Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2018
** Some mild spoilers ** This is a hard book to describe -- partly Holocaust fiction -- and mostly a love story. As expected, it was difficult to read at times and the author definitely brought the subject matter to light in a way that was subtle but very affecting. The protagonist, Lale, a resourceful young man who speaks many languages, is given the job of tattooist at Auschwitz, a notorious concentration camp. He tries to harden himself by seeing only the numbers tattooed on peoples' arms, but soon meets a young woman (and others) that break through his reserves. He falls in love with Gita, and the love between them sustains them through all that they witness and experience. In one particularly poignant scene, Lale befriends a group of Gypsies, who along with their children are housed in the camp. They become a second family. He witnesses them loaded back onto transport, and later in the day notices the ash from the chimneys landing on his arms. He breaks down as he says goodbye to family again. The book is hard to put down, and also hard to read, but if you like this kind of story, well worth spending time with.
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink