THE MELODY OF THE SOUL
Anna has one chance for survival -- and it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.
It's 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she'll do anything to keep her safe - a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quarted in the flat below them.
Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.
Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever...
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 constantly ask myself when I read a Holocaust story. And then I think: what are we doing as a society to safeguard ourselves from such atrocities again? Clearly not enough.
Like all of us, Anna and Horst have been shaped by experiences in their childhood. And both have been powerfully influenced by their mothers' faith. I don't know if it's because I read this book on Mother's Day - but I kept seeing that recurring theme play out throughout this story. Such an amazing testimony of the longstanding impression we can make on our children's faith walk. These memories become the moral compass that guides Anna and Horst through their darkest days. And it sustains them until they are able to dig deep and develop their own life-sustaining faith.
Tolsma knows how to draw out a scene, build the suspense and skewer a reader's tender heart with turbulent emotions.And now that the read is done I'm left basking in a jittery mix of grief and joy and eagerly awaiting the release of the next book in the Music of Hope series which comes out later this year.
If you would like to win a copy of The Melody of the Soul, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 20 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!