I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.The Butterfly and the Violin is written by Kristy Cambron. The book is written from two time point of views - present day and 1942.
About the book:
A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz---and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
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, 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: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.
About the author: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.
This was a really good summer read. I was a little nervous about it being too sad with some of the setting being in the concentration camps. It was sad - incredibly so- but Cambron writes a very readable account of the sadness. I did shed tears but it didn't leave me weeping like I thought might happen. This was surprising to me because this subject is rather dear to my heart. We found out a couple of years ago that my paternal grandmother was actually Jewish and from Austria. If she hadn't been in America by the 40's she very well could have been involved. I'm sure some of our relatives are but she passed before I was born so there is no way of asking her. She kept that part of her life very secret from what my relatives have shared with me.
The book has a nice twist with the modern characters trying to track down what happened in the past. That mystery helps the story flow nicely. I feel like the past story of Adele was given a bigger spotlight and a better storyline. The modern day Sera's story wasn't as detailed. I could have read more about her life and her thoughts.
This book really had a nice mix of mystery, romance, and drama. There was a nice mix of faith thrown in. Overall I really enjoyed it because I had to know what happened to Adele just as much as Sera did!