The Butterfly and The Violin by Kristy Cambron– 336 pages
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.
My Review: 4 stars
The Butterfly and The Violin stole my attention at once with a story that mixes a present day mystery with the life of a woman in the Holocaust. I was initially tempted to read this book classified as Christian Fiction because so many books about WW2 and the Holocaust have the voice of a Jewish narrator, character or family. This one did not and that peaked my curiosity.
This book did mention the Jews in hiding, and it was an important scene, but focused more on all the lives of those living in the camps; whether they were Jewish, non Jewish Poles, gypsies, French, Austrian, French and so on, and how their art helped them to survive. In this case art is mostly meant in the musical sense as Auschwitz-Birkenau did in fact have its own prisoner orchestra. And the current day story that parallels the historical story has to do with the actual paintings secretly made by prisoners while in captivity. Often, they risked their lives to express themselves through their art and find beauty amongst the hell they lived in.
Finding the light within the dark was a beautiful theme running throughout the novel as well as G-d’s presence in our lives. The current day story was a mystery/love story and balanced well against the past. Religion and believing in G-d will was important to the two current day main characters. Taking chances and trusting your heart to another were both issues for them and through the mystery they solved together, they were both ready to heal.
Quotes I liked:
My life has to matter for something bigger than myself.”
-“Strength? That begins with sleep.”
-“There are no guarantees in war. We know this. Safety is a luxury no matter where we tread.”