The Butterfly and the Violin
by Kristy Cambron
(Thomas Nelson 2014)
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 place; the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.
Kristy Cambron does a great job in bringing the reader into a story rich with description and detailed in history. The hidden meaning behind the title becomes apparent soon into the story and adds a romantic depth and one that keeps hope and love enduring throughout the story. It's not only a romance of two hearts, but one between the characters and God, especially Adele and God. In the ugly harshness of the Nazi evil, Adele finds true beauty and the meaning of true worship.
The Butterfly and the Violin is a wonderful work of literary detail and hidden symbolism throughout. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I wished it was more in depth concerning the characters' point of view. I longed for a deeper read into their emotions. I understand the necessity the author may have felt by "glossing" over the horrors of the concentration camps of Auschwitz, but for me I would have wanted a little more detail to heighten the juxtaposition of the horror at the hands of the SS and the unfailing hope in the prisoners' hearts. The present day scenes of Sera and William read more romance novel than a reflection of Adele and Vladimir.
Another thing that distracted me from the novel was the flow of the timeline. I would have preferred Adele's story to be consecutive in order and not back up a couple of years then jump forward three and back another two. It didn't detract from the story any, and it played in my head as though a movie character's flashback scene, it's a preference that I prefer in literary works.
Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin is a work that is exceptional in concept and beautifully executed.