All I have to say is wow.
Heather Morris does it again.
If you’ve read The Tattooist of Auschwitz, you know that Morris has a way of drawing you into the life and struggles of one person so intensely, that you feel every joy and injustice as if it were happening to you. This is exactly what she has accomplished again with Cilka’s Journey.
We’re introduced to Cilka in The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and as Heather Morris writes at the end of Cilka’s Journey, she received so many letters wanting to know more. So she put in her research, and spoke with as many people as she could about Cilka’s life. While she didn’t have the luxury of knowing her in person, as she did Lale, the Tattooist of Auschwitz, she was able to find enough information about her from public records from the war to weave together a lose biography that is truly enchanting.
I love reading about strong women, but Cilka is definitely one of the strongest. She gets sent to Auschwitz at just 16, and has to do truly horrendous things to survive. Then, because of those actions, she is sent to another prison once Auschwitz has been liberated.
All the time she is put under such strain and persecution, she seemingly thinks of everyone but herself. She is constantly showing how selfless and generous she is, and her actions helped save countless people from terrible fates. It was a wonder to read about someone so young being such a hero, and still managing to come out of it all as a lovely person.
I definitely recommend reading this book.