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.
There’s just something about stories of the holocaust that draw me in. The cruelty and suffering that the Jews and others endured is horrendous. In the same time that Man showed such depths of cruelty, there were countless heroes, most of them unsung. It’s the stories of those who survived, or those who at great personal cost ensured the safety and survival of others that inspires me. So it’s no surprise that I was drawn to reading The Butterfly and The Violin.
I learned something new about the cruelty of the Nazi prison camps – that some of them had orchestras! In this story we are told of an orchestra at Birkenau (the women’s part of Auschwitz) that was forced to play as prisoners were sent to the gas chambers or disembarked the train arriving at the camp!!
The author moved beautifully between the time of the holocaust, telling the love story of Adele and Vladimir and their subsequent incarceration by the Nazis, and the romance of Sera and Michael who are attempting to find the story behind the picture of Adele.
The premise and the way the story was told made this a super read for me. I just had to finish it in a day!