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Heather Morris Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Tattooist of Auschwitz (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Heather Morris is a New Zealand born Australian based author of historical fiction novels. For years, Heather studied and wrote screenplays. In 2003, the author met Lale Sokolov and their friendship forever transformed Heather Morris life and led her to publish her debut novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Heather Morris debut novel is based on the true story of Gita and Lale Sokolov two Jews deprived of their dignity, their families, their freedom and even their real names replaced with numbers and their story on how the couple survived Auschwitz concentration camp.

On his arrival in Auschwitz, Lale was assigned to tattooing prisoners selected to live and see another day. These numbers would later become an iconic symbol of the Auschwitz holocaust. It was while Lale was tattooing 18-year old Gita that he fell helplessly in love with her.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a story of Lale and Gita beauty, their courage, hope and their willingness to survive against all the odds. It is a story of two young couple in love destined to live together for more than six decades.

Lale Sokolov was born in Slovakia to Jewish parents in 1916 and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942. Lale offered himself to the Nazi to spare his family without knowing the horrors that awaited him in the death camp. Identified as prisoner n0 32407 he was forced work in the concentration camp before he contracted typhoid. He was treated by a French academic named Pepan who made him his assistant and showed him how to write tattoos.

When his boss (Pepan) vanished, Lale was made the main tattooist of Auschwitz. This afforded Lale privileges such as a single room and extra ratio. Of all the prisoners he was forced to tattoo, one particular girl made a remarkable impression on him.

In July 1942, he was presented with the arm of a young girl whom he fell in love with at first sight, and as he tattooed a number on her hand, he tattooed her number on his heart as well.

The girl’s name was Gita, a prisoner of the women concentration camp. With the help of an SS guard, Lale managed to send letters to Gita and able to send her some extra rations. He used his position to help as many prisoners as he could and was able to trade with the local villagers so that he could get more rations for his new friends.

When the Nazis soldiers began moving inmates out of Auschwitz in 1945, the woman Lale was madly in love with vanished without a trace. However, Lale doesn’t give up hope of his reunion with his lost love. After liberation from Auschwitz, Lale returned home and headed to Bratislava a town where camp survivors camped on their way to Czechoslovakia.

Lale and Gita reunited and married in October of the same year. After their prison term for sending finances for an Israeli state, Sokolov finally made their way to Melbourne, Australia.

The origins of Lale and Gita love story remained unknown to the public but only a few friends until Gita’s death in 2003. Lale died three years later in 2006.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an acutely distressing true story; genuinely compelling that’s hard to put down. There are several graphic scenes in the novel that are little dark. The novel stands out from other Holocaust books, it is an emotional read, the Nazis are true monsters, and they hurt and murder people without a second thought. Lale, the main character is determined to survive amidst all crises and also in search of his true love. While it’s a sad story, it’s also a story of hope and courage.

Heather Morris does a beautiful job of creating her main character, Lale. All other supporting characters are beautifully crafted and made the story come alive. The love at first sight between Gita and Lale is beautifully written, with plenty of romance and also suspense. The narrative itself is tense because death is never far away. All it takes is one annoyed Nazi guard to raise his gun, pull the trigger and invited death. With all that darkness, comes bright light. In the chambers of the concentration camp, there is life, family, and love: things we need to stay alive.

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