The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos

The Girl They Left Behind

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...

Details The Girl They Left Behind

TitleThe Girl They Left Behind
Release DateOct 9th, 2018
PublisherAtria Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

Reviews The Girl They Left Behind

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    4 stars! A beautiful and heart-wrenching story about family, love, loss and letting go.“In anguish and despair we release this child into the hands of God, with hope and faith that she may be saved.” This was the note that was left in a little girls’ beautiful velvet dress on the day that her Jewish parents fled the city of Bucharest, Romania leaving their young daughter abandoned and alone on the streets. This little girl was the author, R...
  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    Haunting, compelling & engrossing!THE GIRL THEY LEFT BEHIND by ROXANNE VELETZOS is a fascinating, captivating, and deeply moving historical fiction novel inspired by true events of the author’s mother. The way that the story unfolds is so powerful, poignant and so delicately and beautifully written that easily held my attention. My absolute favorite historical fiction novels are ones based on true events. Just knowing that is always deeply affe...
  • Marialyce
    4.5 valiant starsMy reviews can be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...I have always been attracted to books about the second World War and the people who lived in Europe during that awful time. They, the ones who survived were left, with not only the scars incurred upon themselves, but also the countries in which they lived that were devastated and in ruin. In this book: The Girl They Left Behind, we meet a young Jewish family who...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    5 enchanting stars to The Girl They Left Behind! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ The Girl They Left Behind is an enchanting story of family based on the author’s mother’s early life. In Bucharest, Romania, in 1941, a three-year-old girl is found alone on the steps of an apartment building. She is Jewish, and Romania has recently aligned with the Nazis, so all the Jews are risking peril if they cannot escape. She is taken in at an orphanage and eventually...
  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    I have read and listened to many books about WWII but never one that took place in Romania. This was an audiobook that virtually caused me to stop doing everything I could just to sit and listen to the voice of the narrator. I don’t usually write long reviews of audiobooks but this book moved me to tears more than once and is a story that should be heard.This novel starts in Bucharest, Romania in 1941 when Jewish people were being rounded up, b...
  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    The Girl They Left Behind is an emotional family saga and a love story filled with tragedy yet written with hope that drew me right in one of my favorite types of stories. Roxanne Veletzos passionately and vividly weaves her family’s story, some history of WWll Romania with a fictional side to some of this story. She starts the story off by vividly capturing the desperation of Jewish parents who left their daughter behind in hopes she will be s...
  • Erin
    Based on true events of the author's mother, The Girl They Left Behind is an endearing story set in Romania that immediately took my heart! Two people fleeing in the night as the Germans enter Bucharest to roundup the Jewish population make the difficult decision to leave their three year old daughter behind. Enter Anton and Despania, a Romanian couple who have struggled amidst four devastating miscarriages. When Anton suggests a visit to the lo...
  • Kate Quinn
    Will definitely be giving a cover quote for this one--forthcoming!Updated: "Roxanne Veletzos pens a fresh, original debut in THE GIRL THEY LEFT BEHIND, twining personal family drama together with the lesser-known history of World War II Romania. When an explosion of horrific anti-Semitic violence sends a Jewish family fleeing into the night, driving them to leave their only daughter in the safe arms of new parents, the consequences will reverbera...
  • Brenda
    Bucharest, 1941 and the little Jewish girl, not quite four years old, had been abandoned in the frosty night air; discovered by the concierge, she was cold, limp and whimpering. Some time later, she was taken to an orphanage where she withdrew into herself, frightened, not knowing what was happening. When Despina and Anton, a wealthy but childless couple desperate for a child adopted her, they named her Natalia. Her future was assured.But war rav...
  • Zoe
    Evocative, absorbing, and incredibly affecting!The Girl They Left Behind is a powerful, riveting tale that sweeps you into a country ravaged and oppressed by war and then forced to endure economic instability, political upheaval, social injustice, and lack of freedoms under Stalinist rule.The prose is poetic and enchanting. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and vulnerable. And the plot, set in Romania during the mid-1900s, is a profoun...
  • Bev Walkling
    A huge thank you to #NetGalley and #Simon&Schuster for granting me my wish and allowing me to read this book. I finished it yesterday and have thought a lot about it since then. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.I have read many books that are set in the time period of the Second World War. In many ways it was a time period that shaped my life as my parents and relatives lived through it (except for a few) and it affected ...
  • Tammy
    In Bucharest, Romania, 1941, a young Jewish couple, fleeing from the Nazis, abandons their 3 year old daughter on a doorstep with the hopes someone will take her in and keep her safe. Natalia is put into an orphanage and is soon adopted by a well off childless couple. The story follows Natalia as she grows up behind the Iron Curtain and details the struggles she and her family face. I read a lot of historical fiction but this is the first I've re...
  • Amy
    4.5/5One of the best parts of reading really well researched HF is learning about otherwise little known pieces of history and I knew next to nothing about what things were like in Romania during World War Two. The author really knew what she was talking about here, her care and attention to the subject matter was heavily apparent and she did a gorgeous job of bringing this story to life while also educating me, such a great bonus!Stories about p...
  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    Roxanne Veletzos has written a engaging, informative and heart-felt story based on her mother's early life during WWII and later during the Soviet occupation of Romania. During the 1941 Pogrom in Bucharest, Veletzos' grandparents made the difficult choice to leave their three-year-old daughter, Natalia, on the steps of a building hoping to give her a chance to survive. Sent to an orphanage, she was quickly adopted by a wealthy couple who were dev...
  • Anna
    It is 1941. A small girl is found abandoned and freezing outside a Bucharest apartment building. Taken to an orphanage, she is fortunate to be adopted by a wealthy childless couple who love and adore her. They name her Natalia, and as she assimilates to her new life, she begins to forget the parents who left her. Life begins to become more difficult as Romania is caught in the thros of WWII, and their monarchy is toppled by the Soviets. For most,...
  • Jen
    This was a beautiful historical fiction novel. Set in Bucharest during and post WWII, The Girl They Left Behind follows the life of Natalia through the war and subsequent rise of the Iron Curtain. I was surprised and intrigued to learn this was based largely on the story of the author’s mother and grandparents. This story takes place in an area we don’t hear a lot about in war fiction. When you read about WWII, you’re typically reading abou...
  • Bookworm
    This was a fascinating story based on true events that takes place in Romania towards the end of WW2 and the communist occupation in the 40's and 50's known as the Iron Curtain. Although I have been to some of the Berlin museums that detail the horrible circumstances many Germans were forced to endure in East Germany post WW2 and behind the Iron Curtain, this was the first time i have read about what happened in Romania. The author notes at the e...
  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    Thanks to the publishers for this free review copy!This story is absolutely stunning. I’m even more blown away by it due to the fact that it is a fictionalized version of the real life story of the author’s mother - a heartbreaking tale of WWII in Bucharest, Romania. This is a rare setting in historical fiction, and especially in WWII fiction - I often get burned out on the genre given that all the stories seem to run together and seem the sa...
  • The Lit Bitch
    This book is marketed to fans of Sarah’s Key and The Lilac Girls as well as fans of WWII family sagas. I was intrigued by the subject matter as well as the time period. As many of you know, I love war time books—mysteries, romances, family dramas etc—-so this book, historically fit right in.But what stood out for me was the plot for two main characters—–Natalia and Victor split apart by time and war. I loved the idea of seeing two chara...
  • Telma Rocha
    I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. A young loving Jewish couple, along with their little girl are on the run for their lives. Out of true love, and certainly not neglect, the couple make the ultimate sacrifice and leave their 3 year old daughter on the door steps of an apartment building on a cold January night in 1941. They must do this to give her a chance at survival; otherwise the three of them would all die, if they remained...
  • Peggy
    Historical Fictions is my favorite genre. I have read many stories about WWII and I think there can't be another angle, but there always is. This is a wonderful read taken place in Romania and based on the authors family. A very inspirational story of survival.
  • Sue
    This was a wonderful well-researched novel about an area not often discussed in current WWII fiction - Romania. Plus it is based on the author's mother and her life as the girl that was left behind. The story was not only about WWII when Romania was an ally of Germany but later in the war, they sided with the Allies so they went from being bombed by the British to being bombed by the Germans. When Russia invaded them at the end of the war, they t...
  • Tina Woodbury
    Wow! I adore this beautifully written story!A little girl is found late one night – she is frightened, cold, and alone. A carrying woman finds her, wraps her arms around here, and carries her to safety. This little girl’s name is Natalia and this is her story.Anton and Despina Goza have tried for years to have children with no success. Through a cousin’s encouragement they make the drive to an orphanage and that is where they meet Natalia. ...
  • Reeca Elliott
    During WWII, Natalia is left at an orphanage when she is just a small child. She is adopted by an amazing set of parents. They truly want the best for her. When the Iron Curtain fell on Bucharest, their whole lives changed for the worst.There is so much packed into this read. With the daily struggles just to survive, it is hard to read in places. Natalia is a talented pianist, but she ends up working in a warehouse just to support herself and her...
  • Cheryl
    This book is a perfect example of how real life experience can enhance a story. This book is kind of modeled off of the author's real life. Thus you could feel the labor of love by reading this book. The characters came alive as did the story. Natalia was a strong woman. Which I imagined was not an easy thing to come by during that time period. Yet, on the other hand, I can see a lot of women showing strength in adversity. I have read a lot of bo...
  • Donna Davis
    I was ready for something that was a little different, and then an online friend recommended this historical fiction for review. Thanks go to Net Galley and Atria Books for the DRC. It’s for sale today. The story stems from the Bucharest Pogrom of 1941, in which hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed. And to show you how much I knew about this particular event before I read this book—my ignorance was so painful—I called to my spouse and ...
  • Karen
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This novel takes place in Bucharest, Romania. In 1941, during a time of increasing persecution against the Jewish population and the encroachment of German soldiers into the country, a young Jewish girl is left abandoned by her fleeing parents on the steps of an apartment complex. She's taken to an orphanage and later adopted by a wealthy couple and...
  • Adrienne Hankin
    We need more novels like this! The book opens the door on a region in the world that is rarely profiled — the writing pulled me in, while I also learned about a city and a piece of history I hardly knew. Similar to the Kite Runner, the story invited me in the door to get to know an entirely new culture in an intimate way.The story of Natalia and her family gave an intimate perspective as to how families in Romania lived during and after World W...
  • Emily Wilkinson (Life with Emily)
    4.5 stars rounded up. A very compelling historical fiction novel that takes place in Romania in the 1940s! If you enjoy historical fiction, definitely give this one a read. A very uniquely told story!In Bucharest, Romania, in 1941, a three-year-old girl is found alone on the steps of an apartment building. She is Jewish, and Romania has recently aligned with the Nazis, so all the Jews are risking peril if they cannot escape. She is taken in at an...