The Fortunate Ones: A Novel
Ellen Umansky, in her debut novel, The Fortunate Ones, weaves together the stories of two very different women connected by the loss of the same painting decades apart.
In 1939 Rose Zimmer and her brother, Gerhard, are put on a kindertransport and sent to England to wait for their parents to join them. Sadly, that never happens, and Rose spends the rest of her life searching for the Soutine painting “The Bellhop” that her mother cherished.
Lizzie Goldstein stands at the graveside of her father in 2005, desperately trying to come to terms with conflicting feelings that have plagued her since a traumatic incident during her teenage years. During a party she was not supposed to have while her father was out of town, her house is burglarized and both a Picasso drawing and her beloved Soutine painting are stolen.
At the funeral, Rose and Lizzie meet and begin a unique friendship as they both must confront traumas that they have long buried and accept that the painting is actually not what they are desperately trying to recover. Together they help each other come to terms with the secrets of their pasts and begin a friendship that will carry them into the future.