This is one of the most powerful Holocaust memoirs I have ever read. Seren Tuvel lived with her large family in Romania and as a young girl was such an exceptionally bright student that she was chosen to attend a gymnasium of higher education in Bucharest. However, this was a time when prejudice and harrassment of Jewish people was gathering momentum thoughout Europe. One of Seren´s teachers at her new school frequently also made disparaging remarks about Jews and Seren decided to leave the school. She did not return to her family in their small village but stayed in Bucharest and became an apprentice seamstress, learning a trade that would come to be an invaluable tool for her survival as World War II broke out and the Germans began their persecution of the Jewish people.
This memoir starts out in a very mild manner, but as Seren and her family are forced by degrees to give up the life they knew it becomes one of increasing horror. Her father is imprisoned and is later shot, her brothers are forced into labor camps as are she and her sisters. Her youngest sister is shot to death in one such camp by a sadistic guard when he finds out that she is pregnant and unwed. But the real horrors begin when Seren is transferred along with another sister, Esther, to a women´s concentration camp known as Ravensbruck.
Seren´s story is chilling yet truly inspirational. A Holocaust memoir that should take its place beside The Diary of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel´s Night as one of the definitive works of Holocaust literature.