A World Full of Strangers: A Saga of Love & Retribution

Open Road Media
3
Free sample

A multigenerational saga of an immigrant Jewish family in America—from Hester Street to San Francisco—by a New York Times–bestselling author.
 
Katie Kovitz is seventeen years old when her mother dies. Leaving London for New York Harbor during the bitter winter of 1932, the anxious and uncertain young girl relies on the kindness of strangers for refuge. Welcomed into the home of her Polish mother’s closest childhood friend, Katie is embraced by her new family in a country warm with hope and opportunity. There, on Hester Street in the Jewish ghetto of the city’s Lower East Side, Katie finally establishes the roots that will come to define her.
 
In New York, Katie also finds her future in three people who will change her life in ways she never anticipated: David, the man she marries, a ruthless achiever willing to abandon his heritage to secure power and prosperity under a new name; Mark, their resolute and devout son, and the embodiment of everything his father hates and rejects; and Maggie, a San Francisco beauty who helps to mold David into the man he’s always wanted to be, whatever the cost. As dreams and desires collide, and as Katie strives to reclaim her own lost identity, a series of events will forever affect the ambitions, promises, and legacies of an American family.
 
From the prewar ghettos of Manhattan to the glittering hills of postwar San Francisco, author Cynthia Freeman follows the destinies of three generations of a resilient family, their intimate struggles, and personal triumphs, and brings to vivid life the soul and spirit of the extraordinary Jewish immigrant experience in America.
 
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About the author

Cynthia Freeman (1915–1988) was the author of multiple bestselling novels, including Come Pour the Wine, No Time for Tears, and The Last Princess. Her novels sold more than twenty million copies worldwide. Born in New York City’s Lower East Side, she moved as a young child with her family to Northern California, where she grew up. She fell in love with and married her grandmother’s physician. After raising a family and becoming a successful interior decorator, a chronic illness forced her to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. At the age of fifty-five, she began her literary career with the publication of A World Full of Strangers. Her love of San Francisco and her Jewish heritage drove her to write novels with the universal themes of survival, love, hate, self-discovery, joy, and pain, conveying the author’s steadfast belief in the ability of the human spirit to triumph over life’s sorrows.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Aug 27, 2013
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Pages
631
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ISBN
9781480435759
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Jewish
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. A hopeful and inspiring read that’s great to give this holiday season.
 
“Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.” —Glamour
 
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.
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