Book Review – The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
So here we have another super hyped book (when will I learn?) and another book that I don’t have that much good to say about unfortunately.
This is a historical fiction novel based on the life of Lale Sokolov after he volunteered to go to Auschwitz concentration camp to save his brother. This is the story of how he survived and how he managed to fall in love.
Sounds good right?
I am a lover of holocaust stories, I love to read and learn about what happened during the war. There are so many fiction books based on this subject and in my opinion this is not one of the best.
The story in itself is solid but this book was missing something really important and that something was emotion.
With a story like this it is supposed to hit you in the feels and it just didn’t with me.
The characters felt incredibly flat and even though I knew I was reading about things that did really happen there was nothing in the writing that helped me to visualise or to feel or to really care that much.
I am probably one of the most emotional people ever and I ugly cry into books all the time (hence my lovely, waterproof kindle oasis) but there was none of that.
It just didn’t have substance for me. I feel that Lales story could have been better told by a different writer because overall that is where the problem lies with this story. It is all in the writing. It just wasn’t for me.
I feel that I have been very negative in this review which isn’t normally like me so I’ll throw in a few good points as well because there are some!
Despite the lack of emotion the writing is really easy to read and follow and you can tell that Heather did a bit of research and is clued up with regards to what happened in the camps. It is actually all over very quickly as it is not a long book at all and I would still recommend it to anyone with an interest in Auschwitz but just don’t go into it thinking it will be the best thing ever. I think the biggest let down for me was that I let the hype get to me.