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Cilka's Journey

af Heather Morris

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Serier: The Tattooist of Auschwitz (2)

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1,5746711,636 (4.13)11
Cilka overlever Auschwitz, da kommandanten knytter hende til sig. Denne favorisering sikrer hendes overlevelse, men da russerne befrier lejren, anklager de hende for at være kollaboratør. Det betyder, at Cilka på ny ender i fangenskab, denne gang i en Gulag-lejr i Sibirien.
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Viser 1-5 af 67 (næste | vis alle)
I loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the character Cilka in the story was riveting and I greatly anticipated Cilka’s Journey. That being said, I find that sequels, even ones that are not necessarily typical, such as this one, often fall flat compared to the first in the series. Cilka’s Journey would fall into that category.

The book was very good, very well-written, about a subject I can never get enough of; WW2, and more specifically, life in and around the encampments of that time - such as Cilka’s Journey.

Cilka spent three years in Auschwitz (true story) where she met the tattooist written about in that book. She then was committed to a Siberian prison for fifteen years for war crimes ‘she’ committed as a prisoner in Auschwitz - the girl was raped by the leaders of the camp for her entire term and because she survived, it was misconstrued that she aided the Nazis.

Cilka’s Journey was written from conversations had with the tattooist, his recollections of the stories, and those told to the author by others in the camps with Cilka, others who were her neighbors before and after her time in Russia. While I have no reason not to believe everything written, it felt a bit contrived, perhaps showing Cilka as too good, too innocent, too something - perhaps not intense enough given the multiple years, over a dozen, spent imprisoned.

Perhaps if I would have read this book first it would have felt more genuine. I still give this a 5-star rating as it was wonderful, beautifully written, and deserves to be read. You will enjoy it and not regret the time spent learning about Cilka’s Journey. ( )
  LyndaWolters1 | Apr 3, 2024 |
I received this book as an unedited, advanced reader copy. There were lots of errors in this version which I hope were fixed when the book was published.

This tells the story of Cecilia Klein (Cilka) after she left Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was briefly in the story of Lale Sokolov (The Tattooist of Auschwitz) but this is her own story. The author used information she received from discussions with Lale for his story as well as his wife, Gita. She also conducted extensive research to fill in some of the blanks.

Cilka was accused of "sleeping with the enemy" and sent to a prison in Siberia. She is in a hut with several other women who become close. Cilka figures out that if she can get certain items it will help her stay safe. She ends up working in the hospital at the prison and is quickly befriended by a female physician there who looks out for her. She starts out as a janitor of sorts, then works her way up to a nurse and then goes out on ambulance calls.

The book was well-written and the story was told well, despite the errors in the text.

( )
  Cathie_Dyer | Feb 29, 2024 |
After reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz I immediately started reading Cilka’s Journey as I had to see how this story would continue. This novel felt more sinister to me than The Tattooist of Auschwitz for some reason. Maybe because in the first book you had this blossoming love story to keep your spirits buoyed but in Cilka’s Journey it feels like as soon as you are gifted a small sliver of hope it gets taken away from you, leaving you with this heavy foreboding feeling the entire time you’re reading. Those slivers of hope do shine so bright in the mire, especially when the baby joins the mix. The joy of new life, even in such horrendous situations, is still a bright light in the darkness. This was such a sweet moment and showed just how close the women had grown in the few years that they’ve lived and worked together. How could you not grow closer to those who share in your misery?

Sharing memories and twisted dreams along with what is going on in the present keeps this story interesting. We learn more about what Cilka has to go through at Auschwitz, as well as how she deals with her new reality, a different kind of nightmare. I felt like this novel is somehow more violent than The Tattooist of Auschwitz and this invisible pressure weighed heavy on me the whole time I was reading. The ending was as satisfying as it could possibly be and as soon as I was done, I immediately started reading the final book in the trilogy.

Even though this is such a hard series to read it is also a story that must be told, lest we are doomed to repeat the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust.

*I have voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher through NetGalley. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest, and my own. ( )
  cflores0420 | Dec 1, 2023 |
From a Nazi death camp to a Siberian gulag, we follow Cilka Klein, who was charged with spying for the enemy and conspiring, due to her role of senior officers' mistress and death block leader in Auschwitz II-Birkenau. In the Russian prison camp, she faces 15 years of conditions not much better than they were in Auschwitz, plus the addition of frigid weather nearly year-round. She manages to stand apart yet again, but this time mostly because she shows herself to be a quick learner, which makes her valuable at the prison hospital.

This book is a sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, but only in that Cilka is introduced in that first book, and some of the characters from the first book are brought up again in this one. I do recommend reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz first, for a more full experience, but you wouldn't lose a lot if you didn't.

I liked Cilka's Journey a bit more than its predecessor, and I think that is because of the writing. I didn't find it quite as stilted as in the first book. The subject matter is nearly as dark, especially since there are flashbacks to Cilka's time at Birkenau, but we also get to see glimpses of her life before she went to the camp as well.

Cilka was very compassionate, even to her own detriment many times. I appreciated the way that her heart ached when a friend was hurt (physically or otherwise), or when a rift came between her and someone she cared about. She even managed to find a way to understand and forgive those who persecuted her, by acknowledging that they were simply trying to survive this place like she was. She may have been a bit on the Mary Sue side, somehow being the best at everything she did, but it wasn't glaring.

There were a few events and situations that seemed unnecessary, or that were maybe only there to show again how wonderful Cilka was. I know that this book was even more fictionalized than The Tattooist of Auschwitz, with no first-hand account to draw from, so I did at times wonder how realistic certain things were.

In the end, it was a good read, and I would definitely recommend it to readers of historical fiction, especially of the WWII era. ( )
  Kristi_D | Sep 22, 2023 |
This is the second book in the trilogy by Heather Morris. The storyline makes you feel as if you are there and the way that Morris researched the story before writing them, is phenomenal. My heart broke with Tattooist of Auschwitz but nothing like what this story did. Women are stronger than they will ever know. My heart has broken twice over and I will never understand how the human race could treat one another as they did in these stories.

Very well written, full of emotion. ( )
  SRQlover | Jul 18, 2023 |
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Cilka overlever Auschwitz, da kommandanten knytter hende til sig. Denne favorisering sikrer hendes overlevelse, men da russerne befrier lejren, anklager de hende for at være kollaboratør. Det betyder, at Cilka på ny ender i fangenskab, denne gang i en Gulag-lejr i Sibirien.

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