This novel imagines the lives of the prisoners of Auschwitz, two especially, Lale and Gita, and demonstrates that sacrificial and romantic love can exist at the the center of death. Actually, the verb should be must, not can. In spite of the Auschwitz directive, that brutality is to be the essential quality of this universe, Lale and Gita must defy that brutality. Their humanity directs them to do so. In choosing to love, they help themselves and others to survive.