Everything that is to be said about the Holocaust has been written already, right?
Well not quite actually.
This astonishing book tells the true story of Slovakian Jew Lale, a confident would be entrepreneur prior to the War, who is sent to the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau along with hundreds of thousands of fellow Jews, as well as multitudes of romanies, all destined it seemed to perish at the hands of the cruellest of captors.
Imprisoned in the spring of 1942, Lale resolves to survive by using his wit, determination, cunning and extraordinary language skills.
He manages to secure the ‘privileged’ role of camp tattooist, whose job it was to permanently mark every prisoner with four crudely scratched numbers which became their sole identity in the eyes of the SS.
What Lale had not reckoned with was falling in love with a girl who bore his mark. This only heightened his determination that he and fellow Slovak Gita would have a future together.
Told through Lale’s eyes, this is a story that cannot be put down. A story of cruelty, degradation, sorrow, death and hardship, but also a story of human spirit, ingenuity, selflessness, incredible will power and true love.
The writing puts you right there alongside Lale and his fellow prisoners as the appalling conditions, sadistic captors and knife-edge existence are brought to life in vivid detail.