I personally struggle a lot with reading fiction that focuses on a lot of European history during the 1930s-1940s. A lot of it I find to be overwritten or available for shock factor. While I've heard a lot about this author and their previous book, I have yet to read it. Yet this one capture my attention since it does focus on Cilka being sent to a Gulag. There simply are not enough books out there that strive for historical empathy when dealing with the lives of many people who live in the Soviet Union. I understand this is a sequel to the Tattooist of Auschwitz yet I thought I'd read them out of order by trying this one first since it pertains to more of my historical interests that I wish to be adapted. From the first sentence though, the narrative reminds me of purple prose, which was my initial fear and I found myself quick to loose interest, which is a real shame. I do hope other people enjoy this book because maybe this is the book they need to understand the plight people faced in Gulgags, the pain and the unruliness that occurs within those walls.