A rather weak history of Romania during WWII. Although it is inspired by true events, it lacks a strong link to the people who lived through this war. I would have preferred to read about the actual occurrences that befell the Romanians rather than read about the romantic illusions of the young protagonist.

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