Has a book ever swept you down a river of emotion and elegance? Was there beautiful despair tossed in?
The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron not only took me down that river but sent me into an ocean of awe. The poignancy of the tale captured my interest from the first chapter and built layer upon layer of various emotions until I couldn't help but weep as I read.
This may be Kristy's debut novel, but she certainly has arrived on the book scene with gusto. I know authors often say they never "arrive," but sometimes a reader knows when an author brings a unique voice and important stories to the table. And the best part for readers, in my opinion, is that Kristy's stories teach invaluable lessons in an entertaining yet very organic way.
In the extraordinary book The Butterfly and the Violin, Sera James searches for the Holocaust painting that piqued her interest -- and captured her heart -- at the tender age of eight. Tracking down the piece of art and its secrets proves more difficult than simply calling the contacts she's made since opening her art gallery. Once she finds a sliver of a lead, Sera's real journey begins. But will she discover a victorious end to her pursuit or the birth of an entirely different dream?
The Holocaust at Auschwitz is predominantly featured in this book and may be difficult to read for some people. I recommend you pre-read this one before sharing it with your children (including teenagers).
That being said, this story is so powerful and beautiful. Honestly, words can't do it justice. It really brought history alive to me in a way that had me feeling the dirt between my toes, the filth on my skin, and hearing Adele's music as if she were playing a solo right in my living room. I greatly appreciate the attention to detail, intricate application of research, and raw passion Kristy Cambron put into the writing of Butterfly. The story reminded me of The Diary of Anne Frank and Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place. I hope you will enjoy The Butterfly and the Violin, a real masterpiece in our generation.
I absolutely loved The Butterfly and the Violin! It captivated me from the very first page and I was unable to put it down until the last page had been turned. Kristy Cambron has woven two beautiful stories, one present day and one historical, together to create a literary masterpiece.
Beautifully written with excellent characterization and vivid, historical details, The Butterfly and the Violin is a poignant story that stirred my emotions. Its characters and spiritual messages won't soon be forgotten! I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction, especially World War II era fiction!
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.
A moving story of the Holocaust, told in a fresh style
November 3, 2014
An Old Fashioned Girl
Sera James, a Manhattan art dealer, has been haunted for years by the piercing eyes of a holocaust victim's portrait. Her search for the painting of Adele Von Bron leads her to William Hanover, a wealthy Californian who is also searching for the elusive painting. By working together, they are able to piece together more of the story of this aristocratic violinist who was sentenced to Auschwitz for aiding Jews. But will they find the original portrait? And will Sera find the healing she is seeking?
Unlike most novels that are either contemporary or historical, this one juxtaposes the two: Sera's modern search for the mysterious painting, and the story behind the the painting - the story of Adele. The author does a good job balancing the two stories; Adele's story is the stronger focus, being so tied-in with Sera's, but I did not feel that Sera's story was neglected. Both Sera and Adele are developed well; though two completely different women, there are aspects of both to which one can relate.
One thing I love about historical novels is that so often the author writes about a fascinating bit of history we never learned about in school; in this case, it is the music and art of Auschwitz-Birkenau. There were actually orchestras comprised of prisoners at the death camps; the Nazis respected music, so those who had talent formed the orchestras that played music as the workers left and returned each day. Though the task could not have been pleasant, it kept many of them alive. Apparently, after the death camp was liberated, stashes of art were found throughout the camp - from poetry scrawled on walls to delicate watercolor paintings. In a place so full of death and darkness, where anything but the clothes on their back had to have been smuggled in or stolen, people still managed to create beautiful works of art.
I appreciated that Adele is not just living for the chance to see Vladimir (her love) again. While that love is important, it is more important that she love and live for her fellow musicians, her sisters in the holocaust. There is no way to know if Vladimir is even alive, whereas these women are her daily life, her family - even though most are Jews and she the daughter of the Austrian aristocracy. They are bound by their friendship amidst such unspeakable atrocities. It is right that her focus be on them rather than a long-lost romance.
I got a little little confused in the complexity of the legal dealings in the modern storyline and had to reread to clarify it, but otherwise it was an excellent novel. A moving story in both timelines, The Butterfly and the Violin offers a fresh look at the holocaust in a fresh style. I highly recommend it!