The Tattooist of Auschwitz

I think I may be forgiven for initially assuming this book was an immensely effective, traumatizing work of historical *fiction*, because how could it possibly be non-fiction? How could human beings do those things to each other in reality? And yet the horrors of history continue to reveal themselves to us through works of truth such as The Tattooist of Auschwitz. We all know the story of the Holocaust (or at least I hope we all know it), but to be inside Lale’s life, to see, feel, and smell what he does, felt horrifyingly new in some ways. His internal journey from confident and almost brash to desperate and shellshocked felt exactly as I suppose it should. And the love story, well, how often have I read reviews in which reviewers state they couldn’t possibly believe that two people simply fell in love “just like that”? This is a true story, told through Lale’s lips, and when he tells us of the first time he met Gita, we see her through his eyes. A traumatic, dark, unbelievable story, and yet it is all real, and I am struck by the journey Heather Morris must have taken in the writing of it.

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