Throwback Thursday — The Butterfly And The Violin by Kristy Cambron

19 Apr

Today I am making my way to Europe! I am so excited! I will be in Krakow come Sunday and will be visiting Auschwitz while there. I imagine it will be an overwhelming experience for me. In honor of my trip, today’s featured book is The Butterfly And The Violin, Kristy Cambron’s beautiful debut novel. If you haven’t read it yet, you really must!

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.

My Impressions:

Sometimes the books that make the biggest impression on me are the ones I have the hardest time reviewing. They blow me away, and I just can’t find the words to express myself. Bear with me as I try to explain why The Butterfly And The Violin, Kristy Cambron’s debut novel, is a MUST READ! This beautifully written novel grabbed my heart at the start and still has not let go even after the cover has been closed.

There are two stories in The Butterfly And The Violin. Sera James is an art gallery owner searching for a painting that she glimpsed for just moments as a child. It made such an impression, that years later she is obsessed in finding it again. Adele Von Bron, the subject of the painting, was a young, talented violinist in Vienna at the start of WWII. It is Adele’s story that Sera and the reader are really searching for. Filled with unforgettable characters, moving images, and faith challenging moments, The Butterfly And The Violin is more than a romance or an historical novel. If you like those two genres, you will like this book, but its story of survival and hope in the midst of the darkest darkness is why you really need to read it.

Cambron uses a unique structure for telling the women’s tales. Sera’s story is told in chronological order. Although important to the progression of the novel, it almost provides a respite from the wrenching images and emotions that make up Adele’s story. Adele’s story does not follow a strict chronological order, but it really works in depicting the motivations of the characters and the time in which they lived. Much of Adele’s story takes place in Birkenau, part of the infamous Aushwitz concentration camp. Cambron manages to capture the beauty of that experience that most would overlook. One quote sums up Adele’s feelings of her time there — “The God-worship of every life — this was the art of Auschitz”. The treatment of the prisoners by the Nazi regime is horrifying and almost unbelievable, even though very, very real. And while the book cannot be described as a quick read, I just could not put it down.

And there you have it — my poor attempt to tell you why you really need to read The Butterfly And The Violin. Gripping, emotionally wrenching, and challenging, Cambron has written a masterpiece.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for book clubs.

Audience: adults

(Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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.

4 Responses to “Throwback Thursday — The Butterfly And The Violin by Kristy Cambron”

  1. bellesmoma16 April 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    I loved that books SO much. Both books in the series are quite amazing!

    • rbclibrary April 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

      They are!

  2. Barbara H. April 19, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    I loved that book, too! So good. I hope everything on your trip goes well. I am sure it will be a meaningful time.

    • rbclibrary April 28, 2018 at 5:17 am #

      We had the best time! Auschwitz/Birkenau was sobering/overwhelming, but I am very glad we visited. Now when a book is set in a concentration camp I have the visuals to go with it. And I cannot recommend Poland enough as a wonderful travel destination. The people are very friendly and the prices could not be beat. The weather was fantastic, but I do hear the mid to high 70s and sunshine we experienced are not the norm for April. 😉

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