First, I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving (for those who celebrate it). Now on to the book review!
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published Date: 2014
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian Fiction
My Source: ARC through Netgalley/Publisher
Review Also On: Amazon and Goodreads
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.
Adele was an absolute joy. With some books you’ll get the main female characters who seem a bit passive. They depend on others to get them out of situations. They don’t have that spark, that spunk, that get up and do your own thing.
Adele is not one of those characters.
While she was ignorant of what was going around her (at first), she looked for answers. She wanted to do something. She wanted to make a difference. And when she was placed in Auschwitz, she didn’t keep her head down. She still wanted to do something. Yes, she wanted to survive, but she wanted to help those around her as well: her fellow musicians, the people she watched walk into the camps and the gas chambers. Adele was a fighter, and I loved her for that.
Sera…Sera was okay. As a character she was nicely rounded, but her storyline fell flat for me. Reading her story next to Adele’s, her story seemed washed out, but I’ll get to that in a moment. I wasn’t a fan of William either, but again, that may have to do with the fact that I loved the historical story more than the modern one.
Of course, there were a number of other characters, but I generally talk about the main ones unless there is a secondary character that truly wowed me.
Adele’s story: Hands down fantastic. I did not know about the orchestras in the concentration camps. I am extremely grateful to the author, Kristy Cambron for sharing that information with me through her novel. It makes me want to know more, to get out and research everything I can about them because you never hear about it (at least I didn’t).
I also loved the love story between Adele and Vladimir was perfection. I was hoping for their relationship to last. I was hoping they would both be safe. I was hoping they would have a happy ending. I do not wish to spoil, so I won’t tell you if they did or not, but their story was just wonderful from beginning to end.
Sera and William’s romance, on the other hand, was a struggle. It was more of a instant-love, which doesn’t sit well for me. They had maybe a few hours of conversation and Sera is already wanting to open her heart which had been closed off for two years, to him. She had hearts floating around her head way too quickly for me, and William wasn’t any better.
Overall, because of the huge differences between the Adele story and the Sera story, it made rating this book very difficult for me. On another note, this was a Christian fiction, which I don’t normally read. Actually, this was my first one, but it’s not a story that’s shoving Christianity down your throat, so it can be read by anyone of any religious or non-religious belief.