‘I want you to make a promise to me that you will always take care of your sisters. That you will always be there for one another. That you will not allow anyone to take you away from each other, ever. Do you understand?’
When they are little girls, Cibi, Magda and Livia make a promise to their father – that they will stay together, no matter what.
Years later, at just 15, Livia is ordered to Auschwitz by the Nazis. Cibi, only 19 herself, remembers their promise and follows Livia, determined to protect her sister, or die with her. Together, they fight to survive through unimaginable cruelty and hardship.
Magda, only 17, stays with her mother and grandfather, hiding out in a neighbour’s attic or in the forest when the Nazi militia come to round up friends, neighbours and family. She escapes for a time, but eventually she too is captured and transported to the death camp.
In Auschwitz-Birkenau the three sisters are reunited and, remembering their father, they make a new promise, this time to each other:
That they will survive.
From Heather Morris, the author of the eight-million copy phenomenon, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes an astonishing new story that will break your heart, but leave you amazed and uplifted by the courage and fierce love of three sisters, whose promise to each other kept them alive in a place without hope.
Praise for The Tattooist of Auschwitz
“The kind of book you lose sleep over, and not just because you can’t put it down … They will be reading this book in 100 years’ time. In fact, it may still be on the bestsellers list.” SIR JEFFREY ARCHER
“A sincere … moving attempt to speak the unspeakable.“THE SUNDAY TIMES
“What an extraordinary and important book this is. We need as many memories of the Holocaust as we can retain, and this is a moving and ultimately uplifting story of love, loyalties and friendship amidst the horrors of war.” JILL MANSELL
“A remarkable story of survival and how love triumphed in that lawless hell. A phenomenon.” THE TIMES
Praise for Cilka's Journey
“Her truly incredible story is one to be read by everyone.” THE SUN
“Cilka’s extraordinary courage in the face of evil and her determination to survive against the odds will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading this heartrending book.” THE SUNDAY EXPRESS
“The sequel to the bestselling The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris’ poignant, profoundly humane book traces Cilka’s path from concentration camp to Siberian gulag. Once more approaching an emotionally charged period of history with sensitivity and depth, Cilka’s Journey presents an unflinching story with heart and hope.” WATERSTONES
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 38 members
1929 - The story begins with the three young sisters sitting with their father at home in Slovakia. He makes them promise they will always be there for each other. 1942 - The Police give instructions that girls over 16 will have to go and work for the Germans. The family had no idea of the horrors that awaited. I usually read contemporary fiction, nothing based on true life stories or historical memoir, but I've read and been deeply moved by Heather Morris's earlier books The Tattoist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey. In this book I found the story of the three sisters deeply distressing, while their spirit to survive equally life-affirming. It being the story of three sisters brings in a new dimension, a supportive sisterly element in the struggle for survival and the atrocities they have to witness. It really feels like a full lifetime narrative, from early childhood, through the darkest days in the camps, and for those that survive the chance to build new lives and families after the war. I was deeply moved and an emotional wreck for great chunks of this book. If you have read and been moved by Heather Morris's previous books, this is a must read. If you've never read anything in this genre, this is a must read. A dark and bleak but ultimately life-affirming journey, with hope in the darkest days, a determination to survive and to care for those that you love. A vitally important book to never forget, and a reminder of the depth of human hope, love and the will to survive. Thanks to Netgalley and Zaffre / Bonnier Books
I loved Heather Morris' previous books so I was so excited to be accepted for this book. It was well written with great character development and moments that were truly heartwrenching and had me crying, but it also had some moments that were full of hope. I loved that it showed that some of those involved in the monstrosities of evil had a human side but it still made for hard reading. I can't imagine how hard it was to live through the holocaust and have friends tirn against you like you were nothing, or live through the aftermath but I think this book handles it senstively, informatively and emotionally. I would highly recommend this book.
I absolutely adored Heather’s two previous novels - The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey - so I was more than excited to see she’d written another book. I love the nods to her previous novels in this one, like meeting the tattooist. They don’t ruin the book for someone who hasn’t read the others, but they’re a callback to those who have. No matter how many books, fictional or non-fictional, I read about the Holocaust, they will always be hard to read. You know this is a fiction book, but knowing it’s based on real horrors, even now it’s hard to believe it ever happened. Heather never downplays the violence and horrors, but equally she doesn’t use it for just entertainment purposes. It is sadly just what it is. No one could possibly invent the horrors fictionalised in this book. I love that these stories are real and Heather has been chosen as the guardian of them. Is there a risk of her books becoming repetitive? Possibly. But that’s not a reason to stop writing them. These stories need to be remembered forever to prevent them ever happening again. Heather manages to portray the joy amongst the pain, fear and desperation. What they went through was terrible, but she’s managed to ensure we don’t forget the beauty the sisters experienced too. Near the end of the book, Heather mentions a sculpture called “The Miracle of Three Sisters” in a Toronto exhibition titled “WAR Light Within/After the Darkness”, so I had to look it up. I found the online brochure with the sculpture in. It’s a very simple glass sculpture but it brought tears to my eyes. It’s so simple but so moving. I think it is something that should be shown to everyone learning about WW2 and the Holocaust. I also love that in the acknowledgements at the end, Heather provides an update on all the people mentioned in the book. So we can remember all those who help keep these sisters together.
I loved this… slightly more than than the other two! Heather always writes so well and brings peoples true life stories across to the readers with such passion and understanding! This story had me on the edge of my seat, many times as I always wanted the best outcome for the sisters! Their stories kept me so interested and i felt at times that I was sharing the horrors they saw and lived with! A definite recommendation
Thanks NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. A dark and bleak background but a story well told. This author is good a developing characters we care about against a background of darkness. Not a light summer read but definitely worth reading.
An incredible book from start to finish, so emotional and so powerful, every chapter left me desperate to read on. I felt so invested in the lives of the three sisters, and as a reader you become so connected to them, I think especially as this book spans more than just their lives in Auschwitz, looking at both before and after meaning they become the three-dimensional people they deserve to be. This was just as excellent as Heather Morris' previous books!
If you enjoyed the first two books (`The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey), then I think you'll equally enjoy this book. The three sisters fill the pages with bravery, family love and the ability to endure. Even when life is unimaginably hard, one of them is always able to boost up the other two to keep on keeping on. I love when we see characters from the previous books, and how even fleeing meetings can make a difference in someone else's life. The concentration camp setting is as harrowing as you would imagine, but I also really appreciated the story the followed after their freedom. For these three young women life was just beginning and shaking off their nightmare pasts was never going to be easy. I appreciated how their PTSD was portrayed and how again their love for each other carried them through. At the end of the book, I had a lump in my throat as you see the large legacy that the three sisters grew, They endured, survived and thrived which makes for a rewarding and inspiring read.
The third in the series from the author of the Tattooist of Auschwitz. As the name suggests it focuses on three sisters called Magda, Livi and Cibi. They made a promise to their father that they will always stay together and look after each other. When Livi, the youngest girl is called up to go to Auschwitz, Cibi (the eldest) volunteers to go with her so she isn't alone. Meanwhile Magda is left in Slovakia as she is in hospital. This novel is testament to the power that love and devotion can literally get you through everything. There is passing mention of Gita from the Tattooist of Auschwitz and also Cilka from Cilka's journey which is a lovely little nod to Morris' previous novels. Just like Heather Morris' other literary works this is also well written and you get sucked in and before you know it you have read 50 pages in an afternoon! It is interesting that this book doesn't just end with the sisters release from Auschwitz like most other WWII memoirs but carries on with the rest of the sisters lives and explains how they slowly heal and get on with the rest of their lives.
Based on the stories told to Heather Morris. Very emotional book about the 3 sisters and their utterly awful struggles as Jews in WW2. Desperately sad but also uplifting due to the strength and courage they show during their time in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Another fantastic read from Heather. Thank you to Netgalley and Bonnier Books UK for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I read and enjoyed both The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris and was delighted to receive a copy of The Three Sisters, the third book in the series. This was incredibly sad story of three sisters trying to stay together and look after each other during their experiences as prisoners of war in the concentration camps during the holocaust. The cruelty and horrors that they went through just to stay alive were heartbreaking. I would like to thank NetGalley and Bonnier Books UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to Netgalley, Heather Morris and the publisher for allowing me this ARC! I really enjoyed this book because it was very different to the others as this was about the bond of three sisters and not giving up on the others, about sticking together no matter what and getting through the war and staying safe. There is a lot to be taken from these incredible women stories. highly recommend this book to everyone!!
Heather Morris's books are written with such care and feeling. This is the story of three sisters and how they coped with the horrors they witnessed in the camps during ww2 and their fight and determination to survive.Excellent book and very emotional.5*
I am not normally one for historical reads, however, this has completely changed my perspective! I loved it! Incredibly gripping and heart-wrenching, would definitely reccomend it!
As very young girls, Cibi, Magda and Livi make a promise at their father's insistence, that they will stay together, no matter what. Over the years that follow their father sadly dies but the family remains close. When 15 year old Livi is ordered to Auschwitz by the Nazis, Cibi, who is only 19 herself, remembers their promise and goes with her, determined to protect her sister, or die with her. Together, in Auschwitz and Birkenau, they fight to survive through unimaginable cruelty and hardship. Meanwhile, 17 year old Magda who was in hospital when her sisters were taken, stays in the village in Slovakia, with her mother and grandfather, hiding in a neighbour's attic, or in the forest, when the Nazi search patrols come to round up the remaining Jews in the village. Missing her sisters enormously, she avoids capture for a time, but eventually she too is transported to Auschwitz along with her mother and grandfather. There, the three sisters are reunited and, remembering their father, they make a new promise, this time to each other: that they will survive. Three Sisters is a deeply moving story of love, loyalty, courage, and survival in the face of unimaginable cruelty and horror, against all the odds. It is also about the strength of the human spirit, and the power of hope and love, when the mind and body have been challenged beyond all human limits in a living hell. This is a compulsive read, and one that you simply cannot put down. As you can imagine, it is not an easy read at times, with its portrayal of the inhuman and barbaric treatment of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis, and inevitably there are a number of upsetting, harrowing and shocking scenes, despite the sensitive way in which Heather Morris depicts them. The whole novel has a real emotional punch, but for me, having visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, and seen the huts, the bunks, the gas chamber, the site of the sorting sheds, the perimeter fence, and the train tracks, the camp scenes somehow seemed even more vivid, immediate and affecting. However, the novel's nightmarish bleakness, and the grim reality of the death camps is counterbalanced with what is ultimately a life-affirming, hopeful and uplifting story, where those who survive the systematic genocide of the Jews are given a second chance at life, which they seize with both hands, and live to the fullest, with laughter, happiness and fulfilment, despite the mental scars and survivor guilt they are left with. Like Heather Morris' previous titles, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka, Three Sisters is a truly important and also a very timely novel, reminding us, as it does, of the evil that humans are capable of inflicting, the dangers of unchecked political extremism and also the strength and power of human hope and love. Thank you to NetGalley and Zaffre for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
This book! I loved it. It was one of those that I was so sorry when I was finished it. You might wonder if it's a story that's already been told but these stories should be told again and again. The premise of the promise the three sisters make to their father is really at the heart of it and their closeness and the strength they give each other is what shines through. It's a difficult read at times and the horror isn't skimmed over. There's unspeakable cruelty but there's also moments of kindness and hope and love. For me, their life after the camp was hugely educational and eye-opening too. The fact that this is a true story means a lot but the author is so skilled that you really live through the experiences of these girls. And each of them comes to life and is very much her own person. If I could give it more than five stars, I would.
The story of the three sisters, Cibi, Magda and Livia is the true story of their lives, just as ’The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ and ‘Cilka's Journey’ are their actual and inspirational stories. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed them all and been impressed with both the meticulous research and the superb storytelling and empathy Heather Morris has poured into her writing. Heather was in South Africa on tour publicising ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ when she first heard of the three sisters. Instead of returning to her home in Australia, Heather flew to Tel Aviv and onwards to their home. This was just the starting point of a two year collaboration that resulted in the third ‘Story of Hope’. Their father had once asked them to promise that they would always be there for each other and never lose contact. They truly honoured his request even in their times of greatest fear when they were imprisoned in Birkenau and in fear of being sent to the Gas Chambers and meet the end of their lives. They were treated really badly. There was never enough food for them, in the winter you could easily freeze to death in your bed and the punishments they endured were vile and inhumane. Livia was the first to come to the attention of the Nazis when she was only fifteen years old and living with her parents in their hometown of Varnov in Slovakia. She was the youngest sister. She was ordered to Auschwitz and Cibi, who was four years older, decided she would accompany her little sister. Magda was in hospital at the time and so initially she escaped her fate. She always felt guilty about this, because she should have been the first to be selected, however eventually she joined her younger sisters and was horrified to see their skeletal selves when they were reunited. The sisters suffered through inconceivable deprivation, cruelty and brutality both mental and physical. The daily roll call that sorted out the ladies to be sent to their death and those who would live another day was dreaded. When they managed to escape as the allies were ever nearer, they ran off with only the clothes they were dressed in. This is a holocaust story of three sisters whose bond could never be broken, a story of survival, bravery and hope. The story doesn’t end there either – it continues, telling the stories of the sisters as their life progressed. What a story it was and I was absorbed in it until the very end. I received a copy of this book through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Bonnier Books UK in return for an honest review. I thought this true story, retold by Heather Morris’ was an inspirational story. Yes, it was difficult to read and immensely sad at times. But that was more than balanced out by happy times, survival and hope for the future. Thank you most sincerely for my copy. I recommend it was great read and an informative story. It’s a 4.5* review from me.
I have read all of the books in this trilogy and this was is the one I would highly recommend, even more than The Tattooist of Auschitz, which I didn’t think would happen. It feels a little weird to say that this is my favourite out of the three, considering the topics of these books. All of the books can be read as standalone reads, but it just makes it that little bit better when you hear one of the other characters mentioned within the other books, knowing their full stories. These are tough books to read, especially when you remember that they’re based on one of the worse events in history. The sister aspect of this book is why it’s probably hit me the way it did and why it’s my favourite. It made me able to connect to it on a more personal level, wondering what I would do if me and my sisters (plus my brothers) were ever put in a similar situation. Making me connect on a deeper and more personal level. Once you finish reading the story, it is definitely worth continuing reading as you get a lot more information about the people within this story. Not only do you have Heather Morris discussing which parts of this is fact, but you also get to read letters that the people who are more involved in this event, such as one of the sisters, her children. This adds to what you’ve been reading and again makes it a lot more personal.
Three Sisters by Heather Morris is a powerful true story of survival during a time of great evil. It is a book that will horrify you as you witness the cruelty towards the Jewish people. It is a book that will inspire you as you observe the bonds of love between the three sisters. It is a book that needs to be read in memory of the six million innocents who perished. Much of the book is set in Auschwitz and other camps, some is in the girls’ home in Slovakia and the book ends in Israel. The reader sees that “to survive one must remain invisible.” Auschwitz was a place of unbelievable horrors. The three sisters each had the desire to survive in order to help each other and to fulfill a promise made to their father in 1929. “We Meller girls must stay strong and carry hope in our hearts.” They carried love too. The camps tested a person’s faith. Some clung on to God. Others questioned. “We needed God in those camps, and where was He?” God walked beside them in the pits of hell but His presence could not always be felt. Our feelings are unreliable. God was there with His children. People did what they had to in order to survive. “She has chosen to survive, so don’t ever judge her.” Heather Morris vividly describes the horrendous conditions, cruelty and torture of the innocents. Pictures have been planted in my brain through her words that are now impossible to ‘unsee.’ The reader travels from homes to the camps. Heather Morris describes the death marches, the return home and the new life in Israel. Each presents different challenges. Life after World War II sees survivors plagued with guilt and tormented in dreams. Three Sisters is such a powerful read. And it is a hopeful read – love triumphs over evil. Three Sisters must be read in order to keep alive the memory of the six million innocents. Thank you Heather Morris for sharing the sisters’ story and preserving memories. We owe it to those who perished and to those who survived to tell their stories. I loved the fact that when the book had ended, there was a section where the reader heard about what happened to each of the characters. Three Sisters is crying out to be read. I received a free copy from the publishers via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
I received a copy of this e-arc in exchange for an honest review thanks to NetGalley and Zaffre Books. I loved ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ and Cilka’s Journey’ so this one was very high on my tbr! This is an absolutely beautiful story! It’s absolutely fascinating and shocking to read about the lives of people who were prisoned in Auschwitz. I didn’t realise just how many different jobs there were within the camps and the impact these would have on the people until I read these books. This is the only book that goes in depth in the aftermath of escaping Auschwitz - how the lives of these 3 sisters is impacted by this horrific experience and how they go on to have a happier future than they’d have imagined. I have loved reading this series and I hope there will be more to follow.
Having read Heather Morris' previous two books, I could not wait to read Three Sisters and it really did not disappoint. Like those previous books, it was incredible well written. It was also really atmospheric and made you feel like you were actually there. The pacing was good and kept me wanting to read more and more. It was obviously very sad but there were also happy moments throughout and some great characters. Everything was handled sensitively and in an inspiring way. I also really enjoyed the ending. I would happily read more and more from Heather Morris in the future and I can't wait to see what she does next. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a deeply affecting book - heartbreaking but so full of hope. One to be read. It tells of the unbreakable bond between three sisters - Cibi, Magda and Livi - and their survival through the traumatic years of Nazi rule. Their survival through the concentration camps is nothing short of a miracle. Their bond a literal lifesaver. Their hope in a future in a new country is awe inspiring. This is the third in the Tattooist of Auschwitz stories - like the others this is a story of courage and love and I am very glad I have read all three.
Three Sisters by Heather Morris I give this book 5 stars When they are little girls, Cibi, Magda and Livia make a promise to their father – that they will stay together, no matter what. Years later, at just 15, Livia is ordered to Auschwitz. Cibi, only 19 herself, remembers their promise and follows Livia, determined to protect her sister, or die with her. Together, they fight to survive through unimaginable cruelty and hardship. Magda, only 17, stays with her mother and grandfather, hiding out in a neighbour’s attic or in the forest to avoid capture. She escapes for a time, but eventually she too is transported to the death camp. In Auschwitz-Birkenau the three sisters are reunited and, remembering their father, they make a new promise, this time to each other: That they will survive. As with the other 2 books the author immediately draws you into this heartbreaking and inspirational story of 3 sisters who make a promise to their father,she brings everyone and everything mentioned within the book to life with such detail and description. You are taken through the incredible journey of their fight for survival and the resilience,strength and courage they show along the way.l found this such a moving yet uplifting read and especially loved the authors note /afterwords with all the details of and from the family. With thanks to Netgalley,Heather Morris and Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre for my chance to read and review this book
I've read Heather's other books and really enjoyed them so I was looking forward to reading her next book. Although these books are incredibly sad they are also full of hope. As the title suggests this is about three sisters and Auschwitz. These books are totally standalone books I enjoyed this book. Its always an eye opener to hear what goes off in these places and the shock factor is still there in this book. I liked how it went to past characters in previous books, they may or may not have ever have met but it was nice to see a familiar face. Its another incredible read and if you like reading about Auschwitz you will enjoy this.
Heather Morris is so good at getting deep into the soul - that of the character, and that of the reader. Cibi, Magda and Livi are the three sisters of the title; this is the story of their lives and the trauma they faced in Auschwitz-Birkenau as Slovakian Jews. Of course this is a heart wrenching narrative, but also very life-affirming and loving - the three sisters are integral parts of one another and family is everything to them. I loved discovering their story, and grateful they have shared it with Heather Morris so it can be recorded in history in this wonderful read.
This true story reimagined by Heather Morris on behalf of the three sisters Cibi, Magda and Livia is inspiring, life affirming, raw and heartbreaking. As with all Auschwitz stories it's never an easy read. I liked that the story went beyond Auschwitz and took us to post war Israel. I could associate easily with the sisters bond, but trying to imagine myself and my sister going through what these sisters suffered made me so emotional. As with her previous books Heather Morris has offered up an engaging, emotional story that is a stand alone book although characters from her previous books also feature. I'm so glad Cibi, Magda and Livia have had the chance to tell their story, no matter how hard this suffering was it's important these individual tales aren't lost to history. Thanks to @netgalley #netgalley @bonnierbooks_uk And @heathermorrisauthor for an ARC of this novel. Pub date 14th October 2021