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When We Were Young

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Three generations of women come together in this page-turning debut full of family secrets, heart-wrenching drama, and the promise of second chances.

Corfu, 1942: To sixteen-year-old Sarah Batis, the Nazis are a distant danger—of far greater threat is the opposing needs of her heart and her people. Tradition demands that Sarah marry a Jewish man. Only Sarah has fallen in lo
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 16th 2021 by Forever
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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This is a historical fiction/women's Fiction that jumps between three time points (1942, 2004, and 2019). I found the writing a little to much, and I did not really connect to any of the characters. I feel that the storyline drove this book and not the characters. I loved the cover of this book, and that is what made me want to read this book. I do not feel this was a bad book, but it was just not a book for me. I love a character drove book. This book does have some twists and turns that are go ...more
Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
Beautifully written women's fiction at its finest. I was invested throughout and felt so much for each of the women portrayed. The write up plays like a generational read, but in all honesty When We Were Young POV's feel more like flashbacks that just add to the overall feel. It's love, longing, and courage to go after your heart that drives it all home.

A great read for your 2021 summer beach bags!

*ARC via ForeverPub/GrandCentralPub

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Janilyn Kocher
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
I love the cover of this book, but most of the characters in it frustrated me with their selfishness. I had a strong visceral reaction when reading this book. There are several layers of relationships which makes the story messy and complicated. Long, buried secrets, and people acting surreptitiously and then feeling justified for their lies. I felt bad for,the characters who were really hurt and thought that the ones who hurt them could have made their decisions much faster. My favorite charact ...more
Victoria Lanigan
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
This all engrossing, debut page turner had me attached to these characters from page one. The story of three generations of women, finding themselves, find their way to each other, their search for love and the secrets that threaten to tear them all apart.
This book has so many layers and I absolutely loved it. Told in three timelines you truly understood these characters in a way you don’t always get in a book.
Corfu, 1942 is Sarah’s story (Joey’s Grandma). In present time Sarah wants Joey to
Krista Burns
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe this is Goldin's debut novel! When We Were Young highlights three generations of women, the choices they made, the choices that were made for them, and the outcomes that have shaped their lives. The chapters jump between Sarah (the grandmother), Bea (her daughter), and Joey (her granddaughter), as well as between decades. I was worried that this would be confusing, but Goldin's writing talent makes it a seamless read. I was wholeheartedly invested in all three of the women's ...more
Kaitlin S. (stacked_shelf)
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
When We Were Young by @jaclyngoldis is a poignant, heart wrenching tale about three generations of women who come together to find themselves and the love they have for each other, despite the painful family secrets that threaten to tear them apart. I can’t tell you how much I loved this story! It’s definitely the type of story that stays with you and leaves little marks on your heart. While this story is an emotional rollercoaster, it emanates the power of love, forgiveness, and second chances. ...more
Addie BookCrazyBlogger
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-s
In Corfu, Greece 1942, Sarah Batis is a young woman whose battling her Jewish heritage with her desire to marry a fisherman named Milos who lives outside of the Jewish faith. Despite the Nazi and Italian rule that is hovering over Greece like a terrifying cloud, Sarah is more focused on love than politics. But when the Nazi’s take her entire family to Auschwitz, Sarah feels she must follow tradition over her heart. Meanwhile in 2004, Sarah’s daughter Bea, had built a delightful life of painting, ...more
Danielle Wilder
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! Couldn’t put it down.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! This was the perfect book for my beachside getaway. The narrative kept me engaged and interested and it was hard to put down. Definitely a worthy interesting read.
Jaclyn Mishal
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The book jumps through time — and back and forth from Corfu to Florida. I’ve been to Corfu a few years ago and Goldis does a wonderful job at bringing the island to the reader. The book is more of a page turner than I expected and I could really see this book becoming a movie. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend reading it.
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Some books and their characters stay with you long after you finish them, and this is one of those books for me. I loved the depth to the characters in this book, and how their stories fit together across the years. I was intrigued by the storyline and all the twists and turns, needing to turn the pages to find out what was going to be revealed next. The tales of love and loss throughout the book, both broke my heart and gave me hope. This book made me feel so many things, it was such a beautifu ...more
Susan Goren
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough wonderful things about this novel--the twists, surprises, family relationships, gorgeous locales, Greek history... I wasn't able to put it down and had to read well into the night until I finished it. I had that rare feeling where I needed to read quickly to the end to see what would happen but simultaneously was longing for more pages to read. It's the ideal read for someone who loves either women's fiction or historical fiction in that it perfectly blends the genres. So rare ...more
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it

Happy Pub Day to When We Were Young! A book that will rip your heart out and then put it back together as if it never happened.

Three different women, three different love stories. Sarah's love story starts in 1942, Bea is Sarah's daughter who has more of a twisted love story, and Joey is Bea's daughter who has the most heartbreaking love story of all.

Joey has always been in love with Leo, the son of a family friend they vacationed with in Corfu, an island in Greece. Their love story star
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelves
Every time I read another WWII novel, I learn something new I did not know. There is so much that happened and it seemed to be happening literally everywhere on the European continent. This was written with three different storylines that all connect. Present Joey getting prepared to marry a good Jewish man, as her family expects and her grandmother Sarah remember her first love during the war. The third storyline is Joey as a child growing up, remembering summers at Corfu and her first love.

Morgan Marie
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-fun
Thank you @readforeverpub for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review! 📚💕


“Follow your heart... it means, you don’t get to know how it turns out. But you have to follow where it leads. You have to trust that wherever and to whomever it takes you, is where you’re supposed to go” (pg. 379).

What an equally beautiful and heartbreaking book! Joey and Sarah were both strong and well-developed characters. Both of their stories were heartbreaking, yet they both persevered to become str
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-reviews
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG is an intriguing women's fiction that takes the reader into three different time periods: 1942, 2004, and 2019. In 1942, we watch Sarah, a young Jewish woman who is falling in love while also being aware of the war. In 2004, we see her granddaughter, a young Joey, falling in love with the boy who vacations next door, Leo - until he suddenly and unexpectedly breaks her heart. In 2019, we see Joey about to wed when Leo reappears with the answers she had always wanted about why t ...more
Danielle Urban
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When We Were Young by Jaclyn Goldis is a heartbreaking tale that crosses over three generations. Three women have loved and loss during their lifetime. Life brought them choices and they dealt with them the best they could. A grandma who never forgot her first love. He reached out to her after so many years and she just replied back to him. Only she doesn't get the best news. Her daughter never got over her first love either. She wrote him letters only those never got to him and she thought he d ...more
Kayleigh 2babesandabookshelf
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
📚 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊 / 𝐑𝐄𝐕𝐈𝐄𝗪 📚⁣⁣⁣⁣
Title: #WhenWeWereYoung
Author: @jaclyngoldis
Publisher: @readforeverpub
Pub Date: 2/16/21⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ - *OUT NOW*⁣
Type: #PhysicalBook #ARC
Genre: #HistoricalFiction⁣ / #WomensFiction
Must Read Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My thoughts:

-Get ready to pack your bags because you'll want to transport to Corfu, a tiny Greek island in the Ionian Sea after reading this book! The first thing that caught my eye was the cover (which does a beautiful job of depicting the scenery in this book) and
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Three generations of women in a family full of secrets

Corfu 1942, we find Sarah Batis, a young girl in love with a young fisherman who her family does not approve of. She runs away with him only to hear that her family has been taken by the Nazis. She must now make a decision that will change the course of her life.

Corfu 2004, Sarah’s daughter Bea has a happy life, a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. Bea has been living with a long-buried secret that may just destroy her family.

Janet | purrfectpages
When We Were Young is the powerful story of three generations of women from different periods.

In Nazi driven Corfu of 1942 we meet sixteen-year-old Sarah Batis. Tradition states that Sarah marry a Jewish man. Only Sarah has fallen in love with a fisherman outside her faith, leaving her family to force her to choose. Then a sudden Nazi invasion leaves Sarah’s family in jeopardy. Can they survive imminent danger?

Then in Corfu of 2004 we meet Sarah's daughter, Bea who has a happy life with her husb
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
As a reader, it remains entirely exciting to crack open an author’s debut book. The thill of reading an author’s first published novel is not only an honor, but a culmination of their dreams finally being released into the world. Yet, when I began my foray into Sarah, Bea and Joey’s world, I found myself blown away. Author Jaclyn Goldis has given readers an absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking and tender love story.

Goldis took a winding road to writing. Graduating from law school and becoming a
Feb 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Thank you to Forever Publishing, the author, and Netgalley for the gifted copy of When We Were Young. All opinions in this review are my own.

When We Were Young follows the love stories of Joey and her grandmother, Sarah. Only a few days before her wedding, Joey’s first love, Leo, reappears with a devastating secret. Fifteen years before, Leo broke up with Joey unexpectedly on their vacation in Corfu. Joey never got an explanation why.

Joey’s grandmother, Sarah, is facing her own choices she made
Mar 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-books
I really wanted to like this, and I am glad that I stuck with it even through the parts that made me feel like not finishing or that I ended up skimming/speed reading through. First, the good: this historical fiction sections were captivating and heartbreaking, and definitely the best part of this book. The description of setting in both South Florida and Corfu was also great, and the family drama and wanting to find out what's been going on was enough to keep me intrigued. The not so good: the ...more
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, netgalley
Thanks to Forever and Netgalley for an advanced copy of When We Were Young by Jaclyn Goldis.

With a synopsis of "three generations of women come together in this page-turning debut full of family secrets, heart-wrenching drama, and the promise of second chances" I was drawn into reading this novel told from the viewpoints of a grandmother, mother and daughter. While there is some historical fiction with the grandmother's story taking place on the Greek Island of Corfu in 1942, I really would say
Cortney Walton
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Rise and shine, my sweet girl. You have the rest of your life to live....And what a life it’s going to be.”

“She looked at their hands woven together. If hands could be a home she knew that hers was here.”

“He had his love with you, and that was enough for a lifetime.”

I fell in love with this story or rather stories as it tells the journey between three women. Each woman so unique and strong. My heart broke for them, but oh, how they picked up their broken pieces. Each journey was beautiful as th
Delaney  mybooksandkidsbooks
When We Were Young by Jaclyn Goldis

Corfu is one of my very favourite places on Earth (so far). I have never seen such gorgeous beaches, shockingly blue water or amazing city views. What I wouldn’t give to be at a beach in Corfu right now!

This story takes place in Corfu and Florida, through the eyes of 2 women generations apart. This story has amazing historical fiction elements as well as romance and family drama. I did find the various timelines a bit confusing. There were 3 timelines happening
Vernon Luckert
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Review is of a free copy. I am a big fan of historical fiction; but found this novel to be heavy on the fiction side and somewhat light on history. More of an intergenerational family relations novel interwoven with some bits of a historical backdrop.

I know that everyone makes mistakes; but nearly all of the major characters of this story seem to be pretty self-centered selfish people. I particularly did not care at all for Bea. Her statement that, "Maybe sometimes you have to risk hurting peop
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
What an incredible debut from this author. I look forward to what comes next from her. This is a historical novel that goes back to Corfu, Greece in 1942 to contemporary times in Florida. Three strong women who love each other, but also have secrets that have brought them to where they are, but could also alert the fabric of their relationships and lives forever. We travel through time to understand what brought them to where they are. I loved the relationship between Sarah and Joey. There is no ...more
Jacqueline Bouchard
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Joey's problems are very 2019: Her jeans are outdated, her younger sister is more popular than she is, and she might be marrying the wrong man. But it is her grandmother Sarah's perspective that shows Joey it is a wonderful thing to be surrounded by so much life and love.

Sarah's own childhood was as joyful as Joey's until it was torn asunder by a world at war. The life she created afterward was a fierce refusal to succumb to despair. And as Sarah's past comes full circle, she will help Joey fin
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads
“Love doesn’t doesn’t even need to be reciprocated. Love just is. It doesn’t get to make a choice.”

Three generations of women face the impossible choice of following their hearts or dealing with repercussions that could cost them greatly. Ultimately, they find it easier to betray their hearts and make choices that appease all those around them. As Joey prepares to marry Grant, her mother and grandmother learn life altering secrets that could forever alter the course of Joey’s life? Wi
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Jaclyn Goldis is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and NYU Law. She practiced trust and estate law at a large Chicago law firm for seven years before leaving her job to travel the world and write novels. After culling her possessions into only what would fit in a backpack, she traveled for over a year until settling in Tel Aviv, where she can often be found writing from cafés ne ...more

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