Based on a true story, Cilka’s Journey comes as the sequel to Heather Morris’s bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz focussing on the power of the human spirit under Nazi regime. Readers were introduced to Cilka Klein in The Tattooist as Gita’s sixteen-year-old friend who saved Lale’s life. Lale, the protagonist of the story called her ‘the bravest person he ever knew’. After liberation, the Soviets charged Cilka as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sentenced her to fifteen years hard labor.
Based on extensive research Cilka’s Journey imagines and recreates the story of this remarkable woman as she travels from Auschwitz-Birkenau to a Soviet gulag, and, finally, to freedom, in a novel of survival, hope, and love.
Morris’ retelling and reimagining of these stories comes from an encounter with an elderly gentleman while she was working at a public hospital in Melbourne who claimed to have a story worth telling. When Morris met Lale Sokolov the two embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, with Lale entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her; and with that the novel was made.
The second instalment of Morris’ debut novel series comes as an ode to Cilka who Lale referred to as the bravest person he ever knew. With the success of Morris’ first novel selling over 3 million copies worldwide Morris hopes to bring this story the same justice. “It is a privilege to bring this story of incredible courage, passion and the triumph of the human spirit, to life, in Cilka’s Journey,” said Morris.
Cilka’s Journey bears witness to the atrocities and violence women endure during wartime. It’s also a reminder that, even during the darkest of times, the power of the human spirit to overcome hate and injustice remains strong.
Readers also enjoyed the book, Daughter of Bad Times