Based on the real orchestra comprised of prisoners at Auschwitz, The Butterfly and the Violin shows how beauty and hope can penetrate even the darkest corners.
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—the 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.
Praise for The Butterfly and the Violin
"In her historical series debut, Cambron expertly weaves together multiple plotlines, time lines, and perspectives to produce a poignant tale of the power of love and faith in difficult circumstances. Those interested in stories of survival and the Holocaust, such as Eli Wiesel’s Night, will want to read." —Library Journal, starred review
". . . debut novelist Cambron vividly recounts interwoven sagas of heartache and recovery through courage, love, art, and faith." —Publishers Weekly
“Fresh. Fascinating. Unforgettable. The Butterfly and the Violin is a masterpiece of a debut.” —Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning
". . . impossible to put down." —RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK!
About the Author
KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She's a Women's Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews' Best Books, RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
Pinterest: Kristy Cambron
Read an Excerpt
The Butterfly and the Violin
A Hidden Masterpiece Novel
By Kristy Cambron
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Kristy Cambron
All rights reserved.
Present day, New York City
Is this it?"
Sera James bounded through the front doors of the Manhattan gallery, so excited that she nearly slipped for running across the hardwood floor in her heels. She came to a flustered stop in front of the large canvas hanging on the back wall. Breathless, she asked, "You've confirmed—this is her?"
"Did you run all the way here, Sera?"
"Yes. Wouldn't you?" She wasn't ashamed to admit it. From the second she'd received the phone call, Sera had pushed and shoved her way off the subway in a frenzy and had run the eight blocks back to the gallery, dodging taxis and cracks in the sidewalks all the way.
Penny nodded. "The guys in the back just opened the crate. Can you believe it's been there for a week and we didn't even know it?"
She shook her head in disbelief. "Unfathomable."
Sera unwound the chiffon scarf from her neck and shrugged off her trench coat as she stepped away for a moment, draping them both over the antique wooden counter stretching across the back of the room. She twisted her long ebony hair and tucked it into a loose bun, then secured it atop her head with a pencil she found nearby. It wasn't until she turned back to her assistant that she noticed the girl hadn't moved an inch. Penny stood like a statue, her only movement an index finger that twirled a lock of strawberry blond hair at her nape.
Sera laughed. When her assistant took to whirling a strand of hair around her finger, something had to have completely captured her attention.
"You're doing it again, Penny."
The action was telltale. But Sera didn't blame Penny in the least. This moment was special. If the painting was what they both thought it was, standing in awe was warranted. The rest of the city could have flown by outside the front windows and neither one of them would have noticed. Or cared.
"I'm just sorry it's not the original." Penny offered Sera an envelope without looking away from the canvas. "But it is another step closer and that's what matters."
"You've inspected the borders?"
"My hands were shaking like crazy the whole time," Penny admitted, tilting her head to one side. "But yeah. Even though I knew this was paint on canvas, I still checked to be sure. The negatives are inside."
Sera opened the envelope and held the negatives up to the light. Penny was right—the painting before them was eerily similar to the one they sought. Checking the borders was the only way to distinguish the original from a copy. And if the borders didn't match, then this couldn't be the one they'd been searching for. Her heart almost sank a little before she realized that while it may not have been the portrait, it was still a portrait of her. The borders didn't matter much when those piercing eyes continued to stare out, haunting the viewer.
Sera swallowed hard, thinking how long they'd waited for the moment to arrive. She replaced the negatives in the envelope. "It may be a copy, but I still have to know. How did you find it?"
"An estate sale," Penny answered, her voice sounding almost dreamy. "Just north of San Francisco."
"And do we know for whom?"
Penny nodded again, and this time cocked an eyebrow in a curious fashion. "That's the mystery—it's some businessman. A financier in real estate. William Hanover is his name. I called his office with a basic inquiry and he contacted us back immediately. Said he was liquidating his late grandfather's estate. The name doesn't ring a bell for me at all and I've been chasing this painting for more than two years, same as you. Nobody in the art world has ever heard of him."
The name was foreign to her too. Who was this William Hanover, and how did he manage to get his hands on a painting that was a virtual copy of the one she was looking for?
"And did we make an offer?"
"Mmm-hmm. I figured you'd want to, so I made a generous one."
Penny's answer didn't inspire a lot of confidence. Sera shook her head. "Then why do you sound as if you've got some bad news for me?"
"Because he said he's not going to sell. Money isn't enough, apparently."
"But you just said it was an estate sale."
"Right," Penny cut in. "But it was a chance encounter that I found the painting on an Internet auction site. It was the image and not a bill of sale that caught my attention. I was sifting through old photographs of estate sales from last fall, jewelry and such. You know, the usual. I'd been through an exhausting file of artwork when I came across a photo of this—faded and barely noticeable in the background, behind a vase that had been highlighted for sale. But there's no doubt—it's her."
Her assistant stood back and eyed the painting, then pulled a clipboard up to her chin as if entranced by the vision of the ethereal beauty.
"It was her eyes, Sera. They pierced right through the computer screen and pulled me in, if that's possible."
"It's possible." The same thing had happened to her the first time she'd seen the painting. Only hers was a patchy memory, of an image she'd once seen as a young girl. Thinking back on it now made the moment all the more surreal.
"I spilled a whole mug of coffee down my front when I saw it on the computer screen." Penny smiled, one of those youthful, dimple-cheeked grins so characteristic of the young art student. "Remember that ivory sweater I borrowed? Hope you didn't want it back anytime soon."
"No," Sera answered honestly and, lost in thought, took a step closer to the canvas. "Forget about it. This is better."
"It is, isn't it?" They stood for a moment, speechless, transfixed by the beauty of the portrait. Penny shook her head and on a hushed breath whispered, "After all this time. She's finally here."
It had been far too long, that was for sure.
From the moment Sera had laid eyes on the work of art when she was eight years old, she'd been haunted by the otherworldly beauty. A simple three-quarter silhouette of a young woman of perhaps twenty years of age, with flawless, iridescent skin and those ever-piercing, almost animalistic blue eyes. The softness in the mouth, the sadness in the features ... the stark coldness of the shaved head, showing a young beauty who had been shorn of her crown and glory ... the tattooed numbers, shouting out from the left forearm that cradled a violin.
"So, let me get this straight." Sera stood tall in her pencil skirt and classic white oxford, with arms folded and foot tapping while she tried to work things out in her mind. "We found a painting by chance, but it's not the original. And though it happens to be an image of our long-lost girl, it's not for sale. The owner won't take money for it."
"That sums it up. I wish I could say it didn't."
Sera stood back for a moment, puzzled as to how the painting could be in her gallery under the circumstances. "So ... how did it end up here again?"
"It's been sent here on loan."
"Why on loan?" Sera leaned in, nodding at the exquisite brushstrokes.
"That's just it." Penny paused with a hitch in her voice.
With her attention piqued, Sera half turned to find Penny chewing the edge of her thumbnail. Penny furrowed her brow as if she were staring into the bright summer sunshine. Sera stood up straight then, as her hands found their way to her hips. She almost smiled at her friend's behavior.
"Penn—what on earth is the matter with you? Is there something you're not telling me?"
"He wants to talk in person." Penny looked close to cringing. "About his terms." Sera did smile then. The man had terms? "His terms for what?"
"For hiring you," Penny admitted with an almost too reluctant smile herself. "Or us, rather. He's willing to pay close to an obscene amount of money for the services of the gallery that's looking for the very same thing he is—the original painting of our girl."
"Did you explain why we're looking for the painting?"
"Yes, of course I did. I told him we had interest in acquiring Holocaust era art for the gallery, but I had to soften it a little. After all, something to the tune of 'She's been dreaming of finding this painting since she was a girl' didn't seem appropriate to confess to a complete stranger we might have to negotiate with. I mean, if he has a copy of the painting, then he may be our ticket to finding the original. I told him the truth." Penny pulled a paper free from the clipboard and handed it to her. "Enough of it, anyway, to get you an invitation and a plane ticket to the West Coast. Your flight leaves tomorrow—on his dime."
Hesitating, Sera toyed with the idea that the man could have his own agenda.
"Okay. We both know why I'm looking for the painting. But why does this William Hanover want it? Did he say?"
Penny shook her head. "I guess that's what this ticket will help us find out."
Sera reached for the ticket with trembling fingertips.
It'd been two years since her world had fallen apart, since she'd thrown herself into work and once again found herself consumed by the intrigue of the painting's mystery. She may have first learned of the painting as a girl, but her real dedication to unraveling its mystery hadn't come until she had nothing left. If finding the last piece of the puzzle meant that Sera had to work with this William Hanover, then she was game.
Thank You, Lord. The unspoken prayer somehow made her heart feel light. We're this close to finding her.
"Penny." Sera smiled. "We're finally bringing her home."CHAPTER 2
December 3, 1942 Vienna, Austria
She is in shock."
The doctor had poked his head out into the cold, looked up and down the deserted city street, then tugged her into the house. Adele heard the sound of bolts locking as he secured the door behind them. He led her into the front parlor where a faded brocade sofa sat against the back wall across from two plum-colored armchairs with sagging cushions, polished wood arms, and clawed feet. A fire crackled on the hearth.
"Here, bring her over to the fire."
He spoke to someone—she didn't know who. All she knew was that she was safe for the time being. No one had followed her. She'd looked behind her every few steps and, as a precaution, had doubled back in the shadows of several snow-covered streets before she came to the doctor's front stoop.
"What is wrong with her?" A woman's voice cracked. Adele couldn't blame her for the fear. She was scared too. Everyone in Vienna was scared. "Look at how she's shaking."
Adele's hands indeed shook.
The trembling ran from her fingertips to the crook of her elbows like she was being jolted with shots ofelectricity. Whether it was from the cold or astonishment at the events just witnessed, she couldn't know. Adele had never been in shock before. She'd never seen anyone killed. Not until tonight.
"It hurts," she managed to whisper, for she felt pain. It had been numbed, but now that she was safe, her senses had returned. An almost unbearable stinging now burned like fireplace embers had been laced beneath her skin.
"Yes, I know."
"I'm sorry, Doctor. I had nowhere else to go." He had to know something terrible had happened or she wouldn't have been pounding her bloody fist upon his door in the dead of night. Doctors were awakened at all hours, she knew. But it wasn't likely he'd been awakened like this before.
"Hush. Sit here, child," he said, and pulled a chair nearer to the fire. "You'll be warmed by the hearth."
The doctor settled her into the chair and went about issuing orders to two women who moved to stand behind him, flanking his shoulders. Adele could just make them out in the dim light of the front room; a young woman of maybe fifteen and an older woman with a severe scowl and layers of wrinkles marking her brow.
"Pull the drapes closed tight. And get her a glass of wine, please," he continued, his deep voice floating out from beneath a weighted gray mustache. "Then bring a basin of hot water, bandages, and some blankets. We must warm her up."
"But the wine is nearly gone," the young woman whispered.
"Then we should have enough for one lady who has need of it."
Adele listened to them whispering back and forth. Wine was hard to come by. They'd have been cautioned to use it most sparingly. Who knew if the war would ever end and supplies would be available again?
"I can think of no greater reason to use it up. It is for Miss Adele," he offered. "Please, Daughter, do go and get it."
The man patted her cheek and turned his attention back to the older woman who had taken to pacing about the room. She wrung her hands as she marched back and forth. She glanced over at Adele from time to time, shaking her head and muttering under her breath. She finally stopped to peek out the heavy woolen drapes, examining the darkness of the street.
"Dieter, what has happened to her?" The older woman approached and whispered low, her thick Austrian accent pronounced even though the words were hushed.
"I do not know. You heard the knock upon the door same as I did. When I opened it, I found Miss Adele shivering on our front stoop."
"Was she alone?"
He didn't answer. Instead, he gave Adele a respectful smile before turning back to the fidgeting woman. He whispered several indiscriminate words while the woman continued eyeing her.
Adele had met her before. She was the doctor's wife. Ava was her name, and though it had been several years since they'd crossed paths, her expression had not changed. The circles painted beneath her eyes matched the graying color of the hair tucked up in her faded paisley kerchief. She looked unkempt and severe, like everyone in Vienna, for years of war had taken their toll on those left in the city. But it was her haughty disapproval that Adele remembered most. Those pinched lips and that cemented scowl were as uninviting back then as they were now.
"You know who she is." She spat out the words like an accusation. "All of Vienna knows the orchestra's sweetheart. How can you think to hide her here? She will be spotted on sight. They will question why a woman such as she would be taken into our home in the state that she is."
He shook his head.
He cut into his wife's pleas with a hushed but firm reprimand.
"I cannot turn her out! This is Miss Adele. I would not send a stranger from this house, let alone the daughter of Fredrich Von Bron himself. I owe my life to the man. Have you forgotten that? He saved me in the Great War. This is his daughter and that makes her as good as family. If she needs our help, then she shall receive it without question."
"But they will come and take us away too. Your own daughter could face deportation! Do you not understand what this could mean?" The woman twisted her hands in knots as her gaze darted from her husband's face over to Adele. "She must go. Give her wine and bread and then send her away."
"No one will be deported. Go now. Please do as I've said." Dieter returned his attention to Adele's hands. The woman's heavy steps pounded the hardwood floor as she walked away.
"Adele. You are hurt." He swept a wooden stool up under him and began picking at her wool coat and woven scarf as both garments dripped stray drops of blood upon the floor. "Let us get this coat off so that I may have a look, hmm?"
Ava came back and laid a stack of bandages nearby. She didn't leave—the woman lurked back in the shadows, staying put like a ghost haunting the doorway.
"Good," he said, smiling and nodding when the coat was discarded. "Your sweater—arms and torso—there is no blood." His hands squeezed up and down her arms. "No broken bones. You're not injured anywhere else. This is good."
"My hands." Adele could say nothing else. She held out her hands to show him the cuts that continued bleeding red droplets over the light camel dress she wore.
"Yes, yes. I can see that must hurt a great deal," Dieter replied, and cradled her hands in his to dab at the wounds. "Let's see to that right now."
"The wine, Father." His daughter tapped his shoulder, then handed over a chipped tumbler that was not quite half full. She set a black medical bag at his feet.
"Here, drink." Dieter brought the glass up to Adele's lips, but she couldn't force herself to drink. It was the last thing she wanted to do. Anything she swallowed would come right back up again.
"I cannot." Adele pushed the glass away. "Please."
Dieter glanced over his shoulder as his daughter retreated to the doorway with her mother. The two looked on like nervous vultures.
Excerpted from The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron. Copyright © 2014 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. Can I just say WOW? This book turned out to be infinitely more than I expected it to be. Kristy Cambron has emerged into the scene with a masterful work of art that will pull the reader into the worlds of Adele and Sera. This is one of those books that hooks you, and it keeps you there even after you turn the last page. Cambron gracefully alternated the reader between two worlds: present day and the dark days of the Holocaust. She incorporates the facets of art in both forms of music and paintings. In addition, the author is not she to show us a glimpse of the monstrosities of the Holocaust and the affects of it. Although I have not experienced anything remotely close to what the characters did, I still felt connected to the story as though I was living and experiencing everything vicariously through them. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a historical thriller that will engross you in its every corner and leave a lasting impression on your soul. This will definitely be added to my personal collection.
I finished this book a few hours ago, but find myself still thinking of Adele's story. This is easily one of the best books I have read in the past year! Can't wait for Kristy Cambron's next release.
Have you ever read a book because it had such rave reviews, but found yourself disappointed and wonder why everyone loved it so much? Let me tell you, there is a reason why The Butterfly and the Violin has high ratings. It is well deserved. I highly recommend it. I am definitely not disappointed and can't wait to read more by Kristy Cambron. Great book! 5 plus stars.
The plot of the story captured me but about partway through it became very God orientated. I felt like the proselytizing began to overshadow the actual story. It began to feel like a bait and switch and I found it annoying that the plot was getting sacrificed.
“I have to do this. Don’t you understand? My life has to matter for something bigger than myself.”**p233 Sera is an art gallery owner in Manhattan obessed with a painting...actually haunted by a painting she saw as a child of a Holocaust victim. She has spent a part of her life searching for this painting Adele, a violin prodigy and a guest musician with the Vienna Philharmonic during the rise of the Nazis is herself the daughter of a Nazi General. Due to her choices she ends up in one of the Holocaust camps. Her choices, her faith, are examples that challenged the powerful. What she saw and experienced challenged her own self and within that reborn self came the courage to fight that power. I have to say, I have had this book for a while in my TBRs. I was certain it couldn't live up to its praise online and on FB. I am here to tell you it exceeded them. Christian beliefs also frightened the Nazis as seen in the records and historical reports of prisoners who were Roma or Christian, rich or poor. People who were different simply scare the status quo, and in order to continue their power, those in power killed the opposition until they themselves aren't able to defend their way of life. And, having stood in a camp barracks at Sachsenhausen, one of the last camps shut down, in the early 90s, I can understand how demoralizing the survivors still feel. This book has a Christian focus, but doesn't shove it in your face. Faith is an active action, these characters "walk their talk" after struggling with how it could have happened in the first place. This is Cambron's first book.She challenges us not to forget in her final paragraph: "As a student, I was captured by the innate need of humans to create. As a young Christian, I was inexplicably moved by the glimpses of light in the darkness. Even in the most evil of circumstances, the art of human expression was so powerful that it couldn’t be overshadowed, not even by death. In The Butterfly and the Violin, I did my best to explore this theme. It’s about worship through God’s creation— our lives. I am thankful to each of you for reading this book. It is in the generations following ours that the stories of the lost must be kept alive. And it is in the legacy we each leave behind that the love of Jesus Christ will continue to blossom in a fallen world." p333
For the third or fourth time over the past weeks, I found myself turning to a read relating to WWII. I’m not sure what has compelled me to turn to taking another look at an era I studied fairly intensely years ago. Perhaps news stories of leaders gassing their own people, of nuclear proliferation moving forward, or of beheadings, have moved me. I can’t say for sure. But I can say that this story, The Butterfly and the Violin, by Kristy Cambron, was both dark—and charming, as Cambron has offered up two stories in one. Sera James is an art dealer. Left at the altar by a former fiancé, she focuses her efforts on finding the original of a painting she saw once as a child. The painting is of a woman in a concentration camp during WWII. Head shaven, arm tattooed, she is playing the violin. Sera follows her lead to California, where she meets William Hanover, the man responsible for his family’s business. The Hanover’s own a copy of the painting Sera is searching to find. The two set out to find the original. Along the way, they connect. But, can they trust one another? The second story is of Adele, the “sweetheart” of the Vienna orchestra, a well-known soloist, and the subject of the paining Sera and William seek to find. Together with Vladimir, the man Adele has come to love, Adele seeks to find a place of safety for a Jewish family left hiding in Vienna. When their plans go awry, Adele’s own parents (her mother deeply shallow and her father, a military officer) deliver her up to the authorities. She is to be assigned to a “labor detail” for her “re-education.” She lands in a concentration camp, where an orchestra is formed to play for those who arrive as they march their way toward death. The Butterfly and the Violin tells a story of struggle and perseverance, of death and destitution, and of faith. With strong Chrisitian themes, Cambron has delivered a memorable glimpse into the world of the concentration camps, of those who died there, and of those who lived to tell their stories. Meanwhile, she offers readers a story of courage, healing and hope. Also posted on GoodReads, Booklikes and Amazon, added on Facebook, and tweeted.
This was so nicely done. I enjoyed the weaving between the past and present and how well it was tied together at the end.
The German concentration camps sent millions to their deaths. For those who weren't killed immediately upon arrival, each day at the camp destroyed a little more of their souls. The Butterfly and the Violin tells a powerful story of how music and art kept a few of those souls strong despite the horror around them. For Adelle, a young Christian Austrian the war brought prestige to her father who embraced the Nazi world. But his daughter, a talented violinist, nicknamed the Butterfly by another in the Austrian Orchestra, sees that world for what it is and she sacrifices everything to help a Jewish friend. Found out, Adelle is abandoned by her parents to a sentence of "re-education," in reality a trip to Auschwitz. There she is set aside with other women prisoners who know music to form an orchestra. While the Nazis want the music to entertain themselves and to calm the lines moving to the gas chambers, If they refuse to cooperate, they will most certainly die themselves, but each woman struggles with their decisions to comply to the Nazi orders. With help from others, Adelle sees that the violin music she plays is not done to please the Nazis, but is her way to search for God amid what appears to be the devil's playground. The Butterfly and the Violin is skillfully told with a modern day search for information about a missing painting of a young violinist alternating with snippets of Adelle's story. Both story lines will keep readers fascinated as each new page mixes beauty, pain, and acknowledgment that God can be found anywhere. I received an ecopy of this title from NetGalley for my honest review.
I could not put this book down -it hooked me from the beginning and has stayed with me for months since I first read it!!! A truly beautiful, touching story!! The author has a fantastic way with words and how she strings it all together as if while you are reading a movie is playing in your head!! Must read!
Well written novel about the Holocaust that is accurate and well researched and from a new perspective as it is written about wonderful Christian people who risked their lives at a time when it was sure to cost them dearly! She captured much of the emotions that are difficult to translate in words and offered the philosophy of Frankl that suggests that the survivors did so because they either found meaning in life (which was impossible in the camps) or they found a reason to live. I know this to be true as the daughter of survivors. Many often lived because they did so to keep another dear one alive. I recommend the book.
Good story and plot. But it was confusing to read. Author's style had me constantly flipping back to figure out who was speaking. Often this was not clear and stopped the flow of the narrative.
Wow, what an amazing book. This story is so beautifully woven, it’s seamless. Two stories woven into one outstanding book. First we have Sera’s story that is taking place now. I love how Kristy feeds you just enough of her back story to keep you interested. Just was I was thinking, I don’t know much about Sera’s history or her wounds Kristy gave it to me…perfect. I loved the romance between Sera and William, I could feel the tension and the passion that would build between them. Adele’s story is heartbreaking. She is caught in WWII, trying to save Jews. I don’t want to give too much of the story away but Kristy paints this aching picture of what is happening in Adele’s life, I could feel it and see it. Lost love, hopelessness, it’s all there. The book bounces back and forth between the two stories. At one point, pretty early on Sera reveals something about Adele but I kept having hope that maybe it wasn’t true and I couldn’t wait to see how Kristy worked that out in the story. If you enjoy WWII stories this is a must read. I can’t wait to read more from this author :) A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.
My review from inkwellreviews.com (Christian book review site) They say to never judge a book by its cover but that is exactly what I did. This cover totally suckered me into buying this book. And you know what? I am not disappointed at all. This is a different kind of book. There are two storylines going on at the same time. One in set in the present day and the other is in 1942, right when World War Two is going on. A certain paining connects these two story’s together. I was really impressed with how well Kristy Cambron accomplished the task of putting two stories in one book. I thought the stories would feel rush or the characters not developed enough, but I was wrong. She did an excellent job. Honestly, at the moment I don’t have anything bad to say about this book. Although I feel like I do need to say this; if you are looking for a feel good book that will make you smile and laugh through the whole book, then this book isn’t for you. I almost cried in this book and I never cry while reading something! It is about the holocaust, so it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows if you know what I mean. I love this book though. It is such a powerful and beautiful story. I would defiantly recommend this book.
Recommended for the Auschwitz storyline - gritty, but not graphic -- similar to "Playing For Time" V.Redgrave movie. Present-time storyline a bit contrived.
I could not put this book down. I so loved the incorporation of God in this story. I initially picked this book up for the topic cover the German war and was refreshed when the characters relied on their faith to help through their difficult times and gave praise to God on a daily basis. I look forward to reading more books from this author.
This one definitely one of my favorite books! So inspiring. A must-read.
I have read many historical books about WWII and found this is one of the best! I couldn't put it down.
The novel is a "must read" for those interested in history. Wonderfully written with the tragedy of war, the will to survive, to live the prospect of a dream and to keep the love of God tucked safely within the heart. You will be glad you read this book. Its message will stay with you, no doubt.
It is a wonderful story set during WWII and the present. I would read more books by this author.
How do you write a review when a novel renders you speechless? This incredibly well written story has been on my mind almost constantly since I started reading it. There are not many books that I could say that about, and I read a LOT. To find out that this is the authors debut is mind blowing. Cambron has amazing talent that shows in the way she grabs your attention and pulls you deep into the storyline. I anxiously look forward to seeing what Kristy Cambron pens next.
Absolutely stunning, beautifully written story! It will transport you and not let you go even after the last page. Best book I've read in a long time. Highly recommend! 5+++ stars!!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron, © 2014 A Hidden Masterpiece series, Book #1 Can you imagine the birds not singing, nor trees to harbor them in against danger or shade from the burning down strokes of the brilliant sun? Auschwitz II - Birkenau. What about shoes that fit your feet, or a dress that isn't soiled from days of wear and tarnish of a soul? Nothing to brighten ~ but wait... there is music. Sadly, the arrival of the train and the music do not accompany gladness and joy. Heralded as a welcome, it is not for wellness. Families are separated in lines going in different directions, to different outcomes. Some to work, some to peril. Kristy Cambron has written a strong story. Divided between present day Manhattan with an art dealer, Sera James, seeking the painting she remembers seeing as a child on a trip with her Father ~ and the horrors of the Holocaust told in the story of the woman in the painting. You are down every street with Adele Von Bron and Vladimir Nicolai, hoping they will see each other again. The shattering of glass as the hidden Jews are shot and killed before her eyes as Adele runs and falls amid the ruins, piercing her hand that is to hold her violin for the Third Reich concert the next night, December 5, 1942. The telling is so vivid you want to stay and discover what happened but yet go back as the search continues for the painting and the owner of it. A story of hope within the destruction as Corrie ten Boom in previous writings. Would you hear birdsong and the semblance of a life beyond the barriers of death? It is there on the wall in a hidden hovel. Artistic expression of life within. For a soul set truly free cannot be held captive. Man's inhumanity to man through generations told in an honest portrayal of lives so real I looked for their names in history accounts, Adele's portrait so vividly described you are sure you will recognize it, and seeking the prisoner camp art of the Holocaust. Their story affected Sera's outlook to opening up her heart to love even after dismal aftermath's in her own life. Courage. Fortitude. Living. What especially touched me and summed it all up was ~*~ "We think we know what we want, don't we? We always believe we know better than God. We have our entire journey plotted out. We may have even packed our bags and purchased a ticket, but God always has His own plans. And His plans are infinite in wisdom." ––The Butterfly and the Violin, 308-09 Absolutely a hidden masterpiece novel. ***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the book blog tour for Kristy Cambron's debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, published by Thomas Nelson. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
A Hidden Masterpiece Novel A Manhattan art dealer Sera James is determined to find a masterpiece portrait of a mysterious young woman. Sera first set eyes on this portrait when she was a young girl. When information of another person searching for the portrait surfaces she is intrigued by his interest to hire her to help find the masterpiece. William Hanover has information about the young woman in the portrait that is vital in revealing the identity of the mysterious young woman. As they search further they find the young woman was an Austrian Violinist, Adele Von Bron. Adele was convicted of helping Jews escape from Vienna and was imprisoned in the camp Auschwitz. Lives were touched by the life and choices of this young woman through her love, faith and hope. I was not aware there were people other than the Jewish imprisoned in the camps. I am embarrassed that I did not know this. The story was amazing and terrifying. I read The Diary of Anne Frank and The Hiding Place. They had a real impact on me. Now here is another that has touched my heart. It was heartbreaking to read about Adele being shunned by her parents. We wonder what is our purpose and why. God has a purpose for our life and it is not for us to understand but to trust in Him. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Thomas Nelson for an honest review.
When I first read this book (I’ve read it twice) I wasn’t sure what to expect, but within moments I was captured by the author’s delightful voice and enthralled by the world she created for us. Kristy has done something so unique with this book, she managed to write a historical romance and a contemporary love story combined in one book. I adore the way in which she combines the two lives of Sera and Adele, telling their stories (both in first person) and drawing the reader into both worlds in such a way that leaves us dreading the end of the chapter, because we know we will be forced into the next part of the book. I’m honestly not sure who I loved more Sera or Adele. Both women showed incredible strength, loyalty, and genuine emotion. As much as I enjoy a good love story, this book goes much deeper than two people meeting and falling in love. This is the story of a very dark period in our world history. Reading about Auschwitz in such detail gave imagery that will long be remembered. The pain and suffering endured was tragic. I loved this book, because it leaves you wanting more. You want to believe in the happy ever after for everyone. Kristy doesn’t disappoint!
Sera, owner of an art gallery, is haunted by a painting she saw once as a young girl. She has now found a copy of that original painting. Although disappointed that this is only a copy she is intrigued to find out the history of the young woman in the painting. With her shaved head, and tattooed numbers on her arm, the sad young woman held a violin. Sera works with the owner of the copy to find out the history of the woman in the painting. The history they discover is horrific and absolutely haunting. Beautifully written, an emotional tear-jerker – this is definitely one to read – and re-read I received a free copy in return for an honest review