Review: The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

The debut novel The Butterfly and the Violin (“Hidden Masterpiece” series #1) by Kristy Cambron uncovers the story behind a painting of a young German girl during the Holocaust. It does this both through the eyes of Adele, the girl in Auschwitz, and through the story of a contemporary art gallery owner, Sera, searching for the painting.

In the world of reading, it’s common to come across stories told through multiple points of view, usually the viewpoints of 2-3 main characters. Sometimes a secondary character gets some story time, too. Rarely do you come across a story with more than one main character who lives in a different era. I can only think of one other book I’ve read (Karen Kingsbury’s Even Now) that features characters in different eras – – even that one could be considered “contemporary only”. This one by Kristy, though, is skillfully set in two eras — two genres, even — both contemporary and historical.The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Plot Summary

“Today.” Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world’s elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting is much more than it seems.

“Vienna, 1942.” Adele Von Bron has always known what was expected of her. As a prodigy of Vienna’s vast musical heritage, this concert violinist intends to carry on her family’s tradition and play with the Vienna Philharmonic. But when the Nazis learn that she helped smuggle Jews out of the city, Adele is taken from her promising future and thrust into the horrifying world of Auschwitz.

The veil of innocence is lifted to expose a shuddering presence of evil, and Adele realizes that her God-given gift is her only advantage; she must play. Becoming a member of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, she fights for survival. Adele’s barbed-wire walls begin to kill her hope as the months drag into nearly two years in the camp. With surprising courage against the backdrop of murder and despair, Adele finally confronts a question that has been tugging at her heart: Even in the midst of evil, can she find hope in worshipping God with her gift?

As Sera and William learn more about the subject of the mysterious portrait–Adele–they are reminded that whatever horrors one might face, God’s faithfulness never falters.

This is a moving, beautiful, and at times, gripping story. The perfectly balanced historical and contemporary settings serve to weave together the story of Adele with Sera and William’s, both building to the conclusion of Adele’s story piece by piece. Sera and William’s professional — and potentially romantic– relationship has its twists and turns as each of their characters learn important lessons about trust, responsibility, and God’s call. Against those very relevant struggles, the horrors of the holocaust period still serve as a contrast at times, exploring the strength that only God can provide. With some “flashback” moments for Adele, the reader learns of her friendship and love story with orchestra member Vladimir. The reader eagerly anticipates both the fate of Adele and what has become of Vladimir during her time there.

The beauty of the art world and classical music is an uncommon treat in a novel. Kristy uses it to add interest and a poetic element as well as being a symbol of worship amidst chaos. The art is also used to tie the present with the past, in a mystery unknown to Sera and William for much of the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this debut from Kristy. I look forward to her next release in the “Hidden Masterpiece” series, A Sparrow in Terezin, releasing in April 2015. Reading this story was a very unique experience (after all, I love a good historical or contemporary – this was the best of both!). With a great plot full of accurate historical details, it left me considering the goodness and provision of God, even through circumstances we may not understand.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Thank you to BookLook and the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for providing a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read any books with characters set jn different eras? What was it?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Book Cover Trends I Like

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

Top Ten Book Cover Trends I Like

This Tuesday’s topic encompasses two more things I love: books and art. This week, I’m showcasing some book cover trends I like. I’ve come up with way more than 10 books that fall into different categories. In fact, some of these books fit into multiple categories.

Faceless Models

Okay, before you think that sentence is creepy, check out these examples of beautiful covers where the model character’s face is not visible. This adds more mystery to his/her identity, and allows you to develop your own picture of the character in your mind.

Cover Trends 1

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

Home Another Way by Christa Parrish

Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden (see my review here)

Landscape Scenes

Scenic and lush. Whether it’s the main part of the cover or just the background.

Cover Trends 2

Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers

Dresses

This one is fun and girly. I love covers which feature a beautiful dress. Some of these could fit in the “faceless models” category, too 🙂 .

Cover Trends 3

A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander (read my review here)

Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes

Hands

Sometimes simple is the best. There’s something personal and pretty about closeups of people’s hands – especially when they are holding an object important to the story.

Cover Trends 4

A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley (read my review here)

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish

The Disappearing Key by Wendy Paine Miller

Prominent Text

Eye-catching text – whether totally featuring text and graphic design, or just prominent overlayed text.

Cover Trends 5

It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren (read my review here)

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (read my review here)

When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell

What are your favorite book cover trends? What trends do you NOT like?

December Photo Challenge Revisited

Hi, everyone! Last year (2012), I participated in a December photo-a-day challenge. It was so much fun!

December Photo a day Challenge copy[9]

I thought I’d share the links here to all of my posts and photos from last year, just for fun. Or, you can visit my photo set on Flickr to see them all!

1. Your View Today     2. Favorite Holiday Movie     3. Red

4. Joyous     5. Today’s Temperature     6. Shopping

7. Bright     8. Ornament     9. Something You’re Reading & 10. Wrapping Paper

11. Green     12. A Beautiful Sight     13. Family

14. Christmas Tree     15. Favorite Holiday Song

16. Outside Christmas Lights & 17. Presents     18. Stockings

19. Candy Cane     20. Tree Topper     21. Peace & 22. Tradition

23. Scarf      24. Favorite Part of Christmas Eve & 25. Morning

26. Grateful     27. Night Time & 28. Words

29. Sky View, 30. Your Winter Wonderland, & 31. Fun

Are you participating in a photo challenge this December? I would love to follow your progress ~ leave your info in the comments!