The Girl They Left Behind: A Novel
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Published:
Atria Books 2018
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Checked Out
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER 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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/09/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781501187704
ASIN:
B07CKZZPWX
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Date Added:
Oct 05, 2018 16:35:38
Date Updated:
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The Girl They Left Behind
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      • bioText: Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture. Building on her love of the written language, she obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge and has worked as an editor, content writer, and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies.
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publishDate
2018-10-09T00:00:00-04:00
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shortDescription
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

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...
isOwnedByCollections
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title
The Girl They Left Behind
fullDescription
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

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.
sortTitle
Girl They Left Behind A Novel
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2018

        Romania-born Veletzos, who immigrated here as a teenager, bitingly portrays Bucharest during World War II and the subsequent Communist era in this story of the Jewish Natalia, abandoned as a little girl in 1941 and adopted by loving parents. As a grown-up, she has an opportunity to escape oppression, but can she leave lover Victor and her adoptive parents behind?

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2018
        In January 1941, as a pogrom descends upon the Jews of Bucharest, Romania, a fleeing Jewish couple must make a horrifying decision: leave their 3-year-old daughter behind or risk all of their lives at the hands of the Iron Guard. Their daughter survives, and her life arcs through some of the most devastating events of Eastern Europe.Soon adopted into a wealthy Christian family, the child is renamed Natalia and raised by loving parents, Despina and Anton Goza. After four heart-wrenching miscarriages, Despina is eager to shower Natalia with love, drawing the traumatized girl out of her shell. Anton, the owner of several successful stationery stores, dotes on Despina and Natalia, even buying Natalia a piano and engaging a teacher for the talented pupil. Although politically opposed to fascism, the Gozas' wealth shelters them from the atrocities visited daily upon their city's Jewish population. Meanwhile, Natalia's birthparents have been hiding in the attic of Despina's cousin, who helps them escape the country, yet from afar, they try to help their daughter. From the pogroms and bombings to the Soviet occupation and the fall of the Iron Curtain, debut novelist Veletzos deftly threads historical events through Natalia's life story as she survives the fracturing of her biological family, the destruction of her country, the stifling of her education, and cultural isolation from the rest of the world. As Natalia navigates a swiftly changing landscape, her adoptive father befriends Victor, a political revolutionary, who rises in the ranks of the Communist regime. In their times of need, it will be Victor to whom the Gozas turn again and again. But can he be trusted to rescue the fallen bourgeois family? Above all, can he be trusted with Natalia's heart? And will Natalia ever find her parents again?Never flinching from the bleak, this sweeping historical romance pieces together hope from the ruins.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 8, 2018
        Inspired by the story of her grandparents, debut author Veletzos’s excellent novel centers on the devastation of Romania by Germany during WWII, and the country’s subsequent struggles under Soviet rule. During a pogrom in 1941 Bucharest, a young Jewish couple flees their home. Fearing their capture, they leave their three-year-old daughter behind in an apartment building, hoping that someone will take her in and care for her. Their daughter, Natalia, is brought to an orphanage and is later adopted by Anton and Despina Goza, an affluent childless couple. Despite the bombings and the food shortages, Anton, Despina, and Natalia survive the war with their family intact. When the Soviets invade Romania, the government takes over every aspect of their lives, including Anton’s store, and the Gozas are forced out of their home and must live in communal housing. Through all of their trials, Anton maintains his friendship with Victor, a younger man who once lived above his shop and is now a powerful government official. Natalia, no longer the impressionable girl Victor once knew, is now a beautiful, spirited young woman, and Natalia and Victor’s passionate romance becomes complicated by his allegiance to the Communist Party. Veletzos expertly weaves historical detail into a rich story about the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
4496
publisher
Atria Books
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