I have discovered a new voice in Kristy Cambron. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, is a wonderful contemporary story blended into a historical novel. Both stories are captivating and Ms. Cambron did an awesome job of blending the two stories together.
The book begins with the contemporary story which follows the journey of Manhattan art dealer Sera James and William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, in their pursuit of securing a portrait of Adele Von Bron, a violinist known as Austria's Sweetheart during the 1940's. The portrait was painted during WWII behind the walls of Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the prisoners were liberated, a lot of the art that had been hidden from the Germans was recovered and the portrait of Adele was one of those pieces. Williams grandfather had duplicated the piece and when William heard that Sera was looking for the original piece of art he sent his copy to her gallery in New York. They decide to work together to find the original portrait. Sera's reason is personal and William needs to find it to save his family's business.
The historical portion of the novel is about Adele Von Bron and Vladimir Nicolai. They both have a heart for helping the Jewish people escape from the soldiers of the Third Reich. Unfortunately, during one such attempt, things happen that lead to them being discovered and arrested. What was really sad is that Adele's father was a high ranking officer in the Third Reich and he let them take her away to what was termed a re-education camp. Instead she ended up in Auschwitz-Birkenau and because of her talent with the violin, she was allowed to play in the camp orchestra. An older woman in the camp, Omara, took Adele under her wing and became like a mother to her. She is also the artist of Adele's portrait.
As I'm sure most people are aware, the prisoner camps ran by the Nazis during WWII were nothing more than death camps. If they thought a prisoner was weak, they killed them. It is where Jewish people and other people who the Nazis thought of as enemies of the Nazi state were exterminated or used as slave labor. It was an atrocity to all mankind. In her book, Ms. Cambron takes the reader behind the walls of Auschwitz-Berkenau as if she had actually been there during that time. The reality of her story was phenomenal.
The Butterfly and the Violin is a story of hope, love and in time forgiveness. The characters walk across the pages with such authenticity that I found myself 'googling' them to see if they really existed. Ms. Cambron has a lyrical voice that powerfully drives her story home. I look forward to the next book in her "A Hidden Masterpiece" series, A Sparrow in Terezin, which will release in April, 2015.
So, will Adele survive Auschwitz-Birkenau? What happened to Vladimir? Was the painting of Adele found and why did it mean so much to Sera and William. All these questions are answered within this masterfully created story. I would HIGHLY recommend picking up a copy of The Butterfly and the Violin, especially if you love to read good historical Christian novels.
On a 5-Star Scale = 5 GIGANTIC stars!!!!! I can't say enough about this book. The best I have read this year!
I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for my copy of The Butterfly and the Violin. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.
Smiles & Blessings,