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Heather Morris: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Heather Morris: The Tattooist of AuschwitzIMG_0259

Author: Heather Morris

Title: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Press: Zaffre

Date of Publication: 2018

Date of Purchase: December 2018

RRP: £8.99

Price of Purchase: £4

Reading Time: 3 days

Rating: 7

I didn’t love this as much as I had anticipated. That said, it wasn’t bad. The story is incredibly moving at points and the balance of humour with horror was handled well. Lale’s nearly unwavering commitment to living was incredibly inspiring and his devotion to Gita was one of the nicest love stories I have ever read.

I suppose my problem with this is that it’s overly commercial. It’s a book which has fallen into the eternal catch 22 of novels trying to occupy a serious historical place while being commercially viable. Of course it is best that this story is accessible to as many people as possible and the ‘dumbing down’ which I think has taken place here is a necessary evil for that to be possible. By focussing on the love story more than on the daily horror she makes the novel readable by more people but for me it detracted from the strength of the characters.

Despite this criticism I will confess that I cried. Several times. Morris succeeds in highlighting the enormity of the tragedy of the holocaust through the story of one man. The moral conflict he feels in his drive to survive is deeply upsetting but it is worth sticking with. Sometimes life truly is stranger than fiction.

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