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The Fortunate Ones

de Ellen Umansky

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
13724155,496 (3.44)12
A BOOKLIST BEST DEBUT NOVEL OF THE YEAR One very special work of art--a Chaim Soutine painting--will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles. It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer's parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England. Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished. Many years later, the painting finds its way to America. In modern-day Los Angeles, Lizzie Goldstein has returned home for her father's funeral. Newly single and unsure of her path, she also carries a burden of guilt that cannot be displaced. Years ago, as a teenager, Lizzie threw a party at her father's house with unexpected but far-reaching consequences. The Soutine painting that she loved and had provided lasting comfort to her after her own mother had died was stolen, and has never been recovered. This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, The Fortunate Ones is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 24 (següent | mostra-les totes)
2.5 stars. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen - for the painting to be found, to discover why it was so important, etc. The characters seemed a little flat, and at times, the switching between Vienna and current day was confusing.

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.* ( )
  JaxlynLeigh | Jan 10, 2020 |
The Fortunate Ones is a brilliant debut that spans decades, through pre-war, WW I & II to present days; and has brought two women of different worlds and generations together. And the common factor that made this happen is a piece of stolen painting Bellhop by Chaim Soutine.

The story tells of the escape of 11-year-old Rose and her brother Gerhard , without their parents, from the war-invaded Vienna to England. It is learned that a lot of paintings have been stolen or missing after the war. Grief-striken, lonely, and home-sick, Rose is always on the search of her mother’s most cherished painting Bellhop as in finding a piece of her childhood with her parents, in order to comfort and soothe her feeling.

In Los Angeles 2006-2008, Lizzie is also searching for the Bellhop which she blames that it is her fault the painting was stolen. At her father’s funeral, Rose and Lizzie have bonded an unusual friendship, and together they try to hunt down the missing Bellhop. Are they able to recover the painting? The ending has an unexpected twist that reveals the long-kept secrets and truths.
Lots of time, we tend to escape or run away from our problems and responsibilities. Nonetheless, we also grateful that we are living ; and we are the fortunate ones.

I enjoy reading this historical novel and would recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction and goodreads. ( )
  Emily_Wai_Catan | Nov 22, 2018 |
Great historical fiction about the Kinder-transport & stolen art from Vienna. Read it in one day. ( )
  EllenH | Nov 29, 2017 |
In this debut novel, Ellen Umansky tells the story of two women, one of them living in 1930s Vienna, one of them living in modern Los Angeles, and their connection to a Chaim Soutine painting. Spanning decades and continents, this is a heart-wrenching tale of secrets and forgiveness.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Sep 4, 2017 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I have always been drawn to books set in the WWII and Holocaust time period. That's why I chose this book to read. Knowing what happened in the big picture is atrocious and mind numbing; it is in the individual stories that we see effects on actual people, how they felt, how they coped, how they survived, or how they went to their deaths. It makes it all more 'real' and helps us understand history through the eyes of those who lived it. And hopefully to prevent it from happening again.
This books jumps between the time period of WWII and the present....the link in the stories being a painting stolen by the Nazis from a Jewish family during the war. The two main characters are women who have been drawn to the painting since childhood because their mothers loved the painting, and both lost their mothers at a young age, making the painting a cherished connection to their mothers. Since both girls were young at the time of losing their moms, and the changes in their lives so dramatic, they both have trouble remember specifics about the time, and have a child's view of the events, colored by their immaturity, and the abrupt changes in their lives. They both gain insights as memories are triggered, and they see things more as they really were, and gain a new understanding of the situations that shaped their lives.
I have to say I found the story line of Rose (from the WWII era) much more interesting than the story line of the modern day Lizzie. Lizzie is a rather unsettled person, from a 'broken' family , who seems to have trouble with relationships. She doesn't seem to know what she wants, and her relationship with her father (recently deceased) has been a rocky one. Rose, who was close to her family, was sent to England on the Kindertransport along with her brother, to safety, away from the coming war. Her parents weren't able to get out, but they selflessly sent their children away. What a heartbreaking time in history!!
The weaving of the story between time periods was interesting, and the friendship that develops between Lizzie and Rose is, too . Both have regrets for past behaviors and decisions, but both are survivors. I do wish the character development had been a bit stronger, so you could have gotten a better feel for 'who' these women were.....but overall it was a good read!
( I received this book through Library Thing free in return for my unbiased review. ) ( )
  macnoid | Jul 1, 2017 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 24 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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A BOOKLIST BEST DEBUT NOVEL OF THE YEAR One very special work of art--a Chaim Soutine painting--will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles. It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer's parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England. Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished. Many years later, the painting finds its way to America. In modern-day Los Angeles, Lizzie Goldstein has returned home for her father's funeral. Newly single and unsure of her path, she also carries a burden of guilt that cannot be displaced. Years ago, as a teenager, Lizzie threw a party at her father's house with unexpected but far-reaching consequences. The Soutine painting that she loved and had provided lasting comfort to her after her own mother had died was stolen, and has never been recovered. This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, The Fortunate Ones is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.

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