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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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-08-21

Gentle

Found this easy to listen to and the courage of people what they do to survive. Story line thought provoking. .Enjoy the book and narration.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-21

Gripping and moving

A fantastic book. It is a gripping story from start to finish. I couldn’t stop listening. Beautifully narrated.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-21

Best audiobook I’ve listened too in years

Captivating story, moves quickly enough throughout so you don’t get bored. Wonderful resolution, you are not left disappointed. Narrator was talented and easy to listen too. I couldn’t put it down.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angela Ives
  • 10-23-21

Enthralling Story

Great to listen too and well set out. Was really heartfelt to the end and glad I wasn’t driving for the last hour as tears streamed down

1 person found this helpful

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  • June B.
  • 09-12-21

A most moving story

This sorry is written in a part of history I had very little knowledge of. The historical events, the courageous spirit of those caught up in these events moved me deeply and held me in it's grip from beginning to end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-21

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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  • Ursula
  • 03-17-22

Outstanding

Amazing historical events, everyone should read the tragedy of Romania in the not too distant past. A highly likely story of Jewish families trying to save their child during the raging antisemitism in Europe. The reader was fantastic giving the characters real accents. A must read.

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  • shirley K.
  • 01-01-22

Moving Novel of History and fiction

A beautifully written and narrated novel, tugging at the heart strings. And will to survive under atrocities.

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  • Robyn Macaulay
  • 09-11-21

interesting insight

I enjoyed this story and the insight into life behind the iron curtain. The narration was excellent.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda Sheahan
  • 08-03-21

It was okay

Started well, but the main character never got the chance to demonstrate or explore any agency.