Excellent - 5 stars

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This is Cilka Klein’s story, who we met in the excellent The Tattooist of Auschwitz. As Auschwitz is being liberated in 1945, 18 year old Cilka assumes she will be freed. But after surviving the horrors of the concentration camp, she is sentenced to 15 years in Siberia at the Vorkuta Gulag. She is charged as a Nazi collaborator although her “crime” was doing what she had to do to survive which included being used and abused by a high ranking officer. A far cry from “sleeping with the enemy.” Her guilt and shame over what occurred while in the concentration camp leads Cilka to care more about helping others in the Gulag than herself including protecting a young woman she meets while being transported to this new prison. Cilka is able to work as a nurse in the hospital and demonstrates continued bravery and selflessness. This riveting book places the reader in this horrible setting where you can feel the suffering. Like the first book, this is a story of courage, love and the will to survive. Unforgettable.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press, Heather Morris and BookishFirst for the opportunity to read this incredible story.