The Butterfly and the Violin – by Kristy Cambron
I’m going to be honest—I usually pass right by any book that I think will be depressing or things that cover heavy subject matters. I get enough real life shock value in my day job; I don’t need it during my relaxing time when I’m reading. Going off of that, you’re probably confused as to why I’m recommending a book that centers around Auschwitz—but The Butterfly and the Violin is brimming with hope and holds a story as breathtakingly beautiful as it’s cover.
The book follows both a contemporary and a historical storyline. Sometimes a book that has both can feel jarring when we transition to a different time period, but Cambron expertly weaves the two together. Both characters are written uniquely and I cared about both heroines.
Sera James is an art gallery owner in Manhattan. As a young girl she saw a painting of a woman with a shaved head playing a violin and the image has stayed with her, haunting her into adulthood. When she has the opportunity to locate a copy of the painting, Sera jumps at the chance and heads to California where her life becomes entangled with a man who wants the painting as well.
I found Sera to be a realistic character who I enjoyed. Scars from Sera’s past threaten her hope for a relationship with William. Is he worth trusting? Sera’s past tells her most men aren’t.
Adele Von Bron has become Austria’s darling as a violin prodigy, but when she is caught attempting to help Jews escape during the Nazi reign, her prestige, nor her father’s high position, can save her from being sent to the concentration camp. Adele is broken and alone and finds the only way to save herself is to join the orchestra which plays for the laborers and at the whim of the Nazis. Adele proves to be remarkably brave—her story touched me deeply.
The historical sections are powerful, heartbreaking, and full of every emotion available. Cambron does a good job of showing us the horrors of the concentration camp without becoming gory or gruesome. Historical details in this book were so well researched. I had no idea there were orchestras or art in the midst of all of this.
One of the things I appreciated the most is that a story that could have been a downer, was instead stamped with hope on every single page. There is friendship that saves, romantic love offering new chances, and the eternal love of God that gives a future.
This story is deeply spiritual at its core containing messages about pushing beyond our mistakes, clinging to God even when evil is all around you, and urges you to see the beauty in every day of life.
The Butterfly and the Violin is a must read (and I just checked, its only $3.99 for Kindle right now!). It’s one of those stories that brands itself on your heart, coming back into your thoughts for years afterwards.