Australian author Heather Morris recently visited our shores for the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Her novel based on the true experiences of Lale Sokolov has become a worldwide bestseller, and if you have not yet read this phenomenal story, then there is no better time to do so. Lale is a Slovakian Jew who is pulled out of his home and sent to Auschwitz. Lale knows he must do anything he can to survive, even tattooing numbers on the skin of his fellow inmates, on the orders of the Germans. However, when he meets Gita, he realises that it is not enough if only he survives this ordeal – he must do all that he can to ensure that she survives it as well. Morris first wrote the story as a screenplay and then reworked it into a novel. However many filmic aspects remain: the excellent dialogue, the sharp and immediate descriptions of action. The writing style is simple at the request of Lale, who did not want his life story told in flowery language. The novel reads like a cross between The Shawshank Redemption and Schindler’s List, but has the added bonus of all being true.