This story does tend to follow the lines of most Holocaust/post-Holocaust era books. It's mostly about Cilka's time in the Vorkuta gulag in Siberia and the many ways she is able to survive her time there. The story is sprinkled with flashbacks of her time in Auschwitz-Birkenau and features characters from the author's first book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. You don't have to have read that book to read this one (in fact, I have not read the first one).
My favorite parts of this story were the times when Cilka was working in the hospital and all that she learns as a nurse. The characters are all well developed and the story is well researched. I think my only issue was that I've read variations of this same story before when I was hoping for something different.