Here it is:
Rose, Ella, Marta and Carla. In another life we might have all been friends together. But this was Birchwood.
As fourteen-year-old Ella begins her first day at work she steps into a world of silks, seams, scissors, pins, hems and trimmings. She is a dressmaker, but this is no ordinary sewing workshop. Hers are no ordinary clients. Ella has joined the seamstresses of Birkenau-Auschwitz.
Every dress she makes could be the difference between life and death. And this place is all about survival.
Ella seeks refuge from this reality, and from haunting memories, in her work and in the world of fashion and fabrics. She is faced with painful decisions about how far she is prepared to go to survive.
Is her love of clothes and creativity nothing more than collaboration with her captors, or is it a means of staying alive?
Will she fight for herself alone, or will she trust the importance of an ever-deepening friendship with Rose?
One thing weaves through the colours of couture gowns and camp mud - a red ribbon, given to Ella as a symbol of hope.
Sometimes, you read a book, and you just know that it is one that will stick with you, and be something you'll remember. This was one of them books for me, it was beautifully written, both heartbreaking and uplifting at the right points, and I know that if you read it you'll probably say the same.
You were really able to connect with the main character, Ella with the way the book was written, and through her you soon ended up loving other characters - I adored Rose, you could really see that the friendship that bloomed between Ella and Rose helped to make the horror of Auschwitz that little bit better for them.
I loved that through the whole book Ella brought in bits of her past, to help her get through each day - it really helped you to show that she was a dreamer, and dreams of big things despite her current situation. It was so insightful to see what someone may have thought about during a time like that. I learnt little things that I never knew about the war and Auschwitz - its really made me want to start researching, and has bought out the history bug in me.
I just don't know how to do this book justice - it made you feel warm and tingly as well as made you want to cry at different points, and I very rarely feel so strongly about a book.
I give this book: 5 cats, and so many more if I could
Have you ever read this book? Comment below. If not, I highly suggest picking up a copy!