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 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.
Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with history since hearing her grandfather’s stories of his experiences as a B-17 co-pilot in WWII.She holds an Art History degree from Indiana University and has 15 years industry experience as a corporate learning facilitator and communications consultant. Kristy writes vintage-inspired, historical Christian fiction titles. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin
(Hidden Masterpiece #1) is a nominee for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Inspirational Novel of 2014. A SPARROW IN TEREZIN (Hidden Masterpiece #2) will release from Thomas Nelson in April, 2015.
She makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.
Simply stunning. Even the title is a masterpiece all its own. Kristy Cambron writes like a pro. She’s an author who truly knows the craft. The Butterfly and the Violin reads like the work of an author who’s been at this thing for years. And it’s a debut! I was blown away. Why? Because I don’t generally venture in to the historical fiction genre. The writing has to really grab me in order to get me to sit through a historical, and Kristy Cambron’s beautiful writing does just that. I’ll admit that I’m a skimmer. I tend to skip over long, drawn-out descriptions so I can get to the meat (action and dialogue) in a story. But with The Butterfly and the Violin I wanted to soak in every word. I literally couldn’t tear my eyes away. Not only are the descriptions too gorgeous to skim past, but Kristy Cambron approaches the delicate subject of the Holocaust with so much grace–like a painter choosing each stroke before she makes it. Tough subjects such as this are a risk to write about. The Butterfly and the Violin is an example of historical fiction based on true events done well. I must say, after reading this, I’m itching for more of the same kind of story. As someone who reads tons of YA, the fact that this book makes me want to read more historical fiction truly says something about the stellar writing. And it didn’t hurt that there was some contemporary mixed in there too. Way to hook a girl, Kristy Cambron. Reel me in with modern day Manhattan (a place I’ve always wanted to visit) and a little mystery (I can’t resist a good guessing game), and you’ve got one sleep-deprived reader.
I cannot say enough about this book in regards to story. Kristy Cambron is a true artist, weaving together contemporary and historical romance into one perfectly melded genre. She knew exactly where to leave me hanging at the end of a chapter; exactly when to switch points-of-view between past and present. No way I could put this book down with the way these chapters ended.
I rooted for the characters, for the couples who found love amidst heartbreak and tragedy. For Sera who learned to overcome her past. For Adele who remained strong, despite her more than bleak circumstances. I adored these female characters, related to their fears, and hoped with them for better futures. I was brought to tears multiple times throughout this story. My heart broke for Adele as she experienced the terror of Auschwitz. I smiled for Sera when she began to open her heart to the possibility of new love. And the best part? The mystery of the painting and how it tied both stories together. I’m smiling from ear to ear just writing about it. It’s definitely one I’ll read again.
All smiles here. I laughed, I cried, and cried some more–happy and sad tears alike. Kristy Cambron knows how to execute a satisfying ending, leaving just enough unanswered questions so readers will want to read the next installment in the Hidden Masterpiece series. And I did. The very next day.
My life has to matter for something bigger than myself.” ~ Kristy Cambron, The Butterfly and the Violin
Ages: 16 and up
For fans of:
Content: This book contains historical themes and events relating to World War II and the Holocaust. The subject was approached tastefully and delicately. The romance in the book is very clean. I personally would have no qualms with my daughters reading this in their teen years.
I give The Butterfly and the Violin 5 out of 5 hearts for keeping me up reading until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, and for making me crave more of a genre I don’t normally venture into.
Have you read The Butterfly and the Violin ? Let’s chat it up in the comments below, or tweet to me @SaraEllaWrites. I love hearing from you! Until then, happy reading!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. To learn more, please read my full policy. Please note recommendations are just that, and are not meant to be the final word on age appropriateness and such. All opinions are my own.