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Sixteen-year-old Cilka is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942. There a commandant is taken by her beauty and she is separated from the other women prisoners. Cilka quickly realizes that any bit of power she has will help her survive. When the war is over, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy. As a result, she is taken to a Siberian prison camp.
In Siberia, Cilka faces similar challenges and does her best to survive including avoiding the unwanted attention of guards. Cilka crosses path with a kind female doctor who takes Cilka under her wing. Cilka begins to help tend to the ill while, avoiding her own brutal living conditions. As Cilka grows into her role, she discovers her own inner strength to help others while opening up herself to love.
The novel was an interesting read but, I felt like it missing something. What that something is, I am not sure. Cilka's story of enduring and surviving harsh and brutal conditions is heart numbing. I feel like we were just given a very small glimpse into her extraordinary life. I feel like I would have enjoyed the novel more if we knew more about Cilka. Overall, the novel was a good read for fans of the author.
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