I have read dozens of Holocaust books, many of those just in the last few years as a glut of such stories have blanketed the market (Sarahs Key, Mischling, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, The Book Thief etc.). Although this story is interesting and shows the powerful will to survive during the worst possible circumstances, it falls flat for me.
Perhaps because there have been so many brilliant novels with this theme that have come before, or perhaps because I found the writing clipped and rushed – I didn’t love this book.
Based on a real person Lale Sokolov who spent three years as a prisoner in Auschiwitz during which time his job was the tattooist, tattooing the numbers on each arriving prisoner. Behind the prison walls he meets and falls in love with Gida and their love for each other keeps them alive. Lale’s positive personality is tested beyond its limits as he watches innocent men, women and children die all around him, but his one goal in life is to keep Gida alive so they can have a future together.
The author admittedly writes that this story was originally a screenplay. And it feels that way. Perhaps I would like it better as a movie. I don’t know. Heartbreaking and interesting I can’t write it off completely, and if you love a novel about this time period and how love survives, it may be for you.
⭐️⭐️⭐️Three stars for The Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.
Read last week’s review of Asymmetry.