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Three Sisters: A Novel
by Morris Heather

Published: 2021-10-05T07:0
Audible Audiobook : 0 pages
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From Heather Morris, the New York Times best-selling author of the multimillion-copy best seller The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey: a story of family, courage, and resilience, inspired by a true story.

Against all odds, three Slovakian sisters have survived years of ...

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Introduction

From Heather Morris, the New York Times best-selling author of the multimillion-copy best seller The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey: a story of family, courage, and resilience, inspired by a true story.

Against all odds, three Slovakian sisters have survived years of imprisonment in the most notorious death camp in Nazi Germany: Auschwitz. Livia, Magda, and Cibi have clung together, nearly died from starvation and overwork, and the brutal whims of the guards in this place of horror. But now, the allies are closing in and the sisters have one last hurdle to face: the death march from Auschwitz, as the Nazis try to erase any evidence of the prisoners held there. Due to a last minute stroke of luck, the three of them are able to escape formation and hide in the woods for days before being rescued.

And this is where the story begins. From there, the three sisters travel to Israel, to their new home, but the battle for freedom takes on new forms. Livia, Magda, and Cibi must face the ghosts of their past - and some secrets that they have kept from each other - to find true peace and happiness.

Inspired by a true story, and with events that overlap with those of Lale, Gita, and Cilka, The Three Sisters will hold a place in listeners' hearts and minds as they experience what true courage really is.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Vranov nad Topl’ou, Slovakia
June 1929

The three sisters, Cibi, Magda and Livi, sit in a tight circle with
their father in the small backyard of their home. The oleander
bush their mother has tried so hard to coax back to life droops disconsolately in one corner of the small garden.

Livi, the youngest, at three years old, leaps to her feet: sitting still
is not in her nature.

“Livi, please, will you sit down?” Cibi tells her. At seven years
old, she is the eldest of the siblings, and it is her responsibility to
chastise them when they misbehave. “You know Father wants to
talk to us.”

“No,” three-year-old Livi pronounces, and proceeds to skip
around the seated figures, giving each a pat on the head as she
passes. Magda, the middle sister, and five years old, is using a dry
twig from the oleander to draw imaginary figures in the dirt. It is
a warm, sunny, summer afternoon. The back door is open, inviting
in the heat, while sending the sweet smell of freshly baked bread
into the garden. Two windows, one looking into the kitchen, the
other into the small bedroom the family shares, have seen better
days. Chips of paint litter the ground: winter has taken its toll on
the cottage. The garden gate catches a gust of wind and slams. The
catch is broken; yet another thing for Father to fix.

“Come here, kitten. Will you sit on my knee?” Father beckons
to Livi.
Being told to do something from an older sister is one thing;
but being asked, and so sweetly, by her father is quite another. Livi
drops into his lap, a flailing arm smacking against the side of his
head. She is oblivious to the pain her action has caused.

“Are you all right, Father?” Magda is concerned, catching the
grimace on his face as his head jerked back. She brushes her fingers
down his stubbly cheek.

“Yes, my darling. I am perfect. I have my girls with me—what
more could a father ask for?”

“You said you wanted to talk to us?” Cibi, ever impatient, gets
to the point of this little “meeting.”

Menachem Meller looks into the eyes of his pretty daughters.
They have not a care in the world, innocent of the harsh realities of
life outside their sweet cottage. Harsh realities which Menachem
has lived through and still lives with. The bullet that didn’t kill him
during the Great War remains lodged in his neck and now, twelve
years later, it is threatening to finish the deed.

Fiery Cibi, tough Cibi . . . Menachem strokes her hair. On the
day she was born she announced that the world had better watch
out—she had arrived and woe betide anyone who got in her way.
Her green eyes have a habit of turning a fiery yellow when her temper gets the better of her.
And Magda, beautiful, gentle Magda, how did she get to be five
so fast? He worries her sweet nature will make her vulnerable to
being hurt and used by others. Her big blue eyes gaze at him and
he feels her love, her understanding of his precarious health. He sees in her a maturity beyond her years, a compassion she has inherited from her mother and grandmother, and a fierce desire to
care for others.

Livi stops squirming as Menachem plays with her soft, curly hair.
Already he has described her to their mother as the wild one, the
one he worries will run with the wolves, and break like a sapling if
cornered. Her piercing blue eyes and petite frame remind him of a
fawn, easy to startle and ready to bolt.

Tomorrow he will have the surgery to remove the errant bullet from his neck. Why couldn’t it have just stayed where it was?

He has prayed endlessly for more time with his girls. He needs to
guide them into adulthood, attend their weddings, hold his grandchildren. The operation is a risky one, and if he doesn’t survive, this may be the last day he spends with them. If that is the case, however awful it is to contemplate on this glorious sunny day, then what he needs to ask of his girls, must be said now. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Did you enjoy Finty Williams’ narration? Was there a character’s voice you felt particularly connected to?

How do you think listening to the audiobook differs from reading the print book?

What was it like to hear from survivors themselves at the end of the audiobook ?

What do you think it was about these three sisters that meant they survived the Holocaust when so many others didn’t? Was it luck or something else?

Why do you think the girls were so often treated better than other prisoners, by the block kapos and other guards, another fact that meant that they survived?

How important were relationships in the camps—between family, friends, and those in charge? 

There is a sense that Magda felt guilt at not having been in the camp for as long as her sisters. Is this justified? 

How do you think being in the camps shaped the people these three sisters became? 

How did Three Sisters change your perceptions about the Holocaust in particular, and war in general? What implications does this book hold for our own time?

What was your overwhelming feeling when you finished the novel? Was it one of hope? 

The sisters were barely older than children when they were taken to Auschwitz—Livia just fifteen. Do you think their youth gave them an advantage, or was the opposite the case? 

Each of the sisters married a Holocaust survivor, with his own story of survival. Why do you think this might be?

Do you see the sisters as heroines or ordinary women?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "A Powerful and Necessary Read"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 10/12/21

Three Sisters, Heather Morris, author; Finty Williams, narrator
On the eve of an operation which might take his life, a father asked his three little girls, age 3, 5 and 7, to make a promi
... (read more)

 
  "Heartwrenching but very well written"by Silversolara (see profile) 10/05/21

?The sisters promised their father that they would always stay together, but can that happen when WWII begins and one of the sisters is summoned by the Germans?

Livi is ordered to report

... (read more)

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