The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos

The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos

img_6779Norma’s review

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 affecting and brings out these intense feelings that I have for the storyline, characters and setting. It just makes me that much more appreciative and transfixed in the story being told.

ROXANNE VELETZOS delivers an absolutely beautiful and lovely written story here with compelling and strong characters, a harrowing and vivid setting, and an intimate and heartfelt storyline. The author did a wonderful job at fully immersing me into this story and the characters lives. It was heartwarming and also heartbreaking to read and at one point it gave me goosebumps all over. I absolutely love it when a story produces so many different emotions and reactions from me.

I was totally fascinated with the photos that were included in this book and looked at them many times while I was reading this book.

Web_L365-1_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

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 safely taken care of and survive the violence surrounding them. We are taken on a heartbreaking journey with her grandparents’ story that she changed very little of. I appreciate how Roxanne Veletzos filled in the mystery to some of this story with her fictional account to the story. Making this such a hopeful and satisfying story to read right to the very end. I highly recommend!

Web_L353-3_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s review

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, Roxanne Veletzos’s, own mother and this is her story.

The main character in this engrossing novel is Natalia, a four-year-old Jewish girl. Natalia’s parents went into hiding, leaving their young daughter behind, in the hopes that a loving family would find and care for her until they could safely return and bring her back home. Natalia is placed in an orphanage and quickly adopted by a loving and wealthy couple who do not have children of their own. Natalia is an
unforgettable character – she really got to me. We follow her journey through childhood and then adolescence and beyond where her curiosity stirs and she begins to question her birth parents decision to abandon her.

This wartime novel is heartbreaking, shocking and emotional. I truly felt for this family and what they endured. There were many pieces of history revealed that I had not known about which made the book so much more impactful for me. The fact that this novel is based on the authors’ own family was a jaw-dropping revelation. I finished reading the book with tears streaming down my face.

This book is split into three parts. I found Part 1 and Part 3 the most captivating and moving, with my attention wandering slightly during Part 2. The writing was excellent, the storyline at that point felt a bit drawn out and less impactful. Regardless of this, the ending made up for any lack of spark I felt in the middle section.

This is a powerful and deeply moving book that will sit on my mind long after writing this review.

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Roxanne Veletzos for providing me with an ARC to read and review

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, hauntingly beautiful, intriguing, impactful and an excellent representation to storyline.
Title: The title immediately intrigued me and is such a moving, effective and extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, poetic, eloquent, vivid, fluent, gorgeous and captivating. Absolutely loved the writing-style!
Plot: Engrossing, emotional, descriptive, thought-provoking, interesting, heartfelt, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Tender, loving, touching, and bittersweet that gave me goosebumps.
Overall: This was an absolutely stunning historical fiction novel and one that I won’t soon forget! Would highly recommend!


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11 thoughts on “The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos”

    1. Thank you so much, Jonetta! Sometimes I feel the same way about some historical fiction novels and it definitely helped knowing this was based on a true story and knowing that there was some hope.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carla! I think historical fiction novels that are based on true events are so much more fascinating & touching to read. Glad to hear that we have piqued your interest regarding this book. Hope that you enjoy it too!

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