Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Melody of the Soul (Music of Hope #1)” as Want to Read:
The Melody of the Soul (Music of Hope #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Melody of the Soul

(Music of Hope #1)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  90 reviews
By 1943, Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost everything, including her career as a concert violinist and almost her entire family. The only person she has left is her beloved grandmother, and she's determined to keep her safe. But protecting Grandmother won't be easy--not with a Nazi officer billeted below them.

Anna must keep a low profile. There's on
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Gilead Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Melody of the Soul, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Melody of the Soul

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  90 reviews

More filters
Sort order
This book was so hard to put down! Anna's story is an edge-of-your-seat sort of story that makes you care deeply what becomes of her and her grandmother and the conflicted German officer in the flat below. The Christian message is very strong, which I liked, and the danger practically flips the pages on their own.
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
The characters in The Melody of the Soul are a study in internal contrasts. Anna, a Jew by blood & a Christian by faith. Horst, a man of faith forced to become a soldier for the Nazi regime even though he believes what they are doing to the Jews is wrong on all levels. (Note: In our reactionary culture, the thought of a Nazi officer falling in love with a Jew – and vice versa – is a fine line to walk in a novel. But I think the way these characters are presented, and the way they wrestle wit ...more
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
What a nice surprise! I didn't expect this novel to be filled with suspense and wow was there plenty of it. Anna is a Christian of Jewish heritage. She is trying to survive in German occupied Prague during WWII. Her love of music added to the story.
Based on two real personages, Alice Herz-Sommer, a Jewish concert pianist, and a German soldier who lived in Alice's building, Wilm Hosenfield, Tolsma has penned a moving story that sank deep into the soul.

Anna, a gifted Jewish Christian violinist, and Horst, a German officer, are as different as night and day and make an unlikely pair except that they both have an incredible love for beautiful music and their tie through their faith as Christians. These things bring them together in a joint fi
Andrea Cox
FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which was not required to be positive.

What a powerful, exquisite story. It was gripping, emotional, and heartrending. From the very first line, it was immersive and well expressed. The beautiful setting of Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia), came alive with the inclusion of the Charles Bridge and other sights, sounds, and scents. The heartbreaking setting of Theresienstadt Concent
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Life Fully Booked Review of The Melody of the Soul

This tale reaches into the depths of darkness, but shines light into the grace of Jesus, the grace only He can provide in dark times. Books like this one show us that human kindness and love, when coupled with trust in God, can outshine even the most horrific of evil. The Melody of the Soul is filled with adventure, heartbreak, but ultimately love.
Paula Shreckhise
Liz Tolsma is a true wordsmith. She paints a picture— a realistic one but not always a beautiful one. The picture is of occupied Prague in WWII.
Times have been trying for Anna Zadokova and her grandmother. She has been separated from the rest of her family and the lifestyle that she knew with her musical family as a promising violinist. She is not only of Jewish descent but grew up as a Christian as well. But as far as the Nazi’s are concerned, that she is a Jew is all that matters.

“ Train up
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma is a fine-tuned work of art – and as such, I find it difficult to express my thoughts in mere words. It is moving, gripping, compelling, and thought provoking. I was hesitant to read it at first and wanted to turn away at times, yet I couldn’t. It is a story of trust in the midst of deepest darkness, of compassion in the face of man’s inhumanity – and it will linger long after the last page is turned.

Sheila Holmes
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Because I am a fan of all stories WWII, this novel would have enticed me to read. But, it took the story-telling itself to hold me tightly to its pages until the end.

I am usually reading 2 to 3 novels at the same time. Located all over the house, wherever I happen to be there is a book I can pick up and continue on in its story line. (No... I don't ever get confused which one I'm reading, the plot, nor the characters.) What I found interesting is that while I was reading this one, I kept sacrifi
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Content Review:
Christian or Secular: Christian
Profanity: Anna is referred
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Liz Tolsma has crafted another compelling World War II novel that digs deep into the complexities of human nature. A story that is as heart-wrenching as it is hopeful. The dilemmas these characters face are incomprehensible. Especially since I know that this type of thing happened to real people all over Europe during the war. Anna poses a piercing question to Horst: "Why didn't your people stop this madman? You should have known, should have seen, what was coming." (p 105) That's a question I c ...more
Vera Godley
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I find it quite disconcerting to read of the soul-searching inner turmoil and the bitter and senseless mistreatment of others that are found in stories that involve the treatment of Jews and those who helped them during World War II. Horrific! Inhumane! Senseless! Evil!

I find, too, the strength of people faced with such calamity encouraging to my weak spirit as I read of their inner strength and faith when faced with the horrors of the time.

In The Melody of the Soul the author writes of loss of
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am quite torn about this novel (my first read by Liz Tolsma). I am passionate about studying the history of World War II and the Holocaust, and I love the fact that Tolsma sets The Melody of the Soul in Prague, as on my mother's side I am of Czech descent. The Czech experience during the war is not one I've seen often explored in fiction, inspirational or otherwise, so I deeply appreciated that window into a culture and history that was so important to my own Babi.

Tolsma is an accomplished wo
Kelly Bridgewater
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma is a fast paced, interesting glance into World War II in Prague. I really enjoyed how Tolsma really gets into the heart of the issue and shows how the war affected each character. Anna Zadok is a fascinating character who strives to bring music into the world while loving and protecting her family as much as she can. While on the other hand, Horst Engel, is a German officer who changes after seeing the horror the Germans are doing to the Jews. I liked him mor ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare books that doesn’t just entertain but stirs your heart and soul. An amazing, beautiful, breathtaking, gut wrenching read that brings to life the holocaust and gives names and faces to these troubled times. The characters will stick with you for a long time, and you will pray this atrocity never happens again. I loved how Anna finds her voice through her music and how her and Horst grow in their faith and learn how to trust Him completely. I can’t imagine the research th ...more
Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
I'm a big fan of historical novels, particularly those centered around WWII. So, when I came across this one for reviewing, I jumped at the chance. I've not read any Liz Tolsma books before, so it was a double bonus for me. I sat down, opened the book, and wow. What feelings I got with this novel! Sadness, happiness, love.....all of it. It was so many feels!

Liz Tolsma's characters, Anna and Horst, truly came alive for me. Their interactions, their passion for their beliefs and their love for Ann
Katelyn Bolds
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Literally couldn't put this book down. So vivid and well researched. Passionately written and intrinsically beautiful. Characters are well-written with excellent development over the course of the book. Story was gripping and intense, while still providing a satisfying ending. I would recommend this to lovers of WWII fiction and historical fiction.
The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma is set during World War II and focuses on a young, Jewish woman living in Prague. It explores some of the horrific happenings during the Holocaust and weaves a story of Jews who hid, trying to escape the horrors being forced on them.

Book one in the MUSIC OF HOPE series, this novel is filled with drama, sorrow, action, and glimmers of hope.

So, though The Melody of the Soul did keep my attention and I felt like I learned some more about this particular war, the
Lisa Johnson
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Title: The Melody of the Soul (Music of Hope Series #1)
Author: Liz Tolsma
Pages: 315
Year: 2018
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The story is set in Czechoslovakia during WWII. The lead female character is Anna Zadok, a young woman in her mid-twenties who is a violinist. She was studying to become a concert violinist when the Germans invaded her country and forbade all Jews from owning musical instruments. She, her grandmother, mother, father and two sisters live in a small
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Something that soothes that savage beast is music. It can take us back to memorable moments of the past or even help us pass the time during a tragic situation until something better comes along. That is the common thread in the latest novel by Liz Tolsma, The Melody of the Soul. This is the first novel in the Music of Hope Series. World War II genre fans will adore this as the setting between Anna Zadok who has just watched her family step away and left her behind to tend for her aging grandmot ...more
Becky Van Daniker
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Melody of the Soul is the first book that I’ve read from Liz Tolsma and it most certainly won’t be my last. I originally picked up a copy because of the cover and I was fascinated to learn more about the citizens of Prague during World War II. This is an inspirational story that will tug at the heartstrings long after finishing the book. I think it hit home even more because the main characters were based on real people. I’m a Christian, but like Anna, I have Jewish heritage. Many of my rela ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This cover is absolutely lovely. It shows a serene picture of Prague in the evening as if nothing is amiss. The title seems almost magical. However, opening up this book and entering into these character’s lives is anything but. In the midst of World War 2, Prague has been taken over by the Germans and the world has been turned upside down. The Jews are being rounded up and eliminated and Anna Zadok has watched her family be deported and maybe never to be seen again. And she herself is given a b ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: empty-shelf-2018
I finished this book a couple of days ago and I am still trying to put my feelings into words. This book touched me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I actually had a dream that I was helping Anna escape and I was being chased by German soldiers. I woke up out of breath and scared out of my wits! I couldn't imagine how scared the Jewish people were living through that time period.

Anna and Horst are a very unlikely pair. A Jewish Christian and a Christian German soldier. Both are enemies
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All i can say is you'd better have some tissue paper close by!!! It's a tear jerker!!
I like how the author can make the emotions of the people so real that you feel like you want to reach out and grab them away from everything bad that is happening but I guess that would be changing history.
I want to choke each and every Nazi and to them what they've done to the Jews!! It's so not fair!!
But God will take care of the former Nazi's as they say karma comes around if it hasn't already?
The only goo
Leslie M.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rt
4.5 stars

I reviewed this for RT Bookreviews Magazine:

If you only read one book this year, Tolsma’s latest should be the one — the author starts off her new series, Music of Hope, with a bang! There is so much emotion in this book, from heart-wrenching scenes to terror to a sense of peace. No word or character is wasted. The reader will likely find it hard to put down, instead wanting to savor every captivating detail. Beauty and horror are meshed together
Author Liz Tolsma’s The Melody of the Soul is an inspiring and powerful story of the relationship between the Jews and Nazis and how difficult it could be. It is of the struggle of being a Jew or Christian Jew and going into hiding; about a Nazi soldier who is stuck doing things he doesn’t want to do and doesn’t believe is right. It’s about the struggles of life, but the hope of life as well; and especially of unexpected friendship and romance between completely different people from completely ...more
Karen R
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prague, 1943 was a scary place to live if you had Jewish heritage. This well-written story transported me to the scene and had me up reading through the night to see what happened to these interesting characters.

A musical protege, Anna had a hard time without her music. It defined her. She learned to trust God day by day though, moment by moment, as her situation becomes more precarious. It was interesting to see Horst's transformation as he wrestles with his conscience and his faith is renewed
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Melody Of The Soul by Liz Tolsma is a marvellous and moving Christian historical romance. It is the first in the Music Of Hope series and I cannot wait for the subsequent books.
The novel is set in Prague in 1943 at the height of the Nazi occupation. War is a terrible thing. It brings out the very worst and the very best in people.
Liz Tolsma has realistically captured the fearful atmosphere of occupation. Everyone is to be feared and trust is in short supply. "In their eyes nothing but hopele
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I love this author's books, and I do believe this is one of my favorites of hers and will go on my list of favorite WWII historical fiction books I have read. I was pulled into the story from the first pages and could not put it down. It is an emotional roller coaster following the love story develop between a German officer and a Jew during WWII. The author certainly pulls the reader into the intrigue and danger of that time in history. It is also a beautiful story of how God does work eve ...more
Connie Tillman
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great story. Well written characters, great story line - great setting. Set during WW2 - which has been a time period I do not read enough. Grips the heart. Ms Tolsma is a master crafter and this story brings you on an adventure.

I received a copy of the book through LItfuse Blogging Program. All thoughts are my own.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shadowed by Grace (Story of Monuments Men, #1)
  • Where Treasure Hides
  • The Making of Mrs. Hale (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope, #3)
  • Like a River from Its Course
  • For Such a Time
  • The Mark of the King
  • A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas, #2)
  • Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom, #1)
  • Caught by Surprise (Apart From the Crowd, #3)
  • From Dust and Ashes: A Story of Liberation (World War II Liberator #1)
  • The Victory Club
  • A Convenient Christmas Wedding (Frontier Bachelors, #5)
  • Soar Like Eagles (Promise for Tomorrow #3)
  • Two Crosses (Secrets of the Cross Trilogy #1)
  • A Promise in Pieces (Quilts of Love, #17)
  • A Sparrow in Terezin (Hidden Masterpiece #2)
  • Thief of Glory
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
See similar books…
Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 201 ...more

Other books in the series

Music of Hope (2 books)
  • When the Heart Sings (Music of Hope #2)