"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Butterfly and the Violin, by Kristy Cambron


The Butterfly and the Violin surprised me with its beauty.  It is a poem in an otherwise prosaic world, a work of art that should not be missed.

The plot is wonderfully woven, telling two stories across time.  The first is that of Adele Von Bron, a Christian violinist who is sent to Auschwitz for the aide she gives to a Jewish family in hiding.  She becomes a member of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, forced to play during prisoner marches and arrivals.  The second story is of Sera James, a modern day art historian who is searching for a painting of Adele that was found among many other hidden pieces of art at Auschwitz.

The modern day story is sweet and reads more like a straightforward romance novel.  It is entertaining, and largely serves as relief for the more serious story of Adele.  It helps to advance the plot of the historical portion of the novel in a very appropriate way.

The beauty of this novel lies in Adele’s story.  Condemned by her own father, a general of the Third Reich, she loses the love of her family and is separated from the man she loves.  She is forced from her life of privilege into the brutal conditions of a Nazi death camp.  Within her story, we learn of perseverance, of hope for the future, and of resilient faith in God even under impossible circumstances.  “But worship in the midst of agony?  That is authentic adoration of our Creator,” is the line that best sums up the value of this novel.

Cambron gives us a well-researched story of the death camps.  I’ve always had an interest in this era from my own grandfather’s stories, and I found the book fascinating.  The existence of the Auschwitz orchestras was new to me, and I so appreciate the homage that Cambron has paid to the victims of the Holocaust.  This book is an emotional journey that is not to be missed.

Five out of Five Stars

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.