The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel by Julie Thomas | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel

The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel

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by Julie Thomas
     
 

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A priceless violin. A family torn apart.
A decision that could change everything.

Berlin, 1939. Fourteen-year-old Simon Horowitz is awash in a world of music. His family owns a superb collection of instruments and at its heart is his father's 1742 Guarneri del Gesú violin. But all is lost when the Nazis march across Europe, the Horowitz family's

Overview

A priceless violin. A family torn apart.
A decision that could change everything.

Berlin, 1939. Fourteen-year-old Simon Horowitz is awash in a world of music. His family owns a superb collection of instruments and at its heart is his father's 1742 Guarneri del Gesú violin. But all is lost when the Nazis march across Europe, the Horowitz family's possessions are confiscated, and Simon and his father and brother are sent to Dachau. Amid unimaginable cruelty and death, Simon finds kindness from an unexpected corner, and a chance to pick up a violin in exchange for a chance to live.

In the present day, orchestra conductor Rafael Gomez has seen much in his time on the world's stage, but he finds himself oddly inspired by the playing of an aspiring violin virtuoso, a fantastic talent who is just fourteen. When the boy, Daniel Horowitz, Simon's grandson, suddenly rebels and refuses toplay another note, Rafael decides he'll do anything he can to change that. After Rafael learns the boy's family once owned a precious violin, believed to have been lost forever, he thinks he might know how to get Daniel playing again. In taking on the task he discovers a family story like no other, one that winds from World War II and Communist Russia all the way to Rafael's very own stage.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A priceless 1742 Guarneri del Gesu violin becomes a focal point from which radiates the story of a German family devastated by the Holocaust, a Russian family hiding secrets and a community of musicians. Thomas' (In Vino Veritas, 2012, etc.) novel sweepingly embraces generations of the Horowitz family. In 1939, Simon Horowitz follows in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather--all virtuoso violinists. Hoping to hide at least the most precious of the family heirlooms from the Nazis, Simon's father has the instrument--which has been in the family for over 150 years--subtly altered. Leaping ahead in time, the story picks up with Daniel Horowitz, whose talent at the age of 14 has already earned him the prestigious Hillier Foundation International Prize, as well as the kind attention of maestro conductor Rafael Gomez. Although the family did not lose its talent, it did lose the del Gesu during the war, which also sent Simon, his brother and his father to Dachau. Despite his gift--and to his parents' horror--Daniel would rather play baseball with his friends. While Rafael plots to keep Daniel playing the violin, another musician, Tatiana, captures the musical world's attention, not for her skill (which is certainly remarkable), but for her instrument. Rescued from prostitution, Tatiana is under the protection of Sergei Valentino, who allows her to play his family's 1729 del Gesu. Hearing her play in public, however, restorer Roberto di Longi becomes convinced that in her hands lies something far more valuable. Soon, Daniel's fortunes and the mystery of the del Gesu violins begin to converge, forcing Rafael to weigh friendship against justice. From unexpected mercies to unbridled greed, Thomas' tale is grand in scope, rich with musicality, yet the pressures of the musical coterie deflate when set against the horrors of the concentration camps.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062240309
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
358
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Julie Thomas lives in Cambridge, New Zealand. She wrote The Keeper of Secrets over a seven-year period while writing and producing television and film full-time.

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