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The Butterfly and the Violin

(Hidden Masterpiece #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  6,160 ratings  ·  1,061 reviews
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 violini
Paperback, 329 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Thomas Nelson (first published July 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  6,160 ratings  ·  1,061 reviews

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Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I read this book in less than 24 hours!

This debut novel shares two stories: one in current day and one from the early 1940s. While both stories were compelling, I was so moved by the story of Adele, a Violinist in Vienna. Adele's story is what had me turning pages.

This novel is recommended for those who enjoy WWII Fiction.
Young Adele is a prodigy in her country of Austria in the late 30's early 40's. She has a talent when it comes to playing the violin, so much so that as a teenager she occasionally is invited to play with the Vienna Philharmonic.

It is during her time with the Philharmonic that she meets Vladimir, the son of a merchant who is beneath what her parents would expect her to date, yet she falls in love with him.

During this time in Austria, Hitler declares war and curfews are set in motion and the Jewi
Beth Vogt
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's challenging to write a novel that has two plot lines: present day and historical (WW II). I was impressed with how author Kristy Cambron wove together the two stories -- and how the lives of the main characters intersected. Yes, there is romance in the novel, but even more, Cambron explores the questions: Is it possible to find beauty in the darkest of places, the most heartbreaking of times? And how can we hold on to God when we have every reason to give up hope? ...more
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin sat on my kindle far longer than it should have. I received a review copy before it ever went to print, but my attention only turned its way when Cambron released a sequel. I'm not a fan of starting in the middle so, naturally, I felt I had no choice and promptly bumped book one of the Hidden Masterpiece series to the top of my TBR.

I cracked it open and to be perfectly honest, I
This story is simply exquisite. Adele makes one decision to help a friend and loses everything, being sent to Auschwitz after being sentenced to "eight weeks of reeducation" for her actions. She is not Jewish, and her father is a high-ranking officer in the Third Reich, but that does not save her from a horrific experience in the concentration camp.

I was not aware that prisoner orchestras were forced to play during the arrivals and executions of other prisoners. I had heard that musicians and d
Oh. My. Goodness. This book. This book is one of the best pieces of WWII Christian fiction I have ever read in. my. life. It was perfect in every way. The plot, characters, settings, and descriptions were done so fantastically! It's a book that made me want to re-read Night by Elie Wiesel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and biographies of Corrie Ten Boom and Bonhoffer! This is a book that will stay with me forever! If your looking for a well done, well researched WWII novel this is the one to p ...more
{3.5 stars}

Okay, so here's the deal:

I think The Butterfly and the Violin has moments of real, core-deep beauty. Its saving graces are the parts in Auschwitz and the aftermath -- those are hard-hitting, yet almost delicate, and just really good. The theme of recognizing one's talents as God-given and realizing how one can truly GLORIFY God by using them appropriately hits pretty close to home for me and is excellently written and developed. Adele and Vladimir are a great couple (practically no in
Sarah Grace Grzy
Hmmm . . . this book. I feel like it was supposed to be a deeply profound and beautiful book, but it wasn't that for me. I don't know if it all just went over my head, or it just wasn't very well written, but it didn't cut it for me. I LOVE WW2 stories, but honestly, I was more interested in Sera and William's story than I was in Adele's. I really like both Sera and William's characters; they had a lot of depth, and I wanted to know more. I wasn't a huge fan of how much emphasis was placed on ph ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was another historical fictional novel that wove the past with the present and, yet again, I enjoyed the past story more! It did contain religious undertones that worked very well with the backdrop of Auschwitz and it's atrocities! Highly recommend 4.5! ...more
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

The Butterfly and the Violin is one of the most moving stories I have ever read, and there's no way my words can adequately describe it. After turning the last page, I had to ask myself, Who are you, Kristy Cambron? WWII historian, student of fine art, musician extraordinaire, romantic, world traveler, wordsmith, a worshipper completely in tune with God - this could very well describe Kristy because all of those elements are embodied in t
Sera James has been looking for the painting of the woman she glimpsed as a child for years. Her search to find the painting and to identify the woman in it has taken her to discover Holocaust Art. As she delves more and more into the painting's story, Sera's search leads her to William Hanover, the heir to the massive Hanover estate. Sera and William join forces to find the owner of the painting for different reasons - Sera to discover the story and William to present the owner with court docum ...more
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a painting brought forth in trial is worth even more. Fans of heartwarming historical fiction will love this new breathtaking novel from debut author Kristy Cambron. Switching between two different time periods and point of views, this story takes you an unforgettable journey of two women-one during WWII inside a concentration camp, and the other in the present day tracking down art from the concentration camps.

As a devoted fan of WWII historical fiction
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I heard many good things about Kristy Cambron over the last couple of years. I always intended to look up her book, but never got around to it.

Then I met Kristy herself.

She dropped by first-timer's orientation at the ACFW conference in September, taking time to meet and greet a roomful of scared, excited newbies with a love for writing. We stopped and talked, and she signed a poster for me. Then we talked a bit more as we walked down the halls to the main session. I loved her bright spirit and
Maureen Timerman
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Everyone should read this book, a fictional, but true story. The horrors of Hitler’s world, and the acceptance by many that willingly followed him, like lemmings going off a cliff. We put faces to these people, although they really could have a thousand different ones.
A memory of a painting observed by an eight-year-old girl, becomes a life passion, and we become witnesses to how it came to be. Add in a family in possession of a copy of this same painting, thought to be the original, and we have
Luisa Knight
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review and Cleanliness Report coming soon
The contemporary sections were not engaging to me, but still a good read for the beautifully portrayed historical sections.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*WARNING: Not for the faint of heart!*

Words cannot describe what a fantastic job Kristy Cambron did with her debut novel, The Butterfy and the Violin! I'm this split-time novel, she tells the fictional story of a young woman who is separated from both her love and her life of privelege. She is sent to live in the confines of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she must make the choice to give up and die, or live for God and for hope.

This is such a powerful story of a modern-day woman dedicating years to u
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I must admit that when I requested this book on Netgalley, I did not know that this was Christian fiction. While this isn't a book I would usually read, I am so glad I did.

It's the story of survival. Adele, the Christian daughter of an Austrian military leader, was sent to Auschwitz for "reeducation" after she was caught attempting to smuggle out a Jewish family. Sera is a lost woman searching for a lost painting while trying to move on after heartbreak. Both women were deeply betrayed by someon
Brandy Vallance
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Butterfly and the Violin is AMAZING. I so enjoyed reading this story. Beautiful, intriguing, high tension in just the right places, and two great romances. I was struck by this part of history that I had never heard about--a woman's orchestra in Auschwitz! This book made me FEEL and during one particular scene, I had the thought that The Butterfly and the Violin should be required reading in schools. Because of current events and human rights, it is so important not to forget this time perio ...more
“These prisoners—the ones who painted or wrote poetry or played in the orchestra—they refused to let the spirit die.” ~Kristy Cambron, The Butterfly and the Violin~

Kristy Cambron’s debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, tells the story of two women: Sera James in present day and Adele Von Bron in 1942. Sera is an art dealer who becomes fascinated by a painting she saw once as a girl—of a young female violinist with piercing blue eyes. It’s a painting of haunting beauty, and Sera is compe
Another Christian fiction book that held great potential but ended up being very disappointing (I need to stop reading these I think). This book is another example of a phenomenon that I have been noticing in new releases: fantastic first few chapters followed by lackluster writing throughout the rest of the book. I'm wondering if it has something to do with being able to read book samples these days. Maybe the editors focus only on polishing those first few chapters to suck you in and make the ...more
Dale Harcombe
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Still recovering from her fiancé jilting her almost at the altar, art dealer Sera James life centres on a painting she saw as a young girl. Finding it becomes an overriding passion. The painting is of a young woman a violinist. The story then flips back from New York to Vienna to give the reader the background and story of the Austrian violinist Adele. Adele Von Bron is the daughter of a high-ranking member of the Third Reich so how did she end up in Auschwitz and did she survive her time there? ...more
There are so many obstacles and emotions that can imprison us from living life to it's fullest. Yet, for some who truly are imprisoned, they find ways to capture God's love and live for him. For Sera James, she has allowed a past hurt to shut her off from love and relationship. She has spent the last two years searching for a mysterious portrait she once saw on a trip with her father. The search connects her to William Hanover, who for his own reasons is searching for the portrait. Together they ...more
Jesseca Wheaton
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was probably the first book I'd read where the author is writing in two different time periods; present day and WWII.
I found the book quite fascinating and the two different plots winding throughout the pages kept me quite busy trying to find out how in the world it would all end. And then just when I thought I had it figured out, there was a new twist I hadn't expected.
The book shows the stark reality of what prisoners experienced at Auschwitz as well as the horrors of the SS, but at the
Well done historical novel that found a way to tie the past and present together in a unique way. The hope and strength found in the dismal days of WWII and the fight to survive even when every bone in your body is telling you to submit and end the fight to live was able to heal the present day characters.

I don't always give glowing reviews to fictional stories written about WWII because I find they lack the true raw emotion one finds in the reality of the times. My personal hang-up having read
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I bought and read The Butterfly And The Violin in one afternoon! Even if you think you don't like the subject (Holocaust) I PROMISE you will love it! It's not despairing. It's hopeful. And that has got to be a very tough thing to do. It's emotional and romantic but never overboard and I never felt my emotions were being played. It is almost impossible to believe this is her first book. I can't remember the last time I read a book straight through! Hands down, no con ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
While this one was not as riveting to me as the author's later works, I still found myself deeply moved by the end of the story, particularly the half involving Adele and her experience at Auschwitz. I look forward to reading more from Cambron!
Aug 20, 2014 rated it liked it

Whew! Trying to arrange my thoughts about this book is like trying to catch bullets in an M&M bag. How that metaphor is supposed to make sense, I don't know, but that's kinda how I feel about this story.

Right off the bat, we're introduced to Sera James, an art gallery owner in Manhattan, and her quest to find a lost painting. Her assistant, Penny, picks up some information about an exact copy of the painting owned by a family in California, and so Sera get
Carissa (Regency Woman)
Full review is at my blog Bookshelves and Daydreams.

My Take in 3 Parts

The Theme
This book reminds me a little bit of The Fellowship of the Ring, when Galadriel gives Frodo the Phial of Galadriel and tells him, "May it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out."

The Butterfly and the Violin is a dark, traumatic novel, but with a thread of hope carefully woven through each line of the chapters set in Auschwitz. Even in absolute and utter darkness, when 1.5 million people are dyin
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: three-star
Part historical fiction, part contemporary romance; this duel genre is usually right up my street but much of this book felt stilted and overly descriptive to be fully enjoyed. Perhaps because I’m not an art history enthusiast I found it difficult to relate to the modern day parts of the book. I did, however, enjoy the parts set during the war and felt these sections held my attention more so.

What I found particularly interesting was the fact based storyline of the musicians of the Holocaust. A
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KRISTY CAMBRON is a vintage-inspired storyteller writing from the space where art, history, and faith intersect. She's a Christy Award-winning author of historical fiction, including bestselling novels, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN and THE PARIS DRESSMAKER, and nonfiction, including the Verse Mapping series of Bibles and Bible studies. A self-proclaimed history nerd, she loves to chase all things ...more

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Hidden Masterpiece (2 books)
  • A Sparrow in Terezin (Hidden Masterpiece #2)

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