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A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

posted by: September 25, 2014 - 7:00am

Cover art for The Butterfly and the ViolinTwo young women connected through a painting and distanced by time are at the heart of Kristy Cambron's debut historical novel, The Butterfly and the Violin. In 1942, Adele Von Bron is the darling of Vienna society, an accomplished violinist and the doted-upon daughter of a high-ranking military officer.  Her privileged upbringing keeps her removed from the Nazi killing squads until she meets Vladimir, a fellow musician and merchant's son.  Eventually the couple's sympathies toward the Jews land them in Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Adele is imprisoned to be "reeducated," and her beloved violin becomes her lifeline when she is conscripted to play in the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz.

 

Seventy years later, Manhattan art gallery owner Sera James is haunted by the one last link to her father. It is a painting she remembers from childhood of a beautiful Auschwitz prisoner, violin in hand. Escaping her own disappointing past, she embarks on a singular quest to find the girl with the penetrating blue eyes and learn her story. When Sera's  journey takes her to California to the one other person equally absorbed with finding the painting, her life is about to change. The wealthy, handsome William Hanover may be just the person Sera needs to realize more than just one dream.

 

 
Cambron, who admits to being fascinated with World War II, brings to bear the human need to create art even among the battered landscape of war. With a double narrative and shifting points of view, she captures the historical breadth of the time period with an inspirational tone. Her research included a moving interview with an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor. "The experience added such a note of realism to Adele's story that I almost felt as if she was real, that she'd actually been there and fought to survive alongside the rest of the souls in that horrible place," Cambron recalled. Her second book in the new Hidden Masterpiece series, A Sparrow in Terezin, is due out next April.
 


 
 

Revised: September 25, 2014