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The Silver Music Box

(Silver Music Box #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  11,741 ratings  ·  874 reviews
A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together.

1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure f
Paperback, 263 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by AmazonCrossing (first published March 7th 2017)
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Leda Yes, in Chapter 28...As she slid the piece back into its leather pouch, a small drawer fell into her lap. It was empty, but the scratches on it sugges…moreYes, in Chapter 28...As she slid the piece back into its leather pouch, a small drawer fell into her lap. It was empty, but the scratches on it suggested it had been well used.(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  11,741 ratings  ·  874 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 When choosing to read a book about the Nazis and the Holocaust, one knows they are opening themselves up to some of the darkest days in history. Yet, if the word gentle, could be applied to any book that touches on this subject, this is the one. The focus is on one Jewish family, the Blumenthals. The men Jewelers by trade, and the events that touch them are unveiled gently, with much of the focus on the Germans who were their friends, and others who went out of their way, at great risk to th ...more
Cindy Burnett
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

The Silver Music Box is one of the best Kindle First books I have read. I started it this morning when I had a little free time and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. The book is beautifully written – it was originally written in German and then translated into English so occasionally a turn of phrase or expression is a little unusual but that didn’t impact the story one bit. The tale starts out slowly but really picks up about a third of the way in.

The silver music box is at
Deanne Patterson
This book is just amazing and one of the best I've read it a long time!~ Very hard to put down!
There are a lot of characters in the book and they are listed in the front of the book and I found that to be very hopeful. The book starts in 1914 and father Johann Blumenthal creates a silver music box for his young son to remember him by when he goes to fight in the German WWI .
The silver music box is at the heart of the tale and the book follows 3 generations of the family through heartwarming tim

Visit the locations in the novel - Lubeck and Hamburg

A story that sings and soars like the bird of the bird box. It’s made by a Jewish jeweller for his little son before the father volunteers for WWI to show he is a good German. This war story, is unlike any other in that it looks at the Jewish people and how they helped and worked hard for their country, helped others less fortunate and wanted to play their part in the war. It’s a poignant story and one where you gasp in hope one moment, cry in
Mel (Epic Reading)
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I read the blurb on the back of The Silver Music Box I expected a story that jumped between the past and the 'present'. Initially I was disappointed that this is not how the story is written.

Usually organization of material is only relevant in non-fiction; however, Mina Baites has made it relevant in this book. The blurb will lead you to believe that you will be reading the story of a woman discovering her heritage for half the book. While technically you do read Lillian's heri
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of my Kindle First selections and so heart-wrenching!
The tale of a Jewish family trying to flee the growing animosity towards they’re ‘kind’ from the Germans.
It’s heart-breakingly accurate when you read about what all they had to go through. The characters were relatable and your heart went out to them as they dealt with the persecution, especially from those they thought of as friends.
I love historical novels, getting to learn things from a different time and I definitely lear
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books-read
Epic family story spanning from 1916 thru 1963, in Germany, London and Cape Town, South Africa.
The Blumenthal Brothers of Altona, Germany, Max and Johann, are jewelers and silversmiths, and have been doing business for years. Johann decides to volunteer during the First World War, leaving his wife and young son. Before he goes, he makes an intricate silver music box for his son, Paul. The music box never leaves his son's hand.

Next comes the turmoil in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Paul is no
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this book was pretty good, up until the last section. It's in three parts, WWI, the years leading to WWII and the 1960s. The story of the Bluementhal family in the first two parts shows real people and issues. When we get to the third generation it's like the author rushed through and Lillian comes across as a shallow woman, and while she changes her mind, it's not done well enough to make you see any growth. ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~

From the blurb, I thought this was going to be about Lillian finding out about her roots and trying to research where her family came from and what happened to them during WWII, but that part of the plot doesn't come in until a little over 2/3s of the way through the book. Instead, it starts out with Johann Blumenthal fighting in WWI for Germany, then follows through to his son Paul at the dawn of the Nazis taking over power and Paul's eventual attempts to get his family out of the country.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If there was ever a "gentle" book about war (two wars, actually, The Great War and World War II), this is it. An uplifting book about war? This is it. I read it with my 11-year-old granddaughter. Tragedies. Horrible tragedies. But the book exudes such hope throughout. I will not spoil the ending because everything does not turn out for the best but it does turn out better than hoped or expected. And the centerpiece is a small, bird-shaped music box made by a Jewish jeweler for his little son bef ...more
Joan Bannan
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I guess I could consider this a page turner if I meant I found myself turning the pages rapidly without reading predictable paragraphs. I found it more like a journal than an novel. I realized last night that i was reading it just to have something to read while riding my stationary bike to nowhere. I'm abandoning it without finding out why the author chose this title. ...more
I really, really wanted to love this book. The story begins in Germany at the beginning of the First World War and ends in South Africa in 1963. It follows Blumenthal family through these years and tells of their trials and tribulations during this time. The silver music box is a family heirloom that also follows the Blumenthal family through the years.

The premise of this story was very interesting and had a lot of potential. However, I felt there was a lot missing from it. It was almost like r
Jennifer Hohenbrink
Not worth it

This book is poorly written and the plot jumps forward many times skipping over crucial developments. The characters are not developed. The young men are all handsome and loyal. The women lovely but lack personality. I got this through Amazon’s first program, bu I wish I had chosen a different book.
Johann Blumenthal, a Jewish silversmith, has made up his mind. He will fight for his country, Germany, in WWI. As the author states:

"They were men who loved their homeland and felt morally obliged to fight, since they had lived for many years in safety and harmony with their Christian neighbors and felt like full members of German society. They could have no idea of the catastrophic times that lay ahead."

Before he leaves, he makes a memento for his son, Paul. A very intricate music box inscribed
Mary Ann
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book. In fairness to the author, I'm always a bit hesitant to criticize a work in a translation. Some examples: the translation of The Solitude of Prime Numbers was superb (I do read French and some Italian); there is a world of difference between the original, very stilted Charles Archer translation of Nobelist Sigrid Undset's magnificent Kristin Lavransdatter and the later quite wonderful one of Tiina Nunnally. I have read that the English translation of Stieg Larsso ...more
Niles L. Kaplan
Story too choppy, but very good in places

I would have preferred Baites to have developed the story and characters in more linear fashion and in greater depth for greater interest and cohesiveness. For instance, by the time Paul tells how Clara died, his remembered loss had none of the devastating impact it must have had when it happened. Emma's character is all but lost so abruptly that the impact of her time with Lilly is diminished when she does return to the narrative. However, I was moved to
Marcy Heller
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Those who follow my reviews know that I'm not parsimonious in giving out stars, but I remind you that three stars means 'I liked it'. The Silver Music Box was a free Kindle selection for Prime members this month and I selected it when only a few had reviewed it, but all of those reviews had been five stars.

The title of the book makes the denouement of the story somewhat obvious. I have read a tremendous amount of holocaust fiction and this book fits a mold that makes it a decent read, but it jus
Katz Nancy from NJ
A really good book!

I read lots of books about Germany before WWII and the Holocaust. Some are very good. Some are just OK. But I really enjoyed The Silver Music Box and look forward to reading the second book in this series.
Judy Collins
3.5 Stars. Review to follow.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A rare literary gem as the name suggests is almost impossible to find but once found it shines and illuminates the deepest recesses of the soul. This book is that rare gem. It's not often I find books that tear me apart and put me back together, books that just bring tears to my eyes and have a healing effect on my soul but that is exactly what this book did. I love historical fiction and especially WWII fiction and this book is the best work of World War II literature I have ever read putting t ...more
Paula Girard
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Back to historical fiction and this interesting cross-generational novel about a Jewish family divided by World War II. I don't know why I am so drawn to this time period but I am and this novel did not disappoint. Really enjoyed it. ...more
Heather Button
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. It was an interesting story and I liked the way it jumped from character to character, except with Lillian at the end. That part was just so rushed that it never felt genuine.
Maureen DeLuca
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
More of a 3.5 ---- As far as historical fictions go, this book was good - the ONLY reason I can't give it a 4 or 5 is that the ending totally fell flat. The last couple of chapters, I was borderline bored or I couldn't wait to finish! I honestly cannot remember the last time that happened to me -

Anyway 3.5 is the best I can do -
Jun 02, 2022 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Own on ebook
3.5 stars
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to win this Kindle edition from Goodreads (Thank you!). What a heartbreaking read. The book spans three generations, through two World Wars, and a silver music box that ties them all together. Johann Blumenthal, a Jew, is a silversmith who creates the music box for his son, Paul, before he leaves for WWI. Paul then gives it to his daughter Margarethe during the outbreak of WWII. The book centers around the music box and the love each father has for his child. The book is basic ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic book. I wasn't sure when I got it because I'd not heard anything about it, but it was free on Kindle Unlimited, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's the story of a family who goes through WWI, as well as the horrors that led up to WWII, but it's not only the family that you're following throughout the book, it's also a silver music box. The music box was made by Johann the father and given to his son Paul upon his leaving for WWI. The author does an amazing job of not only t ...more
Katie B
Before setting off to fight for his country of Germany in World War 1, Johann Blumenthal gives his son Paul a beautiful music box. Paul treasures this item as he grows into a young man who runs the jewelry store his family has owned for years. But because the Blumenthal family is Jewish, the family business and their lives will be changed forever as the Nazis come into power. This is a story of what people are willing to sacrifice in the name of love and their dreams.

This was an incredible histo
Susan Hamilton
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this novel. I really wanted to love it, but ultimately, it was just ok for me. The premise of the book, a keepsake that helps a family reunite after the atrocities of the Holocaust was interesting to me. The problems for me were that the development of main characters was inconsistent, the plot dragged in places it shouldn’t have, and was rushed in places that needed more exploration, and the ending fell too neatly into place: particularly for a story within the context of t ...more
Joy Kerns
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this down. I was a sobbing hot mess at the end but it was 100% worth it. It was so well written and one of those books you don’t even realize you are feel like you are living it. 5 stars for sure!
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Around the Year i...: The Silver Music Box, by Mina Baites 1 8 Jul 20, 2019 03:02AM  
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Mina Baites alias Iris Klockmann is a born storyteller.

As a little child she entertained her family with childish adventures and could not wait to read and write on her own. At the age of seven she read so many books that she nearly exasperated her parents.

However, it was only many years later that she had the space and the time to write down all her uncountable ideas. At that time she already had

Other books in the series

Silver Music Box (2 books)
  • Dreams of Silver (Silver Music Box, #2)

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  The glint of fangs in the dark, the sound of tap-tap-tapping at your window, the howling of wind (or is it just wind?) in the trees...that's...
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“There was something familiar about his voice, and the way he said her name stirred a memory of gently murmured words she had heard time and again in her dreams. She’d been remembering the sound of her father’s voice.” 0 likes
“Paul clutched” 0 likes
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