A Sparrow in Terezinby Kristy Cambron
Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.
Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairy–tale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels like she’s stumbled into a charmed life/em>/strong>
Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.
Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairy–tale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels like she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy their future before it even begins.
Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future with the man she loves.
1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939 and was forced to leave behind her half-Jewish family. Now a reporter for The Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, she has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.
Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains them and fight to protect all they hold dear–even if it means placing their own futures on the line.
This heart-wrenching sequel to Cambron's acclaimed debut, The Butterfly and the Violin, once again deftly interlaces dual plots and time lines between the present and World War II. Art dealer Sera James has just married William Hanover, her client from Butterfly, when he is arrested for fraudulently selling art that he does not own. Mirroring Sera's flight from the scandal that has rocked her husband's family business and thrown her marriage into doubt is young Kaja Makovsky's escape from Prague in 1939 to London. But when Kaja learns about the extermination of the Jews, she returns to her hometown to try to save her family. Linking these two women and offering the solace and peace they seek is Holocaust survivor Sophia. VERDICT This second novel in the series has the drawings produced by the children of the Terezin concentration camp, and Cambron describes them in haunting detail. Fans of the author's first book will gravitate to this tale of the power of faith and love to cope with impossible situations, although the grim realities depicted cannot be ignored. A must for book groups and genocide studies teachers and students.
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A Sparrow in Terezin
A Hidden Masterpiece Novel Book Two
By Kristy Cambron
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Kristy Cambron
All rights reserved.
July, Present Day
The last thing a bride needs to fret over on her wedding day is whether the ceremony will take place.
It was an unproductive thought in the midst of trying to manage pre-wedding jitters. Nevertheless, the familiar doubt continued to plague her heart, and Sera James, still caught up in the shadow of an uncertain future, all but gave in to it.
She ran her fingertips over the string of pearls at her nape and stared out the first-floor bedroom window of the Hanovers' California seaside estate. She scanned the horizon, taking in the beauty of the setting sun as it created flashes of diamonds across the bay, wondering if William had the same doubts. Would he be out there waiting on their beach?
A gentle knock drew her attention to the bedroom door.
She turned and found the familiar face of her friend Penny, who offered a hushed greeting from the hall. She presented a serene, pink-glossed smile.
"Sera? It's time," Penny said, her voice whisper soft, and stepped into the oversized bedroom. Her strawberry blond hair hung in soft waves and danced about her shoulders as if tossed by the playfulness of the sea breeze outside. "Everyone's waiting."
Sera nodded. She dropped the pearls back down to graze her neck and rested her hands at her sides.
So he is waiting ... for me.
She dotted the corners of her eyes to catch the birth of soft tears.
God—William's not backing out. Even though our future's so uncertain.
Sera took a deep breath, hoping it would infuse her with courage.
With one last look in the antique floor mirror, she gave a final adjustment to the sweep train on her vintage column gown and asked, "Well, am I ready?"
Her hair was loosely tucked in a French chignon, with elegant, retro-inspired waves that shined like liquid chocolate against the thin, diamond-studded headband donning her crown. The silhouette was accentuated by simple pearl drops that dangled from her ears and the nipping of an intricate lace overlay in a deep V along her collarbone. She wore a pop of classic red on her lips.
"I'm overwhelmed, my dear friend." Penny grinned, eyes twinkling. The jade color of her tea-length chiffon gown shimmered when she angled past the antique four-poster bed that expanded out into the center of the room. "You are stunning. And I look at art masterpieces all day."
She winked on the last words.
"And I see our Sophie's loan made it here, safe and sound."
Sera reached up and placed a hand over the elegant pearls resting over her collarbone, thinking of their friend. "Yes. Sophie hated that she couldn't be here, but sent these pearls as the 'something borrowed.' She said every girl needs to wear pearls on her wedding day."
Penny nodded. "There's wisdom in that, I'd say."
"Yes, there is." Sera instinctively smiled.
Sophie Haurbech-Mason was the sweet old friend who had been a major factor in bringing both Sera and William to their wedding day. They'd tracked and found Sophie, the owner of a painting, who turned out to be a Holocaust victim who'd been saved as a little girl by the painting's subject. In many ways, it was the connection Sophie had to that painting that began Sera's own journey—to find love and to finally trust again.
But here she was, poised to walk down the aisle, and all of a sudden she wished Sophie was there to coach her through the moment. The pearls, lovely as they were, felt more like a lifeline than just a piece of vintage finery.
"I feel like I'm forgetting something," Sera said as fluttering once again threatened to overtake her stomach. She dropped a hand to her waist, trying to calm the butterflies that had made a home there.
"You haven't forgotten anything," Penny offered, and looked pointedly to the floor where Sera's toes peeked out from beneath the gown. "Except you're barefoot. Here. Let me help you through all this."
Sera knew the last thing they needed was a bride to fall flat on her face. She hooked her fingers through the straps of the heels on the bed and took Penny's arm. She picked up the delicate lace train and took careful, tiptoed steps.
Penny maneuvered them through the odds and ends that painted the bedroom in a sea of tissue paper, using the toe of her shoe to kick a white box out of the way in true Penny fashion.
"How does he look?" Sera dared to ask.
Penny scoffed. "I sure hope you're referring to the groom. Because if you're talking about his gorgeous younger brother, I'd say Paul Hanover is about as insufferable as ever. Spruced up for a wedding or not—there's little to admire of him except for that smile."
"Yes. I did mean the groom." Sera stopped by the door and allowed Penny to stabilize her as she stepped into her peep-toe heels.
"William looks fine. Taking a few deep breaths here and there. I'd wager he's not half as nervous as you. But then again, maybe your soon-to-be husband is just better at hiding his emotions." Penny paused, then tipped her shoulders in a light shrug. "Most men are."
"And what did you say about Paul? Are you two at it again?"
"Fighting like cats and dogs? Whatever. I can't stand him, even if he is something of a looker. We just can't seem to agree on anything." She stood tall and held Sera's arms wide, to take a grand look at her. "But enough of that. I can manage to put up with him for one night. Right now I want to marvel at you."
Sera took a calming breath and instinctively bit her lower lip over the slight fluttering feeling that continued twirling about in her midsection. She ran a hand down the vintage pin-tucked satin at her waist and brushed her palm along the side of the skirt.
"You think he'll like it?"
Penny nodded. "Yes. But he's not marrying a dress. He's marrying you," she said, and squeezed Sera's palms before letting go. "And you"—Penny paused to hand her a nosegay of bright-red peonies from the hammered glass vase on the nightstand—"are beautiful. And you're not losing me, you know. At least that's what I tell myself, that we're not really losing the friendship. We'll still have it, despite the distance."
"So, do I need to give the old speech? About how you're not really losing an assistant"—Penny shook her head over the glaze of tears that showed in her eyes and smiled—"but gaining a husband?"
"No jokes, please." Sera laughed, emotion hitching in her throat. "Not now. I'm not sure I can take them from you."
Penny nodded and tilted her head in a light manner. "Good old Manhattan will just be an airplane ride away. You'll find me there anytime you need me. After, that is, we get every last piece in your gallery shipped out here." She smiled and wiped at a tear that was threatening to trail down her cheek. "But truly—I hope all of California knows what a gem they're getting."
"And I know the one I'm losing. How am I going to walk into the gallery every day without you by my side? You're my best friend," Sera added, tearing up herself. "I feel like I'm being cut down the middle."
"Oh no—don't you do that." Penny began fanning her face with her hand. "Think of raccoon eyes in the photos you'll have for the rest of your life unless you stop it this instant! We still have weeks of work ahead of us to get the gallery moved to the West Coast. We can cry all we want then, okay?"
She nudged Sera a bit with an arm around the shoulder.
"One last hug," she said, enveloping her in the sweetness of a friend's embrace. "Now, off we go."
Penny winked and led them down the hall.
Sera followed behind her friend, past the office where she'd sat more than a year before, waiting for the head of the Hanover clan to greet her about a potential commission. The commission to find a painting of a Holocaust-era violinist—Adele Von Bron—and the unfolding of the story that would eventually bring them together.
They passed the great room, with its wall of windows and sweeping views of the water, its cozy fireplace and whisper-soft lighting, where she and William had sat on so many quiet evenings, talking and dreaming about their future together. It's where he'd knelt down on one knee, with tears in his eyes, and asked her to be his wife.
The estate house had seemed magical then. And inviting. And so full of promise for their future. That was until the week before, until they'd received the terrible phone call that set everything in motion to move the wedding up by more than six months.
"Are you sure he looked okay?" Sera laid a light touch on Penny's elbow to pause their march toward the back door. "I mean, he doesn't look like he wants to change his mind about all this?"
Penny tilted her chin down and glared at Sera as though through a pair of bifocals.
"Why would he dream ofchanging his mind? He followed you to Paris so you wouldn't have to go alone. You've been engaged for months. And you love him. You told me yourself—he's the love of your life. I'm quite sure he feels the same about you."
"But we decided to go ahead with the wedding now on such short notice. We haven't even packed everything up yet. Think of all the crates that still have to be shipped here from New York. The gallery is still under renovations and is months away from opening. And Will's just going back to school. Think of his life, and my work, and our families ..."
"You're about to walk down the aisle and you want to talk about crates and school schedules?"
Sera felt a blush tinge her cheeks under her friend's motherly stare.
"No. Not exactly."
"Then what has you playing the role of the jittery bride? It's not like you."
Sera wished she could tell her what was going on behind the scenes. But the truth was too difficult. Best to state the obvious and leave the rest out.
"I'm not thinking about old ghosts, if that's what's underneath that intense glare of yours. Nerves about being left at the altar were put to rest quite a long time ago."
"Good." It took Penny no less than a split second to chime in. "Because the altar won't be empty this time. And your former fiancé has no place in your vows today."
"Of course not," Sera agreed. "But it still doesn't change the fact that we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Everything is so uncertain. After all, I could walk out there and—"
"Marry the man you love."
Sera stared back at the openness in her friend's eyes, saw the understanding, and finally exhaled the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
"That's it." Penny nodded. "You love him. Say 'I do.' Pledge your heart to him and for one day at least"—her shoulders rose on a dainty shrug, as if the answer were just that simple—"forget the rest."
Was it that easy to forget the uncertainty?
Twilight greeted them as they stepped through the French doors at the back of the house.
Sera followed her maid of honor along the smoothed cobblestone path that was etched through the garden. It looked enchanting, having been softened by the flickering of tea-light candles that lined the path all the way to the edge of the sand.
"Wait," she called out to Penny, who halted in her steps and turned round.
"What's the matter?"
Sera shook her head. "Nothing, I just—" On a last-second whim, she stooped and slipped her feet out of the classic white peep-toes. "I need to leave something behind."
It felt right to lose the heels, as if she were choosing to hold nothing back. Sera was walking toward her future. It was waiting—he was waiting, out on the beach, for her. The shedding of one last barrier between them made her feel all the more free. She wanted to have the option to run if she chose.
Sera tossed her heels up on the cobblestone path and after nodding Penny on, took her first barefoot step down in the sand.
The last of the evening's sun washed down over the beach. A salty sea breeze caressed her cheeks as the beauty of the kaleidoscope sky and lively bay waters created a backdrop behind them.
The bay looked like it did all those months ago when she'd first come to California; it toiled, deep blue and uncaged, stirring in chaos along the edge of the estate. It mirrored the circumstances in which she'd come into the Hanovers' lives, they having been thrust into a legal battle to win back their estate and she, unknowingly at the time, about to fall in love with the eldest son when they first walked together through the sand.
William stood before her, in a gray linen suit and white oxford unbuttoned at the collar. His stance was relaxed. And he looked sincerely happy, with a wide grin that melted over his features the instant he locked eyes with hers.
Sera had to remind herself not to run all the way.
She took each step slowly, remembering what it had cost for them to reach this moment together. She saw the faces of his family beaming around them: his mother, ever smiling and supportive. His younger sister, Macie, was there with her husband, Eric. Penny had turned to stand opposite William's younger brother, Paul, the free-spirited musician with the quick wit and wicked-good looks. Sera bit her lip over a suppressed smile at the thought of Penny's insides tying in knots at having to put up with the best man.
And then her gaze turned back to William.
He waited patiently, with his hands clasped in front of him. The sea wind toyed with his hair, leaving it the way she loved it: just a touch windblown across his forehead. And she smiled with sheer contentment, maybe for the first time, as her soon-to-be husband reached out for her hand.
He cradled her fingertips in his as if they were made of the most precious porcelain and escorted her up to the small altar on the sand. It was fashioned out of a simple white garden archway that was softened by a bower of brilliant summer peonies and banners of draped white fabric that flowed in the breeze.
She handed her bouquet to Penny, then turned to William as she joyfully laced her fingers with the warmth of his.
He looked down at the hem of the gown she'd lifted in her walk through the sand and tilted his head.
"Uh," she whispered back, feeling her shoulders tilt up in a shrug. "I guess I felt like leaving something behind."
He winked at her. "You're stunning."
Sera's eyes misted.
"So are you," she whispered before thinking, then felt the light tinge of a blush when he laughed at her automatic reply.
"Well, that's a first for me, I'd say."
Sera's heart felt free on that beach.
As she held William's hands in her own, and as they exchanged rings, pledging to love and honor him all the days of her life, Sera finally understood what it meant to find lasting love. William was an honorable man of God—the best she'd ever known—and now they would belong to each other.
The service was short, just the way they'd wanted it.
The minister called the group into prayer, and Sera lowered her head to rest on William's shoulder. The words prayed over them were lovely. They were binding and spoke of such promise for the blessings of the future. They almost made her believe what Penny had told her in the house: just marry him.
The rest would just have to work itself out.
The prayer ended and on a spontaneous smile that burst forth from both of their lips, they were pronounced husband and wife.
William gathered her up in his arms with a grin of contentment and kissed his bride. Sera closed her eyes and leaned into him, winding her arms around his neck as he leaned in to whisper a tender "I love you" against her ear.
The voice broke into the bliss of their lovely sunset beach.
Sera's eyes popped open.
William's body stiffened in her arms for only a moment, then he placed a single kiss at the base of her neck and drew away. He took a step in front of her, as if to shield her from a threat. She drew up close behind him and threaded her fingers tight with his.
"Evening Carter," William said, nodding to the older gentleman.
Sera had met him a few times over the last year. He was an acquaintance of the family, but she knew better than to think his presence on their beach was simply to offer his congratulations.
He nodded back, the gesture laden with quiet emotion.
"Good of you to come. Our families have been friends for a long time, so of course you're welcome to stay and celebrate with us." William tilted his head to a long table set up not far from where they stood with vases of elegant blooms and tiny candles flickering light through the fallen dusk. "We've only just been married."
Carter shook his head. "I wish that was all I was here for, but there won't be time for dinner."
William raised his eyebrows and asked, "Now?"
"I'm afraid so. They're waiting up at the house." Carter inclined his head toward the glow of lights shining from the back windows of the estate house. There was activity: a car with blacked-out windows and a pair of men walking around, indicating that Carter had walked to the beach unaccompanied as a courtesy.
He then gave a respectful tip of his head in greeting.
Excerpted from A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron. Copyright © 2015 Kristy Cambron. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons. Website: www.kristycambron.com Twitter: @KCambronAuthor Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author.
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I’ve been eagerly anticipating this novel ever since I finished the first book in the series. I could hardly imagine a story sweeping my emotions away more than The Butterfly and the Violin. Once again, I was surprised. A Sparrow in Terezin is one of those books you read slowly, savoring every word. And let me warn you, you will lose all sense of time as you fall immersed into it. The story picks back up with Sera and William from the first book, along with a few other familiar faces, and their side of the plot was certainly unique and unexpected. Unanswered questions will leave you intrigued to the end. But it was Kaja’s story that compelled me more than anything. Kaja. Liam. Her parents. Dane. Sophie. The children. Oh, the sparrows. I was with each of them as I read. Some scenes were so vividly painted, I had to stop and read them over again. The missing pieces were revealed in a creative, poetic way. I couldn’t have asked for more, really. It’s a love story of faith and courage and the Lord’s faithfulness even in unimaginable places. I forgot I was reading. I was watching. I also learned some fascinating historical details I’d never known before. It’s something I think would make a great additional reading for schooling. It paints the history in a more personal way. Such a poignant glimpse into the past. It’s raw and heartbreaking, yes, but it’s beautiful and we can learn by it. With more than a few teardrops on the last page, I closed the book. Even now, two days later I’m still hearing the heartbeat of this story and carrying it with me. I hope I never forget it. A Sparrow in Terezin is a book for keeps – on your shelf and in your heart. Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publisher and the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
In the Sparrow of Terezin, Kristy Cambron has crafted a beautiful story of parallel journeys: a completely free-standing story set during World War II, and the other a continuation of the contemporary story in The Butterfly & the Violin. The pages move seamlessly from one story to the next, yet leaving me with a longing for more in each story. This makes the pages fly and makes it difficult to walk away from the story when real life intervenes. The historical characters are so real, their losses unimagineable, and the hope they find in the darkest of nights tangible. The historical story slips between Prague, London, and Terezin during the war. The journey is one of discovery, family, and war. It is a story of loss and saving. The contemporary story is one that will not cleanly stand alone. You could read it without first reading The Butterfly & the Violin but you will lose some of the deep meaning of the characters' battles. This said, it is a beautiful story that will compel you to follow Sera through the challenges and decisions she must make. The Sparrow of Terezin is a story that will embrace readers who love a mix of modern and historic, romance with emotion, beauty with an awareness that God sees every sparrow.
As a kid I was fascinated with the story of Anne Frank. As an adult I have been fascinated with the stories of people who lived in overseas countries during WW1 and WW2. I have always wondered if I was the person living then what I would do and how I would live. This is a very interesting book about people living in that time. I'd like to think that I'd have half the courage that Kája had. Kristy Cambron has obviously done her homework in researching this. It's very well written - you feel like you're there viewing the characters and if you're like me, you find yourself wishing you could talk to them - offer an encouraging word or say "What were you thinking?". I can't say it's a comfortable read because of the subject matter, but it's a satisfying read for sure. Not a breeze through either. In 1939 Kája Makovsky is forced to leave her family in Prague as she is sent off to college and safety. But the war follows her to England and she risks her life to go back and get her family out. I'm sure that some of the choices she made are not ones that I would make - but you have to admire this girl. Sera James is getting ready for her dream wedding when her fiance is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. This part of the story is interesting as Sera looks for more information to try to clear her fiance, and find out more about this wealthy family's secrets. A Holocaust survivor is the person who brings this story together. The way the book weaves back and forth between the two time frames draws out the suspense in each, where strong women are making life decisions to protect the people they love. This is book two in the series. I had not read book one but now want to go back and get it! Don't you just love that cover? From the book description: "Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world." Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Thomas Nelson--FICTION - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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”.
Your choice i found this readable but confusing and not what i would re read m.a.@sparta
A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron is an interesting and confusing book. I kept reading the book hoping things would be explained and start to make sense, but halfway through the book, I was still confused (and still no explanations). I looked up A Sparrow in Terezin and discovered it is the second book in the series. Before reading A Sparrow in Terezin, you must read The Butterfly and the Violin. Sera and William have moved up their wedding. No one knows why and they are assuming it is because they just do not want to wait any longer be together. However, the ceremony is barely over the police show up and arrest William. The police state that William committed fraud. Evidently he sold artwork that belonged to Hanover Corporation and not to William. William states he is innocent. Sera sets out to prove her new groom innocent and find out what he is not telling her. The book alternates between present time and World War II. It is 1939 and Kaja Makovsky is fleeing Poland with her sister, Hannah, and brother-in-law, Jakob. The Germans have invaded Poland and their parents want the girls to get to safety. Kaja spends time in Palestine, but then ends up in London. Kaja ends up working for The Daily Telegraph as a secretary and copy editor (she wants to write). Kaja meets Liam Marshall who is a reporter. Kaja slowly discovers that there is more to Liam than meets the eye. When Kaja finds out what is happening to Jews in Poland, she insists on going back to help her parents. Kaja finds her parents and is unable to get them out. The three of them end up in a Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (also known as a ghetto or Camp Terezin). Kaja is put in charge of children that are too young to work. She is too teach them art. Kaja meets Sophie and becomes her guardian. Housing is deplorable and the food is sparse. Will Kaja get out (escape) or get sent to the ovens? To find out the connection between Sophie and Sera, if Kaja survives, and what happens with William, please read A Sparrow in Terezin. It is nicely written, but a little complicated. I give A Sparrow in Terezin 3.5 out of 5 stars. I think if I had read The Butterfly and the Violin first, I would have understood and enjoyed A Sparrow in Terezin. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.
Tissues should be required equipment when reading Kristy Cambron's books. With A Sparrow in Terezen, book two of her Hidden Masterpiece series, Kristy Cambron once again pulls at the heartstrings as she skillfuly weaves past and present into a beautiful story of love, hope and redemption.
Read,The Butterfly And The Violin first , if you can. But be sure to read this amazing work regardless. It is superbly written and almost impossible to set down. There is much to think about here.
Kristy Cambron has produced another masterful novel that follows her highly acclaimed book, The Butterfly and the Violin! As explained above in the description of the book, two young women are thrust into situations where neither woman can envision resolutions to their respective predicaments. Each character has incredible strength, is well defined and very likeable. The settings for each locale are remarkably depicted and as contrasting as conceivable. Heartbreaking and agonizing at times, my emotions ran the gamut between moments of happier times and the gruesome realities of the Holocaust. I'm very impressed once again! Ms. Cambron is an author that I will continue to follow. By all means, pick up copies of her books. You'll be swept away to a different time and place, and find yourself wondering why you've not read these books sooner!
page 63 and nothing interesting yet, half thru and wish WWII story had been only story, the Sera, Will story still isn't interedting
Kristy Cambron weaves a masterful tapestry of past and present in her novel, A Sparrow in Terezin. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautifully written tale of two women of faith, each from a different time and place, yet both seeking to recapture love through God’s healing grace. My heart was moved by lovely Sara, overshadowed with despair and uncertainty despite the sunny shores of modern-day San Francisco’s coast; and Kája, lonely and anxious amidst the frightening ambience of WWII Europe. Cambron’s detail to history is so well-researched and hauntingly accurate, this captivating story kept me turning the pages!
A Sparrow in Terezin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel) by Kristy Cambron Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world. A Sparrow in Terezin is told on two timelines. The first one is told from the perspective of Kája Makovsky, a young, half-Jewish writer who is separated from her family when she flees Prague, only to end up later in the disaster of the London Blitz. Kája's intelligence, compassion, and courage all find places to pierce through the war's horror, even when any chance for a future is on the verge of being blacked out. While the other timeline is present day which is told of the emotionally tumultuous present-day account about newlyweds Sera and William Hanover. It’s well intertwined, though the novel's strength is in Kája's story, skipping back and forth kept me from fully appreciating the story. This is a second book of a series from Kristy Cambron and according to other reviewers to appreciate the story fully the series should be read in order. That is probably why I found it difficult to follow going from the present then to the past and back again. Still, there's so much to be found here, love, tragedy, romance, and faith. There are questions in the back to help with further self-study or in a book club. You will learn some fascinating historical details. It paints the history in a more personal way. I generally like stories that make me sad; I wanted to read more about Kája and Liam and wasn’t too impressed with the present day couple. If you like historical war fiction you will like this story. I received a digital copy of book from Harper Collins in their BookLook blogging for books program.
I couldn’t wait to read this book after I read Kristy’s debut novel. I wasn’t disappointed. I love the contrast between the past and the present. I would love to know if Kristy writes all of one story and then all of the next and then breaks them up. I wondered how the two stories related and couldn’t wait to connect the dots. In the present we pick up with Sera and William and their marriage that is quickly interrupted. Doubt lingers in their future and around the integrity of William. But Sera stands by him and their love only grows stronger. In the past we are with Kája and her journey to freedom, or so she thinks. But things don’t work out that way and she is thrust into a place of anything but freedom. If you are like me and enjoy contemporary and historical this is a perfect read for you, it will satisfy much of what you look for in a good book. An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
Another masterpiece by Kristy Cambron, connected to the first book in the series with present and past events intersecting in some surprising places. Just beautiful in parts, though not a light read, it will be one you won't want to put down for long. Left me in a serious book hangover for days. A must read for inspirational historical fiction fans, especially those with World War 2 interests. 5+ stars
A Sparrow in Terezin, Kristy Cambron’s sophomore novel, is a masterpiece that will be proudly displayed on my shelves for years to come. I was captivated by Kaja’s journey out of peril, thrust into a new land, and her return to danger for the sake of love and family. Readers who have read The Butterfly and the Violin will welcome the return of familiar faces in Sera and William, who are not only on the cusp of marriage, but also facing a lofty legal battle that threatens their relationship. Kaja and Liam’s story is what captured my attention early on. From her time working at The Daily Telegraph to enduring the London Blitz, Kaja finds herself in the middle of a war she thought she had escaped when leaving Nazi-occupied Prague. And then Liam walks into the room and their connection is immediately evident. Kaja has a quiet strength about her that is inspiring. Although she is fearful, she doesn’t allow her fear to stop her from doing what she feels God is calling her to do. And Liam was the perfect complement to her, devoted and supportive, supplying her with the extra measure of strength she needed to accomplish her task. A Sparrow in Terezin is stunning. A beautifully written novel that shines with authenticity. *I am on Kristy Cambron’s launch team. This book was provided by the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review.*
This is a dual story of present day and World War II and lives connect.. In 1942 Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939. She is sent out of the country as the German's begin to take over her country. She ends up in England working for a newspaper. When she hears that Jews are being exterminated she makes the decision to go back and rescue her father and mother. Kája will be sent to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Terezin with her mother and father. I found this to be an emotional account of World War II particularly at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Terezin. Sera and William Hanover are looking at William going to prison for a crime he denies committing. Sera takes it on herself to find out the family secrets and try to prove her husband inocent. This Hanover family is tied to a Holocaust survivor that may bring all the secrets of the Hanover family to light. This was an emotional story with families past and present finding that faith, redemption and perseverance will determine their futures. I'd recommend this book, it will touch your heart and you will see and feel the emotions Kristy writes in the pages of A Sparrow In Terezin. I was gifted a copy of A Sparrow in Terezin by Net Galley for my opinion which I have given.
Deb's Dozen: Past and Present Collide as WWII-Era Prague Impacts Newlyweds in California – Courage! Sera James weds William Hanover in a picturesque wedding set in a garden on the Sausalito beach. But almost immediately after "I Do," William is handcuffed and led off to jail on charges for a crime he did not commit. Sera believes in her heart that William could not have done those things he's accused of doing. She is determined to get to the bottom of the charges and set her husband free. 1942 - Kaja Makovsky escaped Prague just as the Nazis occupied the city, but her beloved parents had to be left behind. She is now a reporter for The Daily Telegraph in London. She finds the terror has followed her when the deadly London Blitz occurs. Liam Marshall-- a mysterious reporter/spy?--seems determined to help her become successful and...could love be blooming in the midst of war? A Sparrow in Terezin documents the tales of these two women who are tied together by long ago events. Sara works her way back through history to find out the whys and hows of what William may have done. Kaja's story moves forward as we see what she endures. I was initially put off by the back and forth in each chapter, but then was drawn into the intrigue in both eras. Both characters are believable and courageous--under stress and pressure that most women will never have to experience. I loved the description of war-plagued Prague and what Kaja was able to accomplish with her "sparrows." I had not heard of The Sparrows of Terezin and their art prior to reading this book. There are some details that seem to conflict at the end of the novel--I'm not sure if Cambron intends another book in the series--this is the sequel to The Butterfly and the Violin. Hopefully they will be cleared up in the next entry in the series if there is one. Because of those hanging ends, I can only give A Sparrow in Terezin four stars, but I am intrigued enough to read the first book to get the backstory. Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson gave me a copy of A Sparrow in Terezin in exchange for my candid review.
Absolutely amazing.totally a must read. Great author
Fantastic follow up to The Butterfly and the Violin. A must read for love and history!!
This book started off slow for me. If you started this book and felt the same, please stick with it! My goodness, the tears just flowed through the latter half of this book. I know that these are fictional characters but they’re written about real places and surround little known events involving the holocaust. I guess I had never given the victims an identity and this book just hit me hard. This book is so beautifully written and heartbreaking. My life will never be the same after reading this book. I could imagine, on some small-scale the heartbreak, the grief and the sorrow that a person would have faced as they watched those around them suffer and even die. This book is powerful and gripping. I strongly recommend this book.
A Sparrow in Terezin is the second book in the A Hidden Masterpiece collection. This was the first book I have read by Cambron and I was able to follow the storyline easily. Cambron is skilled at interweaving two stories across decades without losing the reader but drawing them into a wonderful and moving story. The research Cambron has invested is apparent in this novel. She entwines the history into the story where it unfolds through the characters. What makes A Sparrow in Terezin so exceptional is how Cambron shows the reader the history which draws you in instead of telling you which typically makes a story dry to the reader. A Sparrow in Terezin takes you back in time to a piece of history that we should never forget. The sweet story spiced with a bit of mystery makes the reader want to keep reading to the end. The characters in A Sparrow in Terezin are well developed and authentic. The American characters are believable and when we cross the ocean to England, Cambron adds characteristics that makes these characters believable as well. The reader feels the emotions of these characters: Their success, their heartbreak, their love. Add in the imagery Cambron uses and it makes this one of the best historical novels I have read in a long time. This book deserves every star in a five star rating. If you read historical fiction, than A Sparrow in Terezin is a must read book! Thank you to Netgalley and Litfuse Publicity Group for the complimentary copy of A Sparrow in Terezin in exchange for my honest review. All opinions in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was given for them.
Sunday, April 26, 2015 A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron, © 2015 A Hidden Masterpiece Novel, Book Two Contemporary/Historical Fiction Thomas Nelson The story centers around the children’s art of the Theresienstadt transport camp (also known as Terezín), the Nazis’ propaganda camp north of Prague. My review: A strong story of hope and encouragement in the face of despair. I really enjoy reading two time period novels. The stories are richly woven together. The happenings before us do affect today. Courageous actions on the part of those willing to take a risk to love will be an encouragement to those who follow. Kristy Cambron has written of an inner strength. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." ––Joshua 1:9 NIV Kája swallowed hard. "The last secretary quit after one day?" "Secretaries. And it was within a week." He grimaced. "But what does it matter? We have a copy-editor from Oxford here now. And given the fact that she's already had the grand tour and her desk is cleared off and everything..." He pulled out the wooden swivel chair and patted the back with his palms. "Why not give it a try? What's the worst that could happen?" --A Sparrow in Terezin, 47 Powerful. You walk every step with them. I began reading mid-afternoon, with 87 pages remaining, so absorbing, I was unaware I had read that far. Kristy Cambron is a wordsmith bringing you visibly into their world and time. The story of the beloved clock from Kája's childhood brings hope alive amid the children's art at Terezin. "You are Kate¿ina Makovský from Prague?" She stood before the woman, nervous but head held high. If Liam was right and she was inordinately stubborn, Kája had an inkling it would be a necessary component to her survival in this place. She notched her chin and answered, "Yes. I am." The woman handed over a sheet of paper, a small rectangle, then answered, "You are to report to the ration line, then to the Jewish Council for medical inspection and work assignment. Memorize this number," she cautioned, though her voice was staunch and formulaic. "You must know this number. It is how you will be referred to from this point on. Do you understand?" Kája nodded. "Yes." "If you are asked, you must give this number immediately. At all times. There will be no opportunity for remembering." --Ibid., 221 The description of the Terezin concentration camp is so vivid. One detail, among many, that stood out to me was how being moved from a large central room to an attic room was worse because of the vermin and cracked window with winter approaching. Nearer to the school for children, the attic room was a place of refuge against the turmoil without, if even for a little while. Continuing from the story in the first book, this second book reflects Sophie's early childhood. Giving from an open heart, the present and past intersect in her later years. Present day, Sera James, receives what she needs to continue by the influences and sacrifices of those who risked their own lives for the children of Terezin. For such a time as this; how important we each are in forthcoming generations. ***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson for this copy of Kristy Cambron's book two in the Hidden Masterpiece series, A Sparrow in Terezin, for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Kristy Cambron has woven another historic reminder of the evil that took over the world when Hitler came to power. We travel between current times and beginning in 1939 through WWII, when horror took over the world. The story opens with the continuation of the first book, The Butterfly and The Violin, which was such a fantastic read, but this book does read alone. We are at the wedding of Sera and William, and when the ceremony is finish, an arrest happens for a crime that he never committed. The story connects through the decades in unexpected ways, and again we experience the horrors of the concentration camps, and the connection between the families. It’s a world gone mad, and the innocent souls who succumb to the evil, and for what, and how can it end, a timely reminder to this day. This is a page-turner, and one that will linger with you for a long time after the last page is turned. It is a timely reminder of what happens when Satan takes over, and the havoc he pushes forth on a world that has turned it back on God. Come and find the connection between Kája and Sera, and of course Sophie, you will be surprised and heart warmed. I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Kristy Cambron in her new book “A Sparrow In Terezin” Book Two in the Hidden Masterpiece series published by Thomas Nelson gives us another adventure with Sera James. From the back cover: Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world. Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future. 1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace. Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line. There are events that are happening to Sera in the present, some good, some not very good. Obviously she has to deal with them all. Then there are the events surrounding Kája in 1942 that she has to deal with. All of which is dangerous and highly suspenseful. Somehow the two situations are linked. I think Ms. Cambron has done an outstanding job, not only with this book, but with the entire series so far. Ms. Cambron gets us involved with the lives of these two young women and in the situations that they find themselves in. We root for them, we cry for the, we want them to succeed. Ms. Cambron’s characters come alive off these pages. I was really sorry when the story finished because I had to let them go. The good news is there will be another book in this series and I am already so looking forward to it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
What an emotional journey! I didn't read book one, but Sera's journey of trust and love still hit my heart hard. Seeing her and Kaja go through uncertainty, fear, and doubt but yet trusting God to be in the most difficult times was inspiring to say the least. Kaja's story, however, was more heart-wrenching and even then I'm not sure if those are the right words. Kristy opened an entirely new world to me that I didn't even realize existed concerning the Holocaust. Despite that there was such heartache, Kaja still had hope in the ghetto that could not be extinguished. It definitely is encouraging in my own life to know that God is always with me in every situation, whether good or bad. It also makes me thankful that Kristy penned “A Sparrow in Terezin” because she has indeed reminded me to never forget this horrible time in history. No matter how bad things might get in life, God gives us the courage to face another day through Him as demonstrated through these characters lives. Overall, I'm not sure if there are even valid words to describe this novel, but it is one I definitely would recommend. It will leave you grateful for God giving hope in the mist of any circumstance and thanking Him for the family in your life. *(I received this novel from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.)*