Based on an incredible true story of love and endurance.
Fresh from reading The Nightingale, I couldn't read any other simple novel. I needed a book that was seriously written and about lives of people. I simply couldn't put The Nightingale down and I was searching for another novel of comparison. I came across Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani in my collection of unread books but I was disappointed. To put it very simply, it was just too simple. Sorry Ms Badani but your other novel The Storyteller's Secret was well written. Fortunately, I had a good mind to buy The Tatooist of Aushwitz during my last visit to a local book store. And I was hooked! I actually finished the novel in 3 days much to the exclamations of my teen daughters who went 'How can you read so fast?!'
This novel is a beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage and is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov--an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
"The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they'd read a hundred Holocaust stories or none."--Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism--but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
Overall rating : B+