Book: Three Sisters (Tattooist of Auschwitz #3)
Author: Heather Morris
Genre: Historical Fiction
Read if you like: stories set during WW2, stories of survival, stories of family love
Trigger Warnings: Holocaust, racial slurs, abuse, starvation, a lot of violence
Good morning bookworms! Thank you very much to St. Martins Press for sending me a finished copy of Three Sisters. Heather Morris wrote the novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz based on a true story of love from Lale and Gita. And she has had families come forward to tell their own stories. That is how Three Sisters came to be. This novel is based on a true story of love and hope, of three sisters that all ended up in Auschwitz and never gave up on each other. And they all survived. Definitely prepare yourself to shed a few tears with this one. And remarkably, the three sisters were from the same village as Gita, so Gita and Lale make an appearance. There’s also a brief mention of Cilka from Cilka’s journey.
I think Heather Morris does a great job of taking true stories and turning them into fiction so we can learn about the atrocities, the horror of the Holocaust, while still having hope. Hope in knowing these characters survive, even though so many others did not. This one was a little slower for me to read. It was really good, it was just so sad. These girls went through so much hardship but they never gave up hope.
It’s been consistent for me with all of Heather Morris’ books that the writing hasn’t wowed me. It’s pretty good, but not great. It’s always the story that sucks me in. This life of hardship I will never come close to experiencing. That’s what I enjoy the most. I am rooting for them, Livi, Magda and Cibi. I watch them suffer and I watch them survive and it makes me feel like anything is possible.
We follow the three sisters starting in 1942 living in a small town in Czechoslovakia. The treatment of them and their Jewish neighbours has been getting steadily worse. A doctor tells them that they are rounding up young Jewish people and taking them to work for the Germans. The doctor was making a house call for Madga and tells the family he can take Magda to the hospital for a while because they won’t take sick people. He assures their mother that Livi who is only fifteen at the time, is too young to be taken. The oldest daughter Cibi, 18, is away at a training camp for Jewish people that will go to Israel and be given land to work. So Chaya, their mom, believes all her daughters to be safe. But then the police come and they say they will take Livi. Cibi comes home the night before Livi is supposed to leave and decides she will go with Livi to work for the Germans to keep her safe. They are sent directly to Auschwitz and given tattoos. Magda spends the next 2.5 years in hiding whenever the police come looking for her. She is beside herself that her sisters are gone and she doesn’t know what’s happening to them.
Eventually the Germans take every Jewish person and Magda, her mother and her grandfather are all sent to Auschwitz. One of Cibi and Livi’s friends tells them she is sure she saw their sister come in and Cibi desperately tries to find her. When the three sisters are reunited, it is a beautiful moment that many people witness. Cibi and Livi have been their for so long that they have a few friends that help them get Magda stationed with them. The three manage to survive until the death march. When the Germans were starting to lose the war, they decided to clear out the camps and march the prisoners from Poland back into Germany. Many people died on this march and some escaped and hid. The girls survived and eventually made it back home. Their stories continues on to Palestine, weddings and babies. They lost a lot of people but the three sisters survived together and that is a beautiful story inside a tragedy.
I definitely recommend this one to historical fiction fans and anyone that likes a story of survival against all odds.