I feel like the last several “book outside my genre” book reviews have had me reading various historical fiction, specifically Holocaust fiction. Today’s review is just that!
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris, is a novel that I have been struggling to write a review for. How can a true, harrowing story be rated? The novel follows Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, as he lives his daily life Auschwitz and struggles to protect the love of his life, Gita, whom he meets in the camp. I really did appreciate it was inspired by the true events of a couple; both humbling and heartbreaking, I was captivated by their love story.
I felt like this point of view was incredibly original. Lale was not just a typical prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp- he was the tattooist. I have never read any WWII fiction with this type of perspective and I was in awe of the atrocities he experienced were explained. The lengths that Lale goes through to protect Gita were astonishing and their will to survive was fascinating. I am always in awe whenever I read a Holocaust story.
Now, although I loved the general story, I did struggle with a few things. Something about this novel just felt very “young”. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be categorized as Young Adult but it really felt as if it was written with this audience in mind. This became a little bit distracting for me, especially since I struggle with YA. I also found the novel to be a little bit long; bits of the story became to feel incredibly redundant. I realize that, obviously, the Holocaust was filled with routines but for the sake of the written story, I felt like parts could have been shortened.
I also had a couple of issues with my actual copy of the novel which I realize are no fault of the author. I received an advanced reader’s copy of this novel through Netgalley and there were some issues about my actual copy that made it difficult to be completely engrossed in the story. Many of the paragraphs were repeated throughout the novel and some of the paragraphs were out of order (for example, in one chapter, a few paragraphs appeared at the beginning, the middle and the end of that chapter). This became distracting and took me out of the moment. However, this is just something to note with my general experience of the novel and I know that this should be fixed by the time the book goes to print.
Overall, I felt like the story was worth the read and any historical fiction fans will enjoy! This novel publishes today!
Thanks to the publisher (Bonnier Zaffre), the author (Heather Morris) and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review.