This book is historical fiction and I wasn’t aware until I read the author’s notes just how based on real life the story is. The story is about a young man who is forcibly transported to a concentration camp at Auschwitz. When his captors discover he speaks several languages, he is made the tattooer of the camp. Although his role as tattooer gives him more mobility and a little more freedom, he still faces the horror and brutality of war. He also uses his influence to help others and risks his life to save others’ lives. In the midst of this terror, he meets and falls in love with a young woman that he helps survive. This story tells about true courage in the face of unbelievable acts of evil. I highly recommend it.
This was a book club choice and I enjoyed reading about the personal life of one of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis. This is another fiction book based on the real life of Joy Davidman, who began a writing relationship with Lewis to discuss her spiritual questions. The story tells about their ongoing and growing relationship over the years and their brief marriage in their later years. I like this book and found the culture of the 1950s in England interesting. According the author, Patti Callahan, “This novel is written in a key of empathy for this extraordinary woman. I can only hope that I’ve captured some of her lionhearted courage, conflicted and sometimes disparaged choices, as well as her abiding love for the man we know as C. S. Lewis, but whom she knew as mentor, best friend, and in the end her lover and husband. The man she knew as Jack.” If you’re a C.S. Lewis fan, you’ll like learning more about his life beyond Shadowlands, but due to a few questionable steps Ms. Davidman took, I ended up not as empathetic as the author.