Marg Wood from the Napanee Branch recently enjoyed reading Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris, the follow up to her overwhelmingly successful novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Here is her review:

This novel was inspired by a barrage of correspondence from people around the world which was sent to author Heather Morris after the release of her bestselling book The Tattooist of Auschwitz inquiring “What happened to Cilka?” The success of her first novel, based heavily on real life events, set the stage for the continuation of the story in this amazing new book Cilka’s Journey

The end of the war should have been a joyous time of rebuilding for those who were held captive in the horrific conditions in concentration camps but young Cilka’s life is about to go from bad to worse. She is charged with collaboration as a spy and with sleeping with the enemy in a bid to survive her years in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Internment Camp. Cilka is sentenced to 15 years of hard labor at a Siberian prison camp. The Vorkuta Gulag (camp) is situated in the Arctic Circle and known as the coldest place on earth. Once again Cilka is subjected to unmentionable torment as she fights against fellow inmates, corrupt prison guards and horrific elements in her fight to survive. 

Cilka’s Journey is a remarkable story of human spirit, resilience and the fight to do whatever it takes to survive the atrocities of war and it’s aftermath. Lale, the real life tattooist of Auschwitz, called Cilka “the bravest person he ever met, not the bravest girl; the bravest person.” 

I highly suggest this book if you enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, or historical wartime fiction in general.

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