For thirteen-year-old Sarah Waldman, life in the small Polish town of Olkusz is idyllic, grounded in her loving, close-knit family and the traditions of their Jewish faith.
But in 1939, as the Nazis come to power, a storm is gathering—a relentless, unforgiving storm that will sweep Sarah and her family into years of misery in the ghetto and concentration camps, tearing them apart. Will Sarah’s strong will and determination be enough for her to survive when everything she loves is taken from her?
Is it possible to resurrect a life—and find love—from the ruins? Or will Sarah be forever haunted by the memories of what she lost?
Part memoir, part fiction, What She Lost is the reimagined true-life story of the author’s grandmother growing into a woman amid the anguish of the Holocaust. It is a tale of resilience, of rebuilding a life, and of rediscovering love.
Melissa W. Hunter is an author and blogger from Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied creative writing and journalism at the University of Cincinnati, receiving a BA in English literature and a minor in Judaic studies. She received the English Department’s Undergraduate Essay Award and Undergraduate Fiction Award over two consecutive years. In her senior year, she received a grant to study and write about the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
Her articles have been published on Kveller.com and LiteraryMama.com, and her short stories have appeared in the Jewish Literary Journal. She is a contributing blogger to the Today Show parenting community, and her novella Through a Mirror Clear was published as a serial installment on TheSame.blog, an online literary journal written for women by women. Her novel What She Lost is inspired by her grandmother’s life as a Holocaust survivor. When not writing, Melissa loves spending family time with her husband and two beautiful daughters.