Posted in 5*, Historical Fiction

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: based on the heart-breaking true story of love and survival by Heather Morris

Heart-breaking – a tale of love and survival amidst the horrors of Auschwitz
Human – the real story behind one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms
Inspirational – the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances
Unforgettable – a story untold for over seventy years is finally shared
Life-affirming – one man’s determination to survive and live a full life with the woman he loved
Fully verified – Lale Sokolov’s background and story has been fact-checked against all available documentary evidence

The Story

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.

There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life. He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners and he was determined to survive – not just to survive, but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full. Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage. It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight and he determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure that Gita did, too. His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting. It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life. But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone. He chose to tell his story.

 

My Review

I finished reading this yesterday after reading in 2 straight sittings, it is a powerful and compelling read. I had already read some amazing reviews about this book and they piqued my interest and the book did not disappoint.

Based on a true account of the amazingly courageous Lale and his time in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. This book is thought provoking, it draws you in as you get to know Lale and how he adapts to survive and the relationships he develops with those around him. It reflects on love, loss and the horrors experienced first hand for those in the Concentration Camps during this time. The style in which it is written allows you to understand Lale and see how and why he made the decision to survive and undertake the task of tattooing the numbers onto those arriving to the Auschwitz Camp.

This honest reflection shows how despite horrendous living conditions and malnutrition people of different nationalities and religions developed relationships trying to hold on to their humanity in the hope that they may walk again outside the confines of the electric fences.

This has been one of my top reads for 2017 and I hope it gains the recognition it deserves as it has been written with the utmost respect to the memory of Lale and Gita.

Posted in Adult Fiction

How Hard Can It Be by Allison Pearson

Allison Pearson’s brilliant debut novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It, was a New York Times bestseller with four million copies sold around the world. Called “the definitive social comedy of working motherhood” (The Washington Post) and “a hysterical look–in both the laughing and crying senses of the world–at the life of Supermom” (The New York Times), I Don’t Know How She Does It introduced Kate Reddy, a woman as sharp as she was funny. As Oprah Winfrey put it, Kate’s story became “the national anthem for working mothers.”

Seven years later, Kate Reddy is facing her 50th birthday. Her children have turned into impossible teenagers; her mother and in-laws are in precarious health; and her husband is having a midlife crisis that leaves her desperate to restart her career after years away from the workplace. Once again, Kate is scrambling to keep all the balls in the air in a juggling act that an early review from the U.K. Express hailed as “sparkling, funny, and poignant…a triumphant return for Pearson.”

Will Kate reclaim her rightful place at the very hedge fund she founded, or will she strangle in her new “shaping” underwear? Will she rekindle an old flame, or will her house burn to the ground when a rowdy mob shows up for her daughter’s surprise (to her parents) Christmas party? Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?

My Review

I have just had the pleasure of finishing this book, it came highly recommended and I can see why. This book was a strike of comedy genius, it tackles the lovely Kate and her trials and tribulations of being a premenopausal working mum, it made me laugh throughout and it will strike a chord with any working mum as we have all been her at some point. Praise for Allison Pearson on being able to capture all of this so well and create a book full of pure comedy moments but also touching on the trials and tribulations of being both a working mum and a teenager girl in todays society.

Posted in Younger Readers Age 9-12

Bad Dad by David Walliams

The new heart-warming and hilariously brilliant story from number one bestselling author David Walliams. Beautifully illustrated by artistic genius, Tony Ross.

Dads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

There are fat ones and thin ones, tall ones and short ones.
There are young ones and old ones, clever ones and stupid ones.
There are silly ones and serious ones, loud ones and quiet ones.
Of course, there are good dads, and bad dads . . .

A high-speed cops and robbers adventure with heart and soul about a father and son taking on the villainous Mr Big – and winning!

This riches-to-rags story will have you on the edge of your seat and howling with laughter!

5* Review

I pre ordered the latest David Walliams book – Bad Dad for my daughter so that it arrived to her very excited hands on release day. She has loved all of the David Walliams books to date and this book did not disappoint.

I lost her to the book almost as soon as it arrived and she thoroughly enjoyed his latest release.

Here is her review from earlier this week when she finished reading it:

This was a really funny book, which made me laugh throughout the book. I felt sorry for Frank as the story went on as his Dad did a bad thing and got into trouble. The story is based around Frank and how his Dad made some bad decisions, it made me laugh a lot and I kept wanting to read more to find out what happened next.

My favourite things about the book are:
* It was really funny, David Walliams always makes me laugh
* Illustrated well – I really liked the illustrations in the book
* I would definitely read it again and have already recommended it to my friends

If you are looking for a book to purchase your kids for Christmas this book would definitely be worth adding to your list as David Walliams appears to be a master in writing funny books to entertain our children.