The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN (Hidden Masterpiece, #1) By Kristy Cambron

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy CambronPublisher:  Thomas Nelson
Expected Release Date:  July 15, 2014
Pages:  336
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction

Book Description:  And then came war . . .

"Today." Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world's elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting is much more than it seems.

"Vienna, 1942." Adele Von Bron has always known what was expected of her. As a prodigy of Vienna's vast musical heritage, this concert violinist intends to carry on her family's tradition and play with the Vienna Philharmonic. But when the Nazis learn that she helped smuggle Jews out of the city, Adele is taken from her promising future and thrust into the horrifying world of Auschwitz.

The veil of innocence is lifted to expose a shuddering presence of evil, and Adele realizes that her God-given gift is her only advantage; she must play. Becoming a member of the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz, she fights for survival. Adele's barbed-wire walls begin to kill her hope as the months drag into nearly two years in the camp. With surprising courage against the backdrop of murder and despair, Adele finally confronts a question that has been tugging at her heart: Even in the midst of evil, can she find hope in worshipping God with her gift?

As Sera and William learn more about the subject of the mysterious portrait--Adele--they are reminded that whatever horrors one might face, God's faithfulness never falters.

Wanda's Thoughts - An unforgettable period of history – the harsh realities of the Holocaust – this story will evoke many emotions.  It is estimated that one and a half million people died within Auschwitz – Birkenau.

Present Time – Sera James, an art historian, owned a gallery in Manhattan. Sera engaged herself in her work, and had been dreaming of finding a painting, from the Holocaust era, since she was a little girl.  The painting was of a sad young woman with piercing blue eyes, whose head was shaved, and tattooed numbers on her left forearm that cradled a violin.  Sera was intrigued by the mystery of this painting.

William Hanover III, a financier in real estate, was liquidating his late grandfather’s estate.  He had in his possession a painting that was a virtual copy of what Sera was looking for.  But, his grandfather’s will was being contested, and the original painting was standing between his family and their inheritance.  He was in search of the original painting, and he and Sera are brought together because of her interest in the painting.

December 1942 – Vienna, Austria – Adele Von Bron, daughter of Fredrich Von Bron, a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, seemed to have a perfectly arranged life.  Adele was known as “Austria’s sweetheart.”  She was a gifted musician, a violinist with a bright future, who played with Vienna’s Philharmonic.  Adele was involved in the secret transport of Jews out of the city. She wanted to help them escape and she knew the risks involved.  Her fate was sealed and would certainly be a death sentence if the Germans found out.  

Vladimir Nicolai played in the Philharmonic orchestra as a cellist.  He was involved with the secret activities of the Jews and the blackness of Nazi Germany.  He and Adele had more than just a passing attachment.  They had been in love for the last three years and wanted to be together, but Vladimir knew the danger and tried hard to protect Adele.  Vladimir was the son of a merchant and Adele’s family found him to be unsuitable for their daughter.  Their relationship would have to remain a secret. 

The Gestapo had landed their sights on Vladimir and Adele as traitors to the Reich, and the story unfolds as Adele is sent to the nightmares and unbearable living conditions in Auschwitz.  Adele and others are herded in like animals to the cattle cars that were stagnated with stench, no food or water, and no heat to protect them from the elements. 

Adele, among others, was chosen to play in the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, and the orchestra became Adele’s ticket to life.  Hundreds of Jews went straight to the gas chambers upon their arrival in Auschwitz, and the orchestra played through it all.  Their joy of music was turned into something evil.  It is said that the musicians had the highest suicide rates of any prisoners.

The skillful storytelling draws you in from the beginning, and the author did an admirable job weaving together two different storylines.  The topic of the Holocaust, and the horrors that Hitler put on the Jewish people, brings with it a deep sadness. This is a story that will capture your heart, and one that never loses momentum.  The Butterfly and the Violin, by an incredible author, delivers in every way, and is most definitely worthy of a 5 star rating.  This book will be on my list of favorites for 2014.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions shared are solely my responsibility.

Kristy CambronAbout the AuthorI'm active on social media - stop by Twitter @kcambronauthor and Facebook to say Hello!

Kristy's been fascinated with the WWII Era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of his experiences as a B-17 co-pilot in the war. She came across the lost art of Auschwitz while studying for her undergraduate degree in Art History and knew this was a story she wanted to tell one day. She writes WWII and Regency Era Christian fiction titles, which placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations & 2012 FCRW Beacon contests. She was also a 2013 Laurie Finalist. THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN, Book One in the 'A Hidden Masterpiece' series on the prisoner camp art of Auschwitz, will release from Thomas Nelson Publishers in July, 2014.

She's a proud Hoosier, living in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.