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By 1943, Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost everything, including her career as a concert violinist and almost her entire family. The only person she has left is her beloved grandmother, and she's determined to keep her safe. But protecting her grandmother won't be easy - not with a Nazi officer housed below them.
Anna must keep a low profile. There's one thing she refuses to give up, though. Despite instruments being declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to practice her violin. She has to believe that the war will end someday and her career will be waiting. Fortunately for Anna, the officer, Horst Engel, enjoys her soothing music. It distracts him from his dissatisfaction with Nazi ideology and reminds him that beauty still exists in an increasingly ugly world.
When his neighbors face deportation, Horst is moved to risk everything to hide them. Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals to her might break her trust and stop the music forever.
Number of Pages: 300
Vendor: Gilead Publishing
Publication Date: 2018
|Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Music of Hope
Anna has one chance for survivaland it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.
Its 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and shell do anything to keep her safea job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.
Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.
Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.
Liz Tolsmas specialty is historical fictionfrom WWII to prairie romance. Her debut novel was a finalist for the 2014 Selah and Carol Award. She prides herself in excellent storytelling, presenting accurate historical details, and creating persevering characters.
Liz is also a popular speaker on topics such as writing, marriage, living with courage, and adoption. She and her husband have adopted all their children internationally. Liz resides in semi-rural Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters; her son currently serves as a U.S. Marine. Liz is a breast cancer survivor and lives her life to the fullest. In her free time, she enjoys reading, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family.
Visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at www.liztolsma.com.
Becky4 Stars Out Of 5A story that will grip the heartFebruary 5, 2018BeckyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Melody of the Soul is the first book that Ive read from Liz Tolsma and it most certainly wont be my last. I originally picked up a copy because of the cover and I was fascinated to learn more about the citizens of Prague during World War II. This is an inspirational story that will tug at the heartstrings long after finishing the book. I think it hit home even more because the main characters were based on real people. Im a Christian, but like Anna, I have Jewish heritage. Many of my relatives were victims of the Holocaust so I love reading stories like these because I feel like I can understand my familys history.
World War II was an uncertain and terrible time for many. While there some violence and horrible scenes can be found in the book, the author does so in a way that isnt graphic or depressing to the reader. This is a story of hope.
Another thing that fascinated me about this story is that one of our main characters is a Nazi. It is so easy to hate them, but Horst stands out from the rest. He doesnt want to be like them. Instead, he wants to do whats right and hides and protects Jewish victims.
The author also has a sound theology that can be seen throughout the novel. None of this preachy, but flows perfectly with the book. One of the spiritual themes that I loved that the book contained was about our need for God and salvation. The author gives a clear Gospel message in a way that really stays with you. If you were to die today, do you know where youll be going?
Another theme that played a huge part in the book and that challenged me was about being willing to sacrifice your life to save another. As much as I would say that I would do everything I could to protect Jews in that day, its a tough call when youre faced with the reality. Its easier said than done. That itself is a powerful impact, especially this quote.
Yes, I long for her. Ache without her. Im worried to death about her. What they might do to my beautiful love. If I could take her place, I would.
Anna and Horst nodded. Babika sipped her tea and cleared her throat. Thats what she did for us. Took our place. Just what Jesus did for us.
Another theme is about trusting God in our difficult circumstances, especially with an unseen future. While we may not at war and trying to protect our lives, I can totally relate to the characters when it comes to trusting God as a believer. It isnt always the easiest, but its the best way.
Overall, this is a powerful story that will stick with you long after the story is over. This is the first book in her new series and I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us next.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
eLyndaAge: 35-44Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A Difficult but Worthwhile Read!February 2, 2018eLyndaAge: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I enjoy WWII fiction, so when the opportunity arose to read Tolsma's newest release, I was thrilled. This particular book takes place in Prague; I cannot remember personally reading a novel set here before. The descriptions of the location, the hardships endured, and the glimpses of the resistance movement all gave a bit more depth to my understanding of the war. And the characters helped me examine my own faith, my fears, and the how and why of how I treat others.
Tension is exceptionally high throughout this novel, with little relief to be found. The life and death nature of each situation, the unthinkable danger involved in simply walking down the street, is felt with each turn of the page. That intensifies the emotions, ratcheting up the fear and the dread.
I appreciate the realistic treatment of faith in the story: Anna is a believer, but she struggles to understand where God is in the horror around her. Her grandmother's faith is rock-solid, the kind of faith I want to have, but I find it difficult to never doubt, too. I could definitely better relate to Anna, to wanting to draw closer to God but fearing the circumstances around me at the same time.
Despite the historical setting, this is a timely book. It speaks to judging others based on appearance or heritage, but not just of those being persecuted. Anna has to confront her own prejudices over the course of the novel, too, to come to grips with doing the same thing that is being done to her: passing judgment based on the blood flowing through the other's veins.
Liz Tolsma's writing packs a punch--the kind that leaves you changed after reading it. So while this book is a difficult story to process, it is absolutely worth the angst and horror it leads you through to read it. I highly recommend it for adults and the most mature of teens with an interest in WWII and Czech history, but any reader will likely walk away with a more profound understanding of human depravity, and also of our capacity to resist and overcome, to even love, with God's help.
Thank you to the author and publisher for this complimentary review copy. I was under no obligation to post a positive review and the opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
Stacey5 Stars Out Of 5An Engaging, Enchanting ReadJanuary 31, 2018StaceyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5First, I would like to extend a heartfelt Thank you to Liz Tolsma and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Melody of the Soul" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma is a gripping story about a period of history we cannot forget. Deportation to a concentration camp separates Anna and her Grandmother from her parents and siblings. Spared by a friend of her brother who didnt think their Grandmother would survive the camp, Anna cares for her and continues to play her violin even though musical instruments are banned by the Nazis. But the love of music is what draws these people from different world together. And just like many of the Jews didnt recognize their Messiah, Anna learns that salvation comes from an unconventional place.
This beautiful story is so engaging for many reasons. First, God plays a major part. The characters frequently refer to the Lord and Gods plan and Gods blessings. It is especially encouraging in troubling circumstances. Second, the family relationships and the development of the relationship between Anna and Horst are sweet and multi-faceted. It wouldnt surprise me if these characters stepped off the page into my living room. Third, this time in history is especially tender for me. I find it difficult to believe that there are people alive today who deny the existence of the holocaust, but Ive met some. Ive also met people with numbers tattooed on their arms and believe their stories must be told.
Booklover105 Stars Out Of 5Really enjoyed this new seriesJanuary 30, 2018Booklover10Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Liz Tolsma is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. I have read several of her books and I can still recall the stories of each book. I was really excited to see that she had a new one published!
The Melody of the Soul was hard to read in some places, like every book about WWII and the Holocaust is hard to stomach. She only ever went into as much detail to help the reader know what happened, but Im so thankful that she left out some information. It would have been so hard to read that, considering how much I grew to love some of the characters.
Anna and Horst Engal are two very different people. One is a Jew and the other is a German Nazi. I teared up when Horst Engal moved into his flat. It was such a sad scene, but I did love that his heart was revealed through that moment. It was even more interesting to read in the Notes part of the book that revealed who she used as inspiration for him. How comforting to know there were people like him during that awful time.
Anna loves music. Music is her lifelike blood running through her veins. She and her brother would be accomplished musicians if it werent for the Germans uprooting their life. To top it off, they placed a ban on no music. In defiance, and also partly because it was so much a part of her, she plays her violin because she knows no other thing to turn to in these dark times. She has only her grandmother left, but she knows her time will come when she will be transported to the camps. When that moment does come, she is shocked to learn who wants to hide them.
There is a lot of action in this book, but so many truths. Its eye-opening to see the love that Patrice had for her friends. Her life was nothing like she expected, but she lived it for the glory of God and to save others. Her sacrificial life was amazing. The inspiration behind her character is in the notes, too, so be sure to read about it!
The Melody of the Soul is the first book in her new series, The Music of Hope. Im already anxiously waiting for Book 2 to be published!
I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Touches Your SoulJanuary 30, 2018LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is one of those rare books that doesnt just entertain but stirs your heart and soul. An amazing, beautiful, breathtaking, gut wrenching read that brings to life the holocaust and gives names and faces to these troubled times. The characters will stick with you for a long time, and you will pray this atrocity never happens again. I loved how Anna finds her voice through her music and how her and Horst grow in their faith and learn how to trust Him completely. I cant imagine the research that went into this piece of art. It is well written and you will not want to put it down. Have the tissues handy and be prepared to hear the music after you stop turning the pages. Wish I could give it ten stars.
I received a complimentary copy from the author. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.