We Were Strangers Once by Betsy Carter

Into the Wild

Read We Were Strangers Once Online Free - For readers of The Nightingale and Brooklyn, an exquisitely moving novel about friendship, love, and redemption in a circle of immigrants who flee Europe for 1930s-era New York City.

On the eve of World War II Egon Schneider--a gallant and successful Jewish doctor, son of two world-famous naturalists--escapes Germany to an uncertain future across the sea. Settling into the unfamiliar rhythms of upper Manhattan, he finds solace among a tight-knit group of fellow immigrants, tenacious men and women drawn together as much by their differences as by their memories of the world they left behind.

They each suffer degradations and triumphs large and small: Egon's terminally acerbic lifelong friend, bestselling author Meyer Leavitt, now wears a sandwich board on a New York street corner; Catrina Harty, the headstrong daughter of a dirt-poor Irish trolley driver, survives heartbreak and loss to forge an unlikely alliance; and Egon himself is forced to abandon his thriving medical practice to become the "Cheese Man" at a Washington Heights grocery. But their spirits remain unbroken, and when their little community is faced with an existential threat, these strangers rise up together in hopes of creating a permanent home.

With her uncanny ability to create indelible characters in unforgettable circumstances, Betsy Carter has crafted a gorgeous novel that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt adrift and longed for home.

Title : We Were Strangers Once
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1455571431
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 pages


Angela M rated it ★★★★☆

September 11, 2017

I was going to hold off on reading this, having read several books in the last year or so on the refugee experience. This one though, didn't take place in the current day, but before WWII and I thought about immigrants from our history even earlier than this time when my grandparents came to this...

Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★☆☆

November 15, 2017

Aware of how the times are changing, a group of German Jews are fortunate enough to be able to leave their country before Hitler can implement his final Solution. They settle in Manhattan, take whatever jobs they can get, and though the jobs they take are far from the positions they held in their...

Cheri rated it ★★★★☆

September 16, 2017

Egon Schneider is the son of naturalists; his father wrote about birds, wildflowers, his mother was the illustrator of those books. They were well known as a couple, and were referred to as the Audubons of Europe. They loved their work and each other, almost to the exclusion of everything and eve...

Genna rated it ★★★★☆

July 11, 2017

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "America is a land of refugees and immigrants. Everyone was once a stranger here." We Were Strangers Once is a timely novel, despite being set primarily during WWII. Carter has crafted a particularly poignant cast...

Lynn rated it ★★★☆☆

August 13, 2017

We were Strangers Once tells a familiar tale about the struggle of new immigrants. The setting is New York during WWII. No matter the time period, the fears of fitting in and forging a new life are similar. Egon Schneider has made it out of Germany in the nick of time, but barriers exist for this...

Annette rated it ★☆☆☆☆

December 18, 2017

I’ve never read any books by this author and I don’t know if this is her regular style of writing. But it sounds as the author is trying to tell the whole story in one breath. You can’t even get into the period time, especially of the war, with such rush-through style of writing. It is not the st...

Kasey rated it ★★★☆☆

November 13, 2017

I was interested in reading this book since most of the WWII historical fiction books I have read take place in Europe. This novel primarily takes place in New York City following the lives of German Jewish immigrants (with the exception of Catrina and her family- Irish immigrants) on the eve of...

Bev rated it ★★★★☆

January 14, 2018

I love historical fiction and have read many books from this era. I had not read anything about Jewish immigrants to the US and their experiences. I loved this book and will now read her previous work. The only reason I gave it a 4 rather than a 5 is that I thought that the immigrants would have...

Carolyn rated it ★★★★☆

July 17, 2017

Very well written, about a group of Jewish friends in America. All of who escaped Germany to avoid the unsettledment that was going on over there in the late 1930's. Most were professionals and needed to work at any job they could get in NY City. This book shows the struggles they all have adjusti...

Sue rated it ★★★★☆

November 04, 2017

I listened to this while driving back and forth to work. A good story of a group refugees experience that can help us understand that experience for todays refugees. Being forced from your home is very different from choosing to leave.

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