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Three Sisters


Three Sisters

Sisters Cibi, Magda and Livia made a promise to their father when they were all very young --- that they would always take care of each other. Little did they know at the time that this promise will be what keeps them going when their world collapses in on itself.

In 1942, in the city of Vranov nad Topl’ou in what was then known as Czechoslovakia, the Mellers go about their lives while the Nazis make inroads into their community, the only home the family has ever known. They do what they can to avoid conflict, but it comes looking for them, with a keen eye towards the sisters. Rumors are heard all over town that the Nazis are planning to round up Jewish daughters and sons to work for them, so the Mellers do everything they can to protect the girls.

"There are a few books that have threatened to bring me to tears, but Heather Morris’ THREE SISTERS actually did.... [It] is a book that lives with you even after you have read the last word."

A sympathetic doctor admits an ill Magda to the hospital to keep her hidden when the Nazis start asking about her, but Cibi and Livia are not as lucky. When Cibi comes home to visit her family that same weekend, Livia is told to report to the train station to begin working for the Nazis. Her loved ones are heartbroken but know that to refuse would only incite violence. Knowing that Magda is safe in the hospital, Cibi decides to join Livia, and they board the train that eventually delivers them to the hell that is Auschwitz-Birkenau.

For two years, Cibi and Livia struggle to stay alive amidst death and destruction. Stripped of all that they were, they manage to hold onto the little that is left of them, mostly memories of their family. Starving, exhausted and broken, they continue to hope for the day when the war will end. In September 1944, their worst fears materialize as their family has been brought to the camp.

Cibi, Magda and Livia are reunited under the most atrocious circumstances they can imagine, but the only thing that concerns them is keeping the promise they made so long ago to their father --- to always take care of each other.

There are a few books that have threatened to bring me to tears, but Heather Morris’ THREE SISTERS actually did. I was thoroughly heartbroken, but I kept going, hoping that there would be some happiness at the end. Although the journey is unimaginable, appalling and should have been unsurvivable, the Meller sisters would not give up. They survive not only the worst of the concentration camps, but also a death march at the end of the war, taking their freedom back only to return home to another nightmare --- a communist Slovakia that is no longer a welcoming place.

Deciding to forge ahead once more, Cibi, Magda and Livia build a new home for themselves and their family in Israel. Together they find a new life, new love and new possibilities in a place they help to shape and nurture.

Inspired by a true story, THREE SISTERS is a book that lives with you even after you have read the last word. You feel the pain of the Meller sisters and their struggle to survive each day, only to awaken to more suffering and death. And yes, they endure. A simple promise between a father and his three daughters is what drives this novel and the lives of Cibi, Magda and Livia. It’s an amazing story that you need not only to read but to experience.

Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on October 29, 2021

Three Sisters
by Heather Morris

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 1250809029
  • ISBN-13: 9781250809025