Friday, April 17, 2015

"the butterfly and the violin" by kristy cambron

A year ago, I had the opportunity to review Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin, and I passed. When I started seeing reviews on several of the blogs I followed, I regretted that decision. Then around Christmas, the Kindle version was super cheap, so I grabbed it. Other books got in the way, but when I did get on a tour for the sequel, A Sparrow in Terezin, it was the push I needed to dive into this book. I'm glad I did!

A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover—he grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul—who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

The Butterfly and the Violin features past and present story lines, and the connection between the two isn't fully revealed until the final pages. As I began reading, I was completely captivated by Sera's modern-day story, and I didn't care much for Adele's story. That all changed once Adele arrived in Auschwitz. Suddenly, her story was the one I couldn't fly through quickly enough.

I've read countless novels set during World War II, I've read The Hiding Place multiple times, and I've visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.—but somehow, I never before realized the part that music played in concentration camps. It's heartbreaking, disgusting, and hopeful all at the same time.

The Butterfly and the Violin features two wonderful stories, and I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to read it. While I wasn't completely engaged with each story at all times, I did very much enjoy reading this novel, and I'm eager to continue the story with A Sparrow in Terezin. 4 stars.

Buy the book.

Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and reviewed it of my own accord. I was not compensated in any way. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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