The first book I finished in 2021 was Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris. If you read and enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz, then I would recommend Cilka's Journey. Cilka's story is a follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and it follows the title character Cilka. At 18, she is liberated from Auschwitz only to be taken to The Vortuka gulag (work camp) in Siberia. She is sentenced to 15 years there and this is the story of how she uses her wits, intellect and charm to survive.
Reading books like these are always hard. Cilka was so young when she was captured by the Nazis. She did what she had to do to survive, and that includes giving her body over to Nazi soldiers. She is petrified that the women she befriends in Siberia will find out what she did in Auschwitz and shun her because of it. It's a story of growth, of coming of age, and finding love in the darkest of places. But it's not easy to read. To read about the starvation that these women endured, the conditions in which they lived, and the manner in which they were treated makes me very grateful for all the comforts we have. And to read the author's notes and find that Cilka was in fact, based on a real person, makes the story even more poignant.
If you're looking for a World War II novel, this is a great one.
Get the book.
South Florida Bloggers
2019 Best Parenting Blog