“The Fortunate Ones is a subtle, emotionally layered novel about the ways art and other objects of beauty can make tangible the invisible, undocumented moments in our lives, the portion of experience that exists without an audience but must be preserved if we are to remain whole.” The New York Times Book Review 

“Umansky shrewdly avoids letting the issue of stolen art crowd out other aspects of the story, to which she gives a feminist tilt.” The New Yorker

“Umansky`s richly textured and peopled novel tells an emotionally and historically complicated story with so much skill and confidence it`s hard to believe it`s her first.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Original and tremendously moving… leaves readers with a sense of hope.” Booklist (starred review)

Booklist also names The Fortunate Ones one of the best debut novels of the year.

“A beautiful and complex story . . . [that] questions who art really belongs to, and demonstrates how even one work of art can inform and transform lives irreversibly. . . . This novel is elegant, engaging, and smart.” Bustle

“Umansky`s vivid telling of the scenes in Vienna and life in wartime London are lovingly juxtaposed against the modern angst of Southern California.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Must-read.” Town & Country 

“A beautiful debut. . . .The vivid characterizations make it hard to believe that this is Umansky`s first effort.” Purewow

“A debut novel that is written with the prowess and force of a veteran storyteller.” San Diego Jewish Journal 

“A haunting story based on historical fact.” Detroit Jewish News

“A touching novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy historical drama with a mystery that spans the years.” Historical Novel Society

Amazon’s editorial director Sarah Harrison Smith recommends The Fortunate Ones.

The Fortunate Ones included on the Forward’s list of 26 books we’re sure to be reading this year.


I’ve been listening to Leonard Lopate for years. It was thrilling to be on his WNYC show.

I got to chat with Madeleine Brand on my hometown station, KCRW, for Press Play.

My former colleague Rebecca Spence wrote about me for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and we talked about why the book couldn’t have been set anywhere but in LA.

I had an excellent time speaking with the ladies of the Not Boring Book Show.

A conversation for the Forward with Jesse Oxfeld about the real art theft that inspired The Fortunate Ones, the shul on the beach, and why my kids aren’t going to be reading my book anytime soon. Choosing Generic Drugs