Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
Story Perspective: Alternating Third-Person
Themes: WWII, Holocaust, Concentration Camps, Abuse, Oppression, Romance, Love, Loss, Survival, Identity, Freedom, Caution
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley
and Bonnier Publishing Australia.
During WWII, Lale, among so many, is taken away from home and brought to a concentration camp. He is given a number and that becomes his identity.
After reality sinks in more and the horrible conditions of the camp is brought to surface, Lale is given the opportunity to become the head tattooist for both the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. This is an opportunity because he is given a bigger sleeping space and more food to eat compared to others.
Being the kind-hearted spirit that Lale is, he finds ways to share his extra rations and even begins a secret trading “business” to help others. He begins to feel beloved by many. Then one day, he meets the lovely Gita, who he personally tattoos her arm.
Meeting Gita was the day when his life changed. Changed for the better and gave him more hope to live.
Wow, this one was so hard to put down! The author does such a great job in balancing the horrors of concentration camps with giving the people a sense of identity. I feel in a lot of things I’ve read about World War II, it’s always been in the viewpoint of overall horrors of the events that took place during that time. What was different here was that it gives the readers an insight that there was some hope and even romance during this terrible, terrible time.
While reading, I feel in love with Lale and Gita’s relationship and how it grew over time. Though we don’t learn too much about Gita and just some of Lale’s background, I found that this worked. Identity is such a major theme here, so it makes sense if we don’t learn a lot about of their backgrounds since they felt such a loss of identity during the Holocaust. Of course this relationship was real, but the words on the pages made it seem more real and so sweet. My appreciation of their romance grew even more so when I read the “Afterword” from the author and how she sat with Lale over a few years to learn about his experience.
The plot flowed well and was fast-paced. I appreciated that the author gave some realities of the cruelty done against the Jewish and Gypsy communities, but not too much that could deter a lot of people. This would be great for those who would like to read about the realities of concentration camps, but cannot stomach too much. The scenes aren’t too graphic or drawn out.
I did find the ending to be a bit quick, but that also could have been how Lale felt during that time. Because of this, I am okay with the slightly faster pace.
Overall, I really liked reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz. I appreciate that it was written and given the opportunity to read it.
I would highly recommend this to those who would enjoy reading a sweet romance during the Holocaust. Also, for those who would like to learn a bit more about the Holocaust without many graphic scenes, The Tattooist of Auschwitz would be a great one to read.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
10 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!