My copy of this book may look a little loved & it should, for a multitidue of reasons.
Generally speaking, I stay away from books whose synopsis include anything about a romance. Romance novels are just not my cup of tea, or rather not my cup of coffee; I love tea but dislike coffee, but The Tattooist of Auschwitz has become an exception. My mother recommended it & so I dove right in without reading the synopsis. I'm glad I did because had I read it I likely would have skipped reading it altogether.
I was surprised to read a couple of negative reviews on Goodreads.com. At first, I thought the people who left negative reviews needed to reread the book because they clearly hadn't read the same book, but after a few moments to digest their views, I realized there was some truth to their critiques. The writing is a bit stale at certain points, but I don't believe that's entirely the authors doing. It was her job to retell a story told to her by Lile Sokolov himself & while certain leeways needed to be taken to turn their conversation into a novel, I feel she did a great job walking a fine line between creating too much fiction in a true-story & enhancing his dictation enough to make it an entertaining & informing book. Could she have embellished a bit more, & rewritten recalled conversations? Absolutely, but I'm glad she didn't; it keeps the authenticity of the story.
The horror that was the Holocaust is still incomprehensible for me. I will never understand how anyone could be so cruel, inhuman, & just completely monstrous towards his fellow man. Lile & Gita suffered through nearly 3 years of complete hell before their nightmare ended & The Tattooist of Auschwitz is Lile's retelling of that period in their life. Lile, being bilingual, is both blessed & cursed with the daunting task of tattooing the numbers that become the identities of those imprisoned in Auschwitz-Birkenau. His position offers him more rations, better sleeping accommodations, & ultimately it is his privileged role within the camp that allows him the ability to smuggle food & medicine to his fellow prisoners. But it all comes with a cost.
Their story is inspirational & one that needs to be told. Sadly, I feel as though too many are forgetting the horror that took place in camps such as Auschwitz only 75 years ago. Books like this one are important reminders of the mistakes humanity does NOT need to repeat.
An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, and adventure through words printed on paper.
Books Read in 2020
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz