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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by the author’s true family story of survival during the Second World War, Natalia’s story is an unforgettable portrait of the triumph of the human spirit.

‘In anguish and despair we release this child into the hands of God, with hope and faith that she may be saved...

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of a building in Bucharest. With Romania now in league with the Nazis, the Jewish population is doomed. The child is placed in an orphanage and adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she adapts to her new life, she all but forgets the parents forced to leave her behind.

Yet, as Natalia comes of age under Soviet occupation, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading to a discovery that will change her destiny. When she meets Victor, an important official in the Communist regime, she is drawn into a passionate affair despite overwhelming obstacles and her lover’s dark secrets.

When Natalia is offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonising decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she loves, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms - and to confront the painful enigma of her past.

"There are stories that must be told because in doing so, they shed light on the irreparable consequences of war in the lives of so many innocents." (Armando Lucas Correa, author of The German Girl)

©2018 Roxanne Veletzos (P)2021 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Girl They Left Behind

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Powerful, beautifully written and read

A richly woven tapestry of a novel. often sobering yet full of hope and desperation.
Cassandra Campbell never misses a beat throughout.

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Enjoyable historical fiction

I enjoyed this story. It was interesting throughout and gave great insight into the plight of the Romanian Jews during WW2 and also the life of Romanians under Soviet occupation. The narrator did a fantastic job.

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A different insight.

I found this book a different perpective of the war years as normally written. A "shorter" experience of war but greater aftermath for the characters. As there were no reviews written I took it on faith to purchase this book. I'm glad I did. The story is well written and the characters well developed. I became attached to them and cried at times. The narrator was very good and easy to listen to. I enjoyed this book and was fascinated by the different perspectives it brought of the war experience for this country and this class of society within.

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