The Butterfly and the Violin, by Kristy Cambron (Thomas Nelson, 2014)
A New York art gallery owner and a California businessman team up to locate an obscure painting—for wildly different reasons. For Sera James, it’s a connection to happier times from her past. For William Hanover, it’s the key to his family’s future.
Sera and William each carry wounds, and it’s easier to focus on the hunt than to risk trusting—and healing. Still, each recognizes something special in the other.
The novel also tells the story of Adele, a gifted violinist in Nazi-run Vienna. She’s the woman in the painting, pictured with a shaved head and a concentration camp tattoo.
The alternation between present and past flows well, and Adele’s sections complement what Sera and William learn of her life. One of the things I appreciated most was Adele’s discovery that even in darkness and horror, beauty and love of art may be pushed underground but they will survive—and that using one’s art can be sincere worship of the God who gave the talent.
If you like historical novels of World War 2, and you like art and romance, definitely give this one a try. The concentration camp scenes convey the horror without being traumatic, and overall the novel gives hope. May none of us endure anything that cruel—but we’ll all have hard times, and The Butterfly and the Violin offers hints of how to endure.
Favourite line: “The exhaustion bled down to her soul like water seeking a drain.” [p. 144]
The Butterfly and the Violin is book 1 in the Hidden Masterpiece series. Book 2, A Sparrow in Terazin, releases in 2015. Its storyline also alternates between present-day and the 1940s. Kristy Cambron is a writer fascinated by the WW2 era. You can learn more about the author and her work at kristycambron.com.
[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]