It is a story that everyone should read. There is so much to learn on all levels. Written in the present tense the voice of the author is not heard, rather we are constantly aware of the suffering of Lale, the main character, and his constant struggle to survive another day. But in spite of personal hardships the tattooist helps others to survive -- even at great personal risk to himself. The love story between Lale and Gita is a constant thread through the narrative, but it does not overwhelm Lale's own story. The story of daily life in Auschwitz is seen at all levels. There is the brutallity of the guards tempered a little by Lale being able to get favours from his personal guard. The treatment of the girls in the camp and how they try to make things as easy as possible for themselves; the horror of not knowing what has happened to an individual who disappears. Even after the camp is liberated Lale's struggle to survive, find Gita and recover their lives gives a picture of what it must have been like in 1945 when the war ended. Definitely a must read book for everyone.