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Cilka's Journey

The Sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Narrated by: Louise Brealey
Series: The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,508 ratings)

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Summary

Nominated in Best Fiction at the Audie Awards 2020.

The sequel to the international number one best seller The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on a true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life - and condemned her.

Cilka was only 16 years old when she was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, noticed her long beautiful hair, and forced her separation from the other women prisoners.

Cilka did what she had to in order to survive Auschwitz. And yet after Russian soldiers liberated Auschwitz in 1945, Cilka was charged as a collaborator and sentenced to serve a 15-year sentence for 'sleeping with the enemy'. Once again, she found herself on a brutal train journey, crammed into a carriage with many desperate women and children. This time, her destination was Siberia. She was by then only 18 years old. 

So began a new life of horror and brutality in a prison camp close to the Arctic Circle. But in this unimaginable darkness, this terror beyond terror, Cilka found endless resources within herself, her profound humanity and determination helping her to survive against all odds.

Cilka's Journey is a remarkable novel of courage and resilience, based upon the heartbreaking true story of Cilka Klein. 

"She was the bravest person I ever met." (Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz) 

©2019 Heather Morris (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

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The Incredible Cruelty of Being

I found it hard to see how there could be a sequel to 'The Tattooist . . .' given how that story completed but in Cilka Heather Morris has found a very worthy character from the original book to take it on further. It's an incredibly cruel tale, the sheer inhumanity of the times is starkly described. The utter cruelty of the Nazi regime, the sheer spiteful vindictiveness of their Russian conquerors who proved just as thoroughly oppressive and on top of all that even cruelty between those oppressed as they struggled to survive forms the backdrop of Cilka's story.

But, in the midst of all that blackness and despair, just as in the first book, there is the most amazing nobility among those who have nothing. Morris explains quite carefully at the start that this is more of a work of fiction than the first book although it is based on a real story. And if this book has any weakness it's found within that fiction as the lead comes across as just a little bit too perfect and selfless. That is really just a quibble though as the story has beauty, it has beasts but most of all it has heart when people rise up from their oppression and show such great character.

It's near-impossible for most of us to really understand just how desperate and crushingly awful life must have been for the Cilka's of those times but she demonstrates the best of humanity while surrounded by the worst our race has to offer. That alone makes this story genuinely uplifting!

21 people found this helpful

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Extremely disappointing

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I thought the Tatooist of Auschwitz was very well written, compassionate and thought provoking. This book was very poorly written, there was no depth or substance to it and I didn't feel it conveyed the horror of the life Cilka and others suffered at the prison. very bad choice of narrator. The two books could have been written by different authors. I will not be recommending it to anyone else.

10 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable listen however the narration fell short

I enjoyed this book and the story of Cilka but this narration just didn’t work with me.
When listening to the Tattooist of Auschwitz, I was kept very much engaged and entertained with the accent changes of Richard Armitage , and I guess I was expecting more of the same from this book.

9 people found this helpful

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A story of hope

After reading the tattooist of Auschwitz I was thrilled when I seen cilka journey was being realised’ I couldn’t stop listening. Before work’ before bed & in the car. She truly was an amazing woman to go through what she did & survive. After visiting Auschwitz and reading the books I still find it hard to accept that the holocaust is all fact & not fiction. Must read..

7 people found this helpful

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More than a sequel...another journey

Amazing story, inspiring, incredible, brilliantly told, compassionately detailed and yet poignant in its telling. Can’t recommend Cilka’s Journey enough. Gavin

5 people found this helpful

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Good book but simplistically read.

Great book, a wonderful further insight after the Tattooist of Aushwitz. However, the later was read beautifully by Richard Armitage but this time round a different reader and was made to sound very simplistic. A great shame.

5 people found this helpful

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Fact and fiction combined


This book was beautifully written and combined part true story with fiction woven around it to make a remarkable listen.

Many chapters were very hard to comprehend, and left me feeling sick my stomach. What is almost unbelievable is that this happened less than 100 years ago.

Heather Morris has done extensive research to create this book and I am grateful to her for writing this incredible journeying a unique young woman.

4 people found this helpful

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Did not enjoy this

I am probably going to be hated fo this, but i really did not enjoy this.

Really enjoyed The Tatooist.
This one however did not have me as emotionally invested as the previous book.

This one felt rushed, almost like the publisher said
"the first book sold really well, when can you have the second out by?"

I struggle with the short, sharp sentences. Almost like a child wrote it.
My seven year old writes stories with longer sentences.
I like a little bit more description in my books to be honest.

She went outside. It was cold. The dog had a ball. The ball was red..(there was no dog or ball)
Zzzzzzzzzz

I will not deny or take away that this is a horrific part of history and there are so many good books out there that do a better job than this one.

Also, the Narrator was so bad.
The short setences on audible really did sound horrendous.

3 people found this helpful

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Cracking

Wow. Well worth a listen. You really get to feel what it must of been like to been in the Russian prison system like she was.

3 people found this helpful

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A good read

Very moving story of injustices of mankind about one of the bravest women who was removed of her dignity abused and and subjected to the horrors of fascism and communism for thirteen years.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Pat Johnson
  • 24-05-20

Such a journey.

What a brave woman with such a gentle side which I don’t know how she did it and to survive that horrific time , oh how I would love to hug her .
Such a wonderful story narrated beautifully .
So many tears I can hardly see what to type ..
Thanks to all those extremely brave citizens..

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  • Megan
  • 19-11-19

Beautifully written and narrated

I loved this follow up story of Cilla as I had wondered what might have happened to her. Although it is harrowing and desperately sad, it is also one of triumph and survival. The reader is perfect for this book. Highly recommend