The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky

The Fortunate Ones

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 kindertran...

Details The Fortunate Ones

TitleThe Fortunate Ones
Release DateNov 21st, 2017
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Art, War, World War II

Reviews The Fortunate Ones

  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 review to follow.
  • Cindy Burnett
    The Fortunate Ones was a very different book than I thought I was going to be reading. I love art and art mysteries so I was geared up to read that type of book. Instead, The Fortunate Ones is more a tale of loss, family bonds, and betrayal with a side story about a painting. While it was not what I was initially hoping for, I did like the book and felt that it was both entertaining and well-written. The story takes place in two time periods, Eur...
  • Linda Lpp
    This book for me has been a challenge to follow the story line. Descriptions from pre war times in Vienna to life in Los Angeles over the years after the war isn't the challenge. I am finding it distracting to read about reminiscent thoughts frequently interjected in present day scenerios such that it is easy to lose track of where you are in the story. There are times parents are called by their first names by the children, and other times Papi ...
  • Marjorie
    This book tells the story of the Zimmer family, a Jewish family living in Vienna in the late 1930’s, and the parents’ decision to send little Rose and her brother to England on a kinder transport to keep them safe from the oncoming war. The children are devastated to be sent off to different households in England. They are told that it will only be for six months but of course the horrendous war lasts much longer.The Zimmer family possess a v...
  • El
    The story follows two women, Rose in Vienna in the 1930s/1940s, and Lizzie in Los Angeles in the early 2000s. What brings them together is a painting by the Jewish painter, Chaim Soutine. The painting graced the walls of both of their families at different periods of time, but they both lost the painting through varying events.The story itself, with the painting, and even aspects of their individual lives, are interesting, though there's a strang...
  • Oceantide74
    I disliked the modern part of the book. I did not really like any of the characters and felt no great desire to know them better. I didn't like how the author very very briefly alluded to why the Bellhop painting meant so much to Rose's mother. I understood Rose's intensity about it and what to stood for but was interested in finding out her mother's intensity for it.
  • Lynn
    The Bellhop. A painting which hung in Rosa's home, first in her father's study, and then which her mother, on her deathbed, longed to see. The painting had been purchased by Rosa's Mutti during a trip to Paris, and was confiscated by the Nazis in WWII Vienna.Years later, Lizzie Goldstein's father bought The Bellhop, the seller unaware of its value. Again, it disappears in a robbery of the family home.A half a century later, Lizzie and Rose meet, ...
  • Sarah Beth
    I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel as a giveaway on Goodreads. As the war threatens Vienna in 1939, Rose Zimmer's parents make the difficult decision to send her and her older brother to safety in England. After the war, alone and attempting to build a life in the rubble of war, Rose finds herself seeking out one memento of her childhood, a painting of a bellhop by Chaim Soutine that her mother had loved. Many years later, in mode...
  • Vickie
    Fighting a stomach bug: will post a review in a few days!
  • Sue Seligman
    The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky is an historical novel weaving past and present through the lives of two women and a shared passion for locating a portrait painted by Chaim Soutine. Rose Zimmer and her brother Gerhard are the children in an affluent Jewish family growing up in Vienna when the Nazis invade Austria. After their parents fail to obtain visas for leaving they, like many other desperate parents, secure passage for their children on...
  • K
    eh, didn't really work for me. had trouble getting into and staying with it, and overall, just an average read.
  • Tracy
    The Fortunate Ones is a riveting debut novel by Ellen Umansky. The story moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles. The core of Umansky’s plot is a beautiful painting that is looted during the war. Eleven-year-old Rose Zimmer is forced to leave her parents behind in 1939 Vienna when they put her on a kindertransport to live with strangers in England. Her life is saved, but her parents do not survive the war. Rose is filled with...
  • Good Book Fairy
    The Fortunate Ones was at first glance about a famed, twice stolen piece of art, and the connections it brings throughout the generations. I can assure you that in reading this book; you’ll be drawn into the past and the present with a story about forgiveness, guilt, secrets, lies, love, survival, family ties and friendship. It’s a multi-layered story in a short 324 pages.The artwork stolen in this novel, by master artist Chaim Soutine, is fi...
  • Valery Tikappa
    Non ci siamo proprio.Dunque, la storia riguarda principalmente due donne, Lizzie e Rose, che hanno vissuto due vite completamente diverse.Rose, che era una bambina allo scoppio della seconda guerra mondiale, è stata costretta a subire gli orrori di quel periodo tremendo.Lizzie, invece, ha appena perso il padre e cerca di sopravvivere in una vita che, in realtà, non la soddisfa.In comune hanno un pensiero "fisso": un quadro di Soutine, "Il Fatto...
  • Susan Bennett
    Two women from different generations meet at the funeral of the younger woman's father and find that they have a stolen Chaim Soutine painting in common. When the purloined painting is finally located, they discover that seeing the painting again doesn't reconcile the past, but they have learned to accept unchangeable events and to live in the present.
  • Susy Tomasiello
    Secondo me poteva rivelarsi una bella storia, ma l'ho trovata alquanto noiosa e decisamente non mi ha convinta per niente
  • Chris
    An enjoyable read.
  • Rosaria Sgarlata
  • Karen Raskin
    3.75 stars. Another novel with two story lines, one set during WWII Vienna and London, and one set 50 years later in modern day LA. As usual, the WWII story line was richer and more compelling. Rose, who left Vienna in the kindertransport and ended up in LA after the war, was the character who tied the two story lines together, but her modern voice didn't sound like her earlier self. Also, her relationship with the weak/needy character of Lizzie ...
  • Caroline
    I won this as a Goodreads Giveaway. You never really know what you're going to get with giveaways, but the synopsis intrigued me. The book was very well written with an enjoyable story that kept me interested, and I'm very happy that I discovered it!
  • Bonnie
    Ellen Umansky has written a wonderful first novel. It is 1939 in Vienna, and war darkens Europe. Rose Zimmer's parents are desperate. They try getting out through Austria and manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindeertransport and send her to live with strangers in England. When the war finally ends, Rose attempts to make a life alone in London. There is one thing that she longs for: a painting by Chaim Soutine that had belong...
  • Pearl Berman
    This is the kind of page-turner you pick-up and can't put down. A smart, well written novel exploring the lives of two seemingly different women who share a love of art and an unlikely friendship. A must read!!
  • Liz
    I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.This is a touching story. Beginning in the early WWII war years in Austria and continuing to present day Los Angeles, it conveys the complexity of love and loss along with the interesting story of a lost painting. Both of the women, Lizzy and Rose, seemed so real to me. I really enjoyed this book.
  • Joanna
    I love this novel. I know I blurbed this book but I told the absolute truth with my blurb. Ellen Umansky is a gorgeous writer. She spins such a suspenseful tale of family love and loss with evocative descriptions of Los Angeles, Vienna, London and so many specific cultures therein, and she has a sly wit that keeps the reader on their toes. I truly can't wait to read her next book.
  • Tamara
    Generally I love books about WWII but this book was just alright. I only finished it because I thought it would get better...
  • Vicki Joyner
    The Fortunate Ones, is a remarkable 4.5 novel! I loved Ellen Umansky’s attention to sensory details in different settings, thorough knowledge of the world spanning seventy-two years (1936-2008), her deep levels of characterization in both Rose and Lizzie (and minor characters). In addition to a layered plot, her imagery and phrases triggered a wide range of emotions in me. Oh, my goodness. By the time I’d read the following sentences, I had t...
  • Federica Laviano
    Cominciamo col dire che il titolo e la copertina sono fuorvianti. Sarebbe stato preferibile se il titolo fosse "Le ragazze del dipinto" e sulla copertina avrei voluto vedere un dipinto di Soutine, l'autore del quadro al centro del romanzo, che ritrae un uomo, un fattorino per la precisione.Sarebbe stato più adatto parlare di ragazzE perché il libro narra l'incontro e la storia di due donne di due generazioni diverse che si conoscono proprio gra...
  • Carolyn Russett
    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 AngelesIt 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 kindertrans...
  • Rita Berk
    This is a touching story of friendship, forgiveness, and love. Ruth was sent to England during WWII along with her brother and thousands of other Jewish children to get away from the Nazis. The separation from her parents was heartbreaking for Ruth and had a lifelong effect on her. The memory of a painting by Soutine helped sustain her. She learned that the painting had been stolen by the Nazis. Ruth's story is told in flashbacks. In the current ...
  • SS
    This is a remarkably engaging book. The characters are likable and the plot filled with just enough twists and turns.It took me about a third of the book to really get into it. I'm delighted that I held on while I tried to figure out how everything and everyone fit together. This book is two stories, an historical one alternating with a contemporary one, with a mystery worked into both, uniting them. One is about two contemporary women struggling...