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Review: Cilka's Journey: A Novel

Cilka's Journey: A Novel Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went into this book expecting one thing, but got another. Perhaps it is my fault for not reading the description closely enough, but I was expecting more about Cilka's stay in Auschwitz. However, this book mainly deals with what came after her stay in the German concentration camp, when she was moved to a Russian-controlled gulag in Siberia. While it wasn't what I was anticipating, this does not mean it's a bad thing. I still really enjoyed this book.

Knowing that this book is based on a true story makes it all the more powerful. Cilka truly did go on a journey, both in a literal and metaphorical sense. Though she was forced into horrendous circumstances in Auschwitz, she internalized and blamed herself, leading to her growing sense of shame and relentless pursuit of atonement.

I did not care for the writing style, which prevents it from being a 5 star. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something just felt "off" about it.

This book covers themes of shame, redemption, family, friendship, war, and rebuilding. I definitely recommend it.

ARC received from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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