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The Red Ribbon

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Rose, Ella, Marta and Carla.

In another life we might all have been friends together.

But this was Birchwood.

For readers of The Diary of Anne Frank and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

As fourteen-year-old Ella begins her first day at work she steps into a world of silks, seams, scissors, pins, hems and trimmings. She is a dressmaker, but this is no ordinary sewing workshop. Hers are no ordinary clients.

Ella has joined the seamstresses of Birkenau-Auschwitz, as readers may recognise it. Every dress she makes could mean the difference between life and death. And this place is all about survival.

Ella seeks refuge from this reality, and from haunting memories, in her work and in the world of fashion and fabrics. She is faced with painful decisions about how far she is prepared to go to survive. Is her love of clothes and creativity nothing more than collaboration with her captors, or is it a means of staying alive? Will she fight for herself alone, or will she trust the importance of an ever-deepening friendship with Rose?

One thing weaves through the colours of couture gowns and camp mud - a red ribbon, given to Ella as a symbol of hope.

From Publishers Weekly

08 October 2018 – Adlington brings her background in fashion history to this Holocaust novel, which takes place at Birchwood (part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex) during the final years of the notorious Nazi concentration camp. Based on a true but little-known aspect of the camp, the book focuses on 12 female prisoners who sew fashionable clothing for high-ranking Nazi women. Thanks to her height, 14-year-old Ella, skillfully trained in sewing by her grandmother and passionate about creating beautiful clothing, passes for 16, the minimum age for a seamstress, and becomes one of the most prized workers in the Upper Tailoring Studio. Working alongside her is fragile, dreamy Rose, a consummate storyteller who quickly becomes Ella's closest friend (Adlington also hints at a romantic relationship). Their dream of opening a dress salon together after the war helps keep their spirits alive. The relationships Ella develops with her barrack boss and one of her "clients" (a female guard) sometimes lack credibility, as does Ella's obsession with couture in the midst of abuse, hardships, and tragedies. Still, this is a raw depiction of the struggles experienced by prisoners at Auschwitz. Ages 12 up.
The Red Ribbon
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  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: 21 September 2017
  • Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Fiction
  • Seller: Hot Key Books Limited
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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