While I received THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN through Net Galley, I was never able to access it as it had been archived, so I got a copy through my local library. This was a haunting read that goes back and forth between current day and WWII. This book is subtitled “A Hidden Masterpiece Novel” so I am assuming it is the start or part of a series.
THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN starts with modern-day Sera, an art dealer in New York, as she searches for a painting she saw when she was young: a beautiful girl playing the violin in Auschwitz. Sera has spent years looking for the original and just when she thinks she is close to finding it, complications occur in the form of a young business man from San Francisco who is also seeking the portrait. The story switches to the past so we can see how the painting came to be. Young Adele is “Austria’s sweetheart”, a violinist whose father is a high-ranking officer in the Third Reich. She is in love with a fellow musician and together they try to help Jewish families to hide or escape to safety. Adele is caught and sent to Auschwitz where she is put into the women’s orchestra, a group of musicians who provide daily music at the camp while prisoners are sent to work or are taken off the incoming trains. Much of Adele’s story is how she and the other women work to stay together and stay alive, even though they find their task gruesome and disturbing. Sometimes the story has us in Auschwitz, sometimes back before Adele was arrested, and sometimes current day with Sera and William as they look for the portrait.
This book is listed as Christian Historical Fiction. There are strong messages in it about God’s gifts to us and using the gifts we have, along with finding God’s presence through embracing life.
If I could change one thing in this book it would be to make the “past parts” more in order chronologically. I found it somewhat jolting to go from past to present to past but four years earlier than the last time we were in the past to present, etc. I also was troubled by how easily Adele’s parents sent their only child, barely more than a teen, off to a concentration camp.
If you like WWII reads and enjoy strong Christian messages in your story, along with some romance, you should read this book! The historical note at the end talks about the real life women’s orchestras in camps at that time.
You can find it at an indie — I am an Indie Bound affiliate (or find it at the library, like I did!):
Find it at an Indie!