Kristy Cambron’s debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, has received a lot of *book buzz* this summer. When I read a blog sharing the story behind the book, I was instantly intrigued. Elie Wiesel’s Night and Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place are two books that deeply impacted me because they highlight the juxtaposition of evil and hope. I’ve long been fascinated by stories of God gently pulling His creation from the darkness back into the light, often despite ourselves.
The Butterfly and the Violin is this kind of story, and so much more. The story and characters settle deep inside the reader, gently pressing and molding our emotions like main character Adele stringing the bow across her violin.
Set in present day and during World War II, The Butterfly and the Violin chronicles Austrian violinist Adele, a young woman of privilege who ends up playing for her life in Auschwitz after she’s caught smuggling Jews out of Vienna, and Sera, a Manhattan art dealer desperate to uncover the story behind a mysterious painting of the beautiful, haunting violinist. Both present day and historical stories have romantic interests; the author created a heartfelt, tender relationship between Adele and fellow musician Vladimir, one that culminated in a particularly touching scene near the book’s end.
Author Cambron skillfully weaves the present day storyline with historically rich scenes from World War II, creating a fascinating plot that kept me turning pages. Her writing is gorgeous and the scenes powerful. On multiple occasions I found myself walking around our house with the book in hand, unable to put it down despite busy life calling me away. I found the story to be the perfect mix of description, character interaction, and lyrical prose.
The Butterfly and the Violin is a raw, beautiful story, engaging and heartbreaking all in one book. The author does a superb job showing us that God brings beauty from ashes and heals what has been torn through these characters and their lives, both present day and past.
I highly recommend The Butterfly and the Violin. It’s a wonderful read and a needed reminder of our history and God’s faithful hand as He writes our life stories. I’m eagerly awaiting Kristy Cambron’s next book.