Cover Image: Three Sisters

Three Sisters

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Three Sisters was the third book by Heather Morris that I had the opportunity to read. It was not my favorite of her books but I appreciated that Heather Morris was able to share the sister’s story with her readers. These stories must continue to be handed down and talked about through future generations so that a Holocaust can never happen again. As in her two previous novels, Heather Morris was able to convey and portray through dialogue and acts the love, anguish, terror, regrets, bravery, courage, determination and resilience all three sisters experienced during the Nazi occupation and their time in Auschwitz/Birkenau. I listened to the audiobook that was brilliantly narrated by Finty Williams. She was able to give distinction between the various characters. 

Cibi, Magda and Livia grew up in a loving home in Vranov, Slovakia. The three sisters lived with their mother, father and grandfather. All was well with the girls until the Nazis arrived. Their father asked all three of his daughters when they were still young girls to promise him that they would always stay together and look out for one another. The sisters never allowed themselves to forget that promise they made to their father. When the Nazis ordered Livia, the youngest of the three sisters, to report to the synagogue to work for the Germans, Cibi, the eldest of the three sisters, would not allow Livia to go by herself. It was ten years since the sisters made that promise to their father, but not one of them forgot about it. Cibi was 19 years old in 1942. She would not let Livia go by herself. Cibi insisted that she would accompany Livia and watch out for her. Neither sister could have ever imagined what the German’s intentions were on that fateful day.  It was Livia’s and Cibi’s fate that they were brought to Auschwitz by cattle car. Their middle sister, Magda would be spared that fate for now. Magda had been sick and was in the hospital recuperating when the Nazis were making their selections for deportation. For two years after Cibi and Livia were taken to Auschwitz, Magda remained at home but felt remorse and guilt that she was at home and her sisters had been taken away. In 1944, two years after Cibi and Livia had been taken to Auschwitz, Magda, her mother and grandfather were transported to Auschwitz as well. The sisters faced starvation. They were forced to perform strenuous and senseless hard labor each and every day no matter how hot or cold it was outside. The daily brutalities that the evil and hateful guards showed the prisoners were more than anyone should be made to endure. They saw death all around them each day. The sisters helped each other to survive.Then as the war started to go in favor of the Allies, the Nazis made the prisoners of Auschwitz/Birkenau go on a death march. The sisters were lucky enough to escape and hide in the forest for many days until they were finally rescued. When the three sisters made their way back to their childhood home they were disillusioned and disgusted to find someone else living in their home. They discovered that the attitudes of the Slovs toward Jews had not changed much since the end of the war. Even though the war was over and the sisters had suffered unmercifully in the camp, beyond anyone’s comprehension, anti Semitic feelings about the Jews were still present. Cibi, Magda and Livia decided that Israel would become their new home. Once in Israel, it was still hard to lose the memories of what they had endured in Auschwitz. All three sisters found it impossible to eradicate all that they had witnessed and lived through from their thoughts, dreams and daily lives. The ghosts of their past were always present along with some secrets. Could the sisters ever find that carefree and happy life they each sought? 

Three Sisters by Heather Morris was inspired by real events. Cibi’s son contacted Heather Morris after reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz to ask her if she would tell her mother’s and aunt’s stories. Heather Morris interviewed and spent quality time with many members of the sister’s family and with each sister so that their story could be told in its entirety. Within the pages of Three Sisters, there were also references to Lale, Gita and Cilka. This powerful and insightful novel was the last in the trilogy. It was commendable that Heather Morris was able to relate all these stories in her three novels. Three Sisters was an exploration of courage, a reminder of how important family is and the continued efforts to keep a most important promise made so long ago.I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for allowing me to listen this advanced audiobook through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Three Sisters will be available on October 5th.
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Heather Morris is my new auto buy author! I loved loved loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz and when I got approved for the advance galley and ALC from StMartinsPress and NetGalley for Three Sisters, I was very super delighted!

Three Sisters by Heather Morris is a story of Cibi, Magda and Livi bound by love, promise and courage. Living their horrific days in concentration camps during the Holocaust, leaving behind so many people, so many memories and moving on to building new ones in new country.

This story is a masterfully crafted work of wonders and heart wrenching pain. Heather Morris’s story telling feels so real, as if you are part of the plot and you can feel your heart hurt.

Narrator Finty Williams did an amazing job with each and every characters voice and their emotions and depth of their feelings. I have taken a liking to listening to audiobooks a lot lately and this narrator was so good and genuine, I would look up her other narrations!

This book releases on Oct 5, 2021and I highly recommend you all literary, historical fiction lover to pick up this book for your fall read.
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Three Slovakian sisters promise their father that they will be there for each other, no matter what. Heather Morris’ book, Three Sisters, details the stories of theses Jewish sisters during WWII and into the future. 

The youngest and oldest sisters, Livi and Cibi, are rounded up to “work for the Germans.” Part 2 of the book is aptly titled ‘The Gates of Hell.’ The girls are tattooed with numbers, shaved, starved and forced to labor in Auschwitz and Birkenau. “There is no let-up in their treatment: despite the raging heat, the daily abuse of their bodies and minds continues.” Winter was even worse. The brutality and hopelessness of their situation seems to go on forever. The sisters (and a few other kind souls) help each other survive. 

Meanwhile, Magda, the middle sister hides at a neighbors’ or in the forest, as the roundups of Jews grows. I’ll not give away spoilers, but the siblings are reunited. The second half of the book is more hopeful, with the sisters beginning new lives in Israel. 

The audiobook: The first half of Three Sisters is brutal with concentration camp depictions. I found myself not wanting to continue to listen. When reading, I could skim the worse suffering and move forward. While the concentration camp sections seemed to go on forever, they were an integral part of the story and an essential background for survivors’ guilt issues

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this book. I had already read The Tattooist of Auschwitz and knew what to expect from this author. 

I was able to connect to the sisters and the story is so so touching!! I will say that the energy from the first half of the book, at about 60% through, I did feel that the energy dropped and the going was a bit slower.
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Heather Morris never disappoints—The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka’s Journey, and now her latest the Three Sisters, are all worth reading.

Cibi, Magda, and Livia make a promise to their father to always look out for each other.  When the Nazis upend their world, the three sisters continue to live up to their promise.  Livia is ordered to leave her home to work for the Germans, and big sister Cibi goes with her, not willing to let her baby sister go to a “work” camp on her own.  Magda, who is ill, is in the hospital when the Germans take her sisters away.  

We quickly learn that the “work” camp Cibi and Livia are sent to is actually Auschwitz.  They like so many others do everything they can to survive, motivated by the chance to reunite with their sister, who they believe is home safe.  

Magda is safer, but is regularly terrorized by an unwelcome community and the threat of being sent away.  Her Christian neighbor often hides her, and when necessary, Magda flees to the forest to hide.  Eventually, all Jews are rounded up in Slovakia and Magda is at long last reunited with her sisters.  

Unlike most Holocaust accounts, Cibi, Magda, and Livia’s tale doesn’t end with the liberation of the camps.  We learn about the three sister’s journey home to a country overtaken by the Communists, and then to their new Jewish homeland in Israel.  

Based on real sisters who survived the Holocaust, Cibi, Magda, and Livia’s account of hope and strength in such a dark time in history is not one to be missed.  Thank you to Netgalley, Macmillan Audio, and of course Heather Morris for the advanced copy.  All opinions are my own.  Three Sisters comes out on October 5th!
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Heather Morris was extremely in-depth in this book, you can tell she put a lot of heart, soul, emotional labour and research into this book. The details are so vivid that while I was listening to the audiobook I felt like I was actually there and in the midst of the trials and the pain. The way this story stems from the real-life story of 3 sisters who despite all odds against them survived, where so many others didn’t from even the same kinds of circumstances is so incredible. If you don’t believe in miracles before you read this book you will after. There is no way you can’t believe in God or a Higher power after reading this book. It is meant to shake you up, make you realize the power beyond yourself, and give you hope. I truly did enjoy this book on so many deep levels. I felt a connection in the familial aspects, I felt deep sorrow for those who suffered the Holocaust and the guilt in surviving when so many others didn’t. That is a very palpable thing to have. In my own experience of survivors' guilt, I could relate to this on many levels even though I never experienced anything to the level of the Holocaust. The true will to survive these sisters had is unmatched in many stories I’ve read about World War 2.
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Sisterly bonds and the will to survive are the two strongest themes of this book. As a fan of historical fiction, I am always interested in a unique perspective on WWII. The horror and sadness of concentration camps can only be experienced so many times through books. Although Three Sisters spends much time on the terror of the Third Reich, it also takes us on a journey of the sisters bonds both before and after the war, in that way highlighting the hope and the love that their family shared. 

The fact that these women are real and did survive, in and of itself is uplifting. I appreciate that the author, Heather Morris, met a couple of the sisters and family members so that though fictionalized, much is based on facts. 

We rarely see what happened to survivors of the Holocaust, this book showed us not only how hard it was to assimilate back home after the war but the chance these women took in starting life over in the new country of Israel.  

Thanks to NetGalley for the audio addition of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and MacMillan Audio/St Martin's Press for gifting me an audio ARC of the last in the trilogy of World War II stories by Heather Morris, narrated by Finty Williams.  4 stars!

Cibi, Magda and Livi are 3 sisters living in Slovakia.  Before his death, their father made them promise that they would always stay together.  Livi, the youngest, is ordered to go with the Germans.  Cibi goes with her, trying to keep her promise to her father.  The two are taken to Auschwitz while Magda was hidden in hospital.  Two years later, Magda is also captured and the three are reunited.  They continue to fight for their survival together, leading them on a death march across Europe, back to Slovakia, and eventually to Israel.

Heather Morris always does an exemplary job of writing these historical fiction novels, based on real people - be sure to read the author's notes at the end.  The horrors of WWII death camps have certainly been written about but it's important that they aren't forgotten.  The last part of the book focuses on the sisters' life after Auschwitz, which was very interesting.

The narrator did a good job of voicing these characters - especially since the majority of voices were female.
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Heather Morris's stories simply astound me.  She writes about one of the most horrific times in history and yet is able to create characters so loving and real that they still give us hope.  Three Sisters is based on a true story of 3 Jewish sisters from Slovakia who survived World War II in Auschwitz and Birkenau extermination camps by honouring their father's dying wish that they would always stick together.  This is the story of how they survived both during the war and afterwards, and the effects it had on them for the rest of their lives, and it is both heartbreaking and amazing.  Livia, Cibi and Magda brought their story to Heather Morris themselves and asked her to write it for them, and the words of many of their family members are also included in afterwords at the end of the book.  The audiobook was narrated by Finty Williams with great heart and compassion and I'd highly recommend this book in either format.
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Morris does an excellent job of taking an absolutely heartbreaking story in a devastating time in history and filling it with hope.  The Meller girls made a promise to their father in 1929, a promise to always take care of each other, a promise they plan to keep.  In 1942 that promise is threatened when Cibi and Livi are picked up in Slovakia and sent to “work for the Germans”.  When they end up in Auschwitz, they are determined to live, to take care of one another and to one day be reunited with their family.  Their sister, Magda, is left in their home village with her mother and Grandfather, dodging the Nazis at every turn, yet longing to go out and find her sisters.  Feeling helpless, she feels like she has broken the promise.  As one year becomes two, Cibi and Livi meet many obstacles, but never lose their sense of hope, finding help in unusual places, moving to the new camp, Birkenau, when it is finished they continue to push forward, but will they make it out alive and will they ever be reunited with their family?  Set in Slovakia, Poland and Israel, this is their story.  Morris writes a meticulously researched book, a book that’s beautifully narrated by Finty Williams. a book filled with both heartache and hope, a book about the Meller girls.
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Three Sisters is the third book written by Heather Morris recounting the stories of Holocaust survivors and their experiences in the concentration camps. Cibi, Magda, and Livia made a promise to their father before his passing years ago that no matter the circumstances, they would stick together and protect each other at all costs. 

In the first half of the book we learn about the sisters’ experience in Auschwitz. Horrific and heartbreaking, their will to live and the promise they made to each other helps them survive.  If you’re a reader of WWII historical fiction and non-fiction, you probably won’t learn anything new history-wise, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the awful experiences these women lived through. 

In the second half of the book, the sisters return to their home in Slovakia before deciding to make a new start in Israel. I was so happy to see the sisters find love and go on to have families of their own. 

I think this would be a great introductory book for young adult readers or anyone who is new to WWII history. I found the writing to be more simplistic in Three Sisters compared to The Tattooist of Auschwitz (which I rated five stars).

Thank you to Netgalley, Macmillan Audio, and St. Martin’s Press for the advanced copy of this audiobook. This audiobook is narrated by Finty Williams. I do think Williams exaggerated the voices of the sisters a bit too much, they often came across as younger and whiny which I didn’t enjoy.
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If you're a fan of Tattooist of Auschwitz, this one will blow you away! This amazing story of survival of three sisters who managed to stick together and survive the concentration camps, the death marches, and rebuild their lives after the war. It's truly astonishing. 

I will say that something about this book was a little harder to read (content wise) than the previous books. It's possible that it's because the country has recently proven that is incredibly easy to divide people, but I also think that part of it is that the previous books are set inside the camp where as in this one the third sister spends the first two years outside of the concentration camps. It was extremely unsettling to watch the world devolve through the eyes of the sibling who remained outside the camp the longest, not knowing when they would send her to the camps, being hauled away with her parents and then separated from was all just deeply unsettling. 

Required reading in this country needs to be revamped and this book should be part of it; it really drives home how dangerous division can be and how important it is to have compassion,
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3.5 stars, rounded up
Warning - there is a major disconnect between the synopsis of this book and what it actually covers. My rating is based on what I hoped to get out of the book, not the quality of the book itself.  The book itself was well written and expressive.  
  Three Sisters is the third book in The Tattooist of Auschwitz series.  I will admit I’m looking to take a break from WWII fiction and only picked this up because it purports to be about what happens to the sisters after the war has ended when they arrive in Israel.  But that’s not entirely true.  The first 60% of the book covers their experience in the concentration camps and their escape at the end of the war.  This first part of the book is a rehash of every other book about the concentration camps.  Sad, depressing and horrible, but I felt like I’d heard it many times before.  
I wanted to appreciate this more than I did.   The story is based on real women, and my heart went out to these women.  Their strength was amazing, especially their ability to put the needs of their sisters ahead of their own needs.  As is said in the Afterword, the story is a testament to the power of love and devotion.     But for me, I want to learn something new from historical fiction.  This is why I blame the synopsis of the book. I expected a book about the influx of Jews to Israel after the war.  It’s what I wanted to learn about.  The synopsis literally says “ And this is where the story begins.  From there, the three sisters travel to Israel, to their new home.”   But it’s not where the story begins.  The last 40% of the book describes their return to Slovakia and their attempt to reach Israel.  I was much more interested in this part of the book, as it was all new to me. I wish the book had focused more on this time in their lives.  I also wished that Morris had found a way to give us more details about the formation of the new country.  
So, I recommend this to those who are still looking to learn about the concentration camps.   For those who have already read other books on the subject, including the author’s first two, I can only give a more cautious recommendation.  
I both read and listened to this.  I found the narrator, Finty Williams, did a less than stellar job.  The voices of the young sisters often came across as whiny.  
My thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of this book.
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This Heather Morris novel tells the story of three sisters from Slovakia, born in the 1920s. Most of their story centers around how they survived auschwitz and berkenau concentration camps during WW2. The descriptions are so vivid and palpable, the author really makes you feel what they felt during this horrific time in our history. Yes, Lale, the tattooist of auschwitz and Cilka have brief mentions but this story of survival is about the Miller sisters who, as children, promise their father they will always stay together and be there for one another. This promise and their hope helped them on their journey. I think of the three books I've read by this author, I liked this one the most. #netgalley
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I have enjoyed this series of books that are based on true stories. This author has really done her homework and has a writing style that keeps me interested in the story. This story of three sisters suffering in the holocaust will teach you things you might not have known. Because of this series, I find myself doing more research on the actual events of WWII in Europe and other countries.
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The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Morris’s first book, was one of the most moving stories about the Holocaust I have ever read, because it was so personal, so real. She brought that terrible time down to a few characters that broke my heart. Morris returns to Auschwitz, this time to sisters, Cibi, Magda, and Livia. The three women have survived horrendous atrocities, but there is word the Allies are on their way to liberate the camp. Before they have chance to rejoice, the sisters learn that the Nazis are fleeing in advance, trying to erase all evidence of their crimes against humanity. They blow up the crematoriums, and force their prisoners to begin a long march to an undisclosed location. By a stroke of good luck, the sisters escape into the forest before the march begins. The story shifts to life after the war, as the sisters journey to Israel, looking for a way to start new lives and to try to forget their terrible past. Characters from Morris’s first two books make an appearance in this story, and they are like old friends to readers like me, so happy to see their chance at a new life
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