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, 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: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.
(Photo source HERE)
Note to Readers: Additional information on the orchestras of the Holocaust (HERE)
Adele is Austrian by birth and a young prodigy in Vienna's society but when the war reveals its cruel side, she pledges to help those who are hunted despite the many risks.
The daughter of a high ranking officer of the Reich, Adele has lived a sheltered life until she is caught and sentenced to Auschwitz for her crime. There she is just another prisoner, her exceptional musical talent put to the test as she is chosen to be a part of the camp's orchestra playing as new prisoners disembark from the daily convoys made of Jews, Gypsies, Romanies and political dissidents. Life suddenly depends entirely on her ability to play whilst others are 'selected'.
Kristy Cambron does an excellent job in describing the tremendous emotional shock the young Adele suffers as she is thrown in the depth of despair, abandoned by her family in the aftermath of her betrayal, her life at the mercy of her brutal captors.
We now go forth to the second part of the story...An art dealer haunted by a portrait of blue eyed Adele she once saw when she was only 8 years old.
Sera James' story interwoven in Adele's felt somewhat stale in comparison. I imagine the author aimed for a mystery based on the elusive portrait of Adele but the overall effect pales as the protagonists of the first outshines by far the second.
Perhaps the author's emotions were more involved in the WW 2 tale as shown in the bittersweet ending for "The Butterfly". It bespoke of hope in a world shadowed by the ashes of millions of souls.
Either way, it is only a matter of opinion and readers should take a moment to check this debut novel.
Note: Divided as I was, I would give 5 stars for Adele's story but only 3 stars for Sera's thus I must settle for 4 stars!
Meet the Author:
Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist.
Visit her website (HERE)
Kristy Cambron is running a GIVEAWAY on her website so here is the link for readers to get the opportunity to enter!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LITFUSE as part of it's promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.