The German concentration camps sent millions to their deaths. For those who weren't killed immediately upon arrival, each day at the camp destroyed a little more of their souls. The Butterfly and the Violin tells a powerful story of how music and art kept a few of those souls strong despite the horror around them. For Adelle, a young Christian Austrian the war brought prestige to her father who embraced the Nazi world. But his daughter, a talented violinist, nicknamed the Butterfly by another in the Austrian Orchestra, sees that world for what it is and she sacrifices everything to help a Jewish friend. Found out, Adelle is abandoned by her parents to a sentence of "re-education," in reality a trip to Auschwitz. There she is set aside with other women prisoners who know music to form an orchestra. While the Nazis want the music to entertain themselves and to calm the lines moving to the gas chambers, If they refuse to cooperate, they will most certainly die themselves, but each woman struggles with their decisions to comply to the Nazi orders. With help from others, Adelle sees that the violin music she plays is not done to please the Nazis, but is her way to search for God amid what appears to be the devil's playground.
The Butterfly and the Violin is skillfully told with a modern day search for information about a missing painting of a young violinist alternating with snippets of Adelle's story. Both story lines will keep readers fascinated as each new page mixes beauty, pain, and acknowledgment that God can be found anywhere. I received an ecopy of this title from NetGalley for my honest review.
Special note: When I get an ecopy of a book from Netgalley, I only have access to the files for 45 days. I had many books to read this summer and somehow this book got overlooked. I knew I had downloaded it and needed to get it read, so a few weeks ago I started the book. I got hooked right away and within a few hours I was almost half done. As I sat at the service station getting four new tires on the van, totally engulfed in the book, I accidentally shut down my Nook. When I tried to reopen the book, I got the message that the "lending period" was over!! I could not leave this story unread, so we actually stopped to see if perchance Walmart had the book in their Christian book section. No such luck. I ordered a copy online and my Amazon prime account took over a week and a half to get the book. It was worth the wait and I now have a hard copy to share with the library.