Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Oct. 1 2019)
Synopsis: Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. Forcibly separated from the other women prisoners, Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly taken, equals survival.
When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. But did she really have a choice? And where do the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was send to Auschwitz when she was still a child?
In Siberia, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she meets a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.
Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.
From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka’s journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit―and the will we have to survive.
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Heather Morris is emerging as one of the leading authors of WWII historical fiction. I was a huge fan of the Tattooist of Auschwitz and I was so excited to hear that Morris had a squeal coming out. Cilka is a true survivor in every sense of the word and her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring.
Following the story of Cilka’s journey through a concentration camp to a gulag, her story of survival is powerful and will resonate with all readers. Morris’ story telling abilities are just magnificent; the way she brings a story to life with words is a true gift. I was sucked into this story within the first few pages.
One thing that will always stand out to me about this book is the uniqueness of Cilka’s story. There is no other WWII book like this one – Morris has captured a true story of survival and made sure that this story is remembered for generations to come. This is Cilka’s journey but it is one that many young women during WWII had to live in some way or another. This is apart of history that should always be remembered.
I cannot wait to see what other Heather Morris books are to come in the future.
* I received this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review *