Natalia was not yet four when the Bucharest Pogroms began, the killing of Jewish families in the streets. Natalia's parents are on the run when they make the heartbreaking decision that will keep both Natalia and themselves alive, they leave Talia on the steps of an apartment building while they escape to a friends attic and then Switzerland. Talia is quickly found and brought to an orphanage where she was adopted into the Goza family. Talia's wealthy adoptive parents, Despina and Anton give her everything she could hope for, they make it through the war only to have the Iron Curtain come crashing down on them. While the Goza's are doing their best to survive with the help of their friend Victor who works for the Party, Talia's birth parents are still searching for her and they might be the answer to Talia's survival once again.
The Girl They Left Behind is an astounding story of hope and courage based on the life of the author's mother. From the beginning when Talia's parents made the heartbreaking decision to leave her on the doorstep, I knew I had to find out the rest of her story. This book explored a part of World War II that I did not know a lot about including the Pogroms and life in Romania during the War. Talia's character showed amazing growth throughout the story, from a scared orphan to a woman taking risks for her survival. I could not imagine being either Talia's birth parents or adoptive parents and having to leave or send away their child for her own safety. I could also not imagine being Talia and knowing that two sets of parents sacrificed everything for my safety. More than anything, I was amazed that the author so very closely followed the story that her own mother had lived through, seeing the pictures at the end of the book really solidified the honesty of the story. Overall, a heartfelt account of remarkable people during World War II and the Soviet Occupation.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.