Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Melody of the Soul

GIVEAWAY
TOLSMA, LIZ
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...

My Review:

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.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

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!

57 comments:

  1. Good Morning, Kav,

    I love to read historical fiction; especially WW II era.

    Tammi

    dandtdearing {at} roadrunner {dot} com

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    1. I'm drawn to stories set in this time period too. Good luck, Tammi!

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    2. There is just something uniquely fascinating about WWII, isn't there?

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    3. Absolutely - and there are so many angles to start a story from. Keep writing 'em and we'll keep reading 'em!

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  2. Since our earlier conversation on this book after my reading, courtesy of the quarterly planning party, I have been looking forward to your thoughts. A different take from the stereotypical WWII novel, with the strong influence, sometimes competing, from the families of the main characters. Yes, we know this happened, probably more than we realize. Also, we do not study/reflect on history as we should as I, too, worry about factors which led to the uprising and which we need to guard against now. Thanks! Good thoughts and prayers for you.

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    1. It seems so impossible to allow a madman to persuade masses of people to do the unthinkable and yet Hitler did and, unfortunately, that group mentality is still being displayed all over the world. Change starts with each of us being bold enough to speak up against injustice. Wouldn't this make an awesome book club book? So much to talk about! Thanks for the prayers, CC.

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    2. When I write a WWII story, I try to look for a unique angle, a part of the story that has never been told before. And I'm glad it makes you think. That's my intention :) Blessings!

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    3. I'm glad you make me think too - even if it makes my head hurt! :-)

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  3. Would love to be included for this one, Kav. Thanks!

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

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  4. WWII is one of my favorite era to read about. Sounds like a really good read too :D

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

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    1. And there are so many books in the Christian Fiction genre now that explore this era in very different ways. I can't get enough. Good luck, Samantha.

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    2. And it's my favorite genre to write :)

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    3. And I'm so glad about that!

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  5. Oh I love her books. Read everyone but this one. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. She's a fascinating storyteller. Good luck, Kim.

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    2. Thanks for the kind words. I hope you enjoy it!

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  6. I must confess I’ve never read Liz Tolsma’s books but have been wanting to. Thanks for the great review and giveaway.
    mindyhoungATmsnDOTcom

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    1. Ohhhh --- you're in for a treat! Good luck, Mindy.

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  7. This is an absolute gem of a book. Loved it, my book twin.

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    1. Twinsies again! We have excellent taste, don't we?

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    2. Thanks as always for your support!

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  8. WWII, music, love... I’m intrigued! I would love to read this book.

    rosebudsinjune at gmail dot com

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  9. I've read an excerpt of The Melody of the Soul and have been intrigued ever since. I'd love to get it off my "want to read" list and onto my "read" list. Thanks for the chance to win.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Hope you get the chance to read it!

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    2. And then it's a short step to your keeper shelf, Pam. Good luck!

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  10. You know, this title is so beautiful and captivating. I would love to read this book so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Thank you for the opportunity, Kav! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Usually I have a hard time with titles, but this just came to me!

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    2. And the title tie-in is sublime. It gave me goosebumps! Good luck, Melanie.

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  11. I'm excited to read Liz Tolsma's new series! KAV, thank you for the great review and chance to win a copy.

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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  12. Include me too!
    loretta at lorettaeidson dot com

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    1. You're included, Loretta! Good luck!

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  13. I would so love a copy of this book. Wonderful book!
    Blessings
    Diana
    joeym11atfrontierdotcom

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  14. I have heard so much about this book. Would love to read it. teshawATsbcglobalDOTnet

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    1. Yes - guaranteed book love with this one. Good luck, Tammie.

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  15. WWII fiction is not something I read much of, but I am making an effort to read more new to me authors this year and that would include Liz!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Well,here's a perfect place to meet that goal. Good luck, Patty.

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  16. I haven't read very many WW2 books. However, I have read very positive reviews about this book! I didn't realize musical instruments were declared illegal, but I suppose that was another way for the Nazi's to suppress and persecute the Jews. Such a barbaric time in our history!

    I love stories full of emotion and hope in times of turmoil, this sounds like it would tick many boxes for me.

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. I just popped over to my Overdrive digital library account and requested they purchase the eBook since it they don't have it. Putting this in my every growing must-read list!!

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    2. It belongs in every library! And how ironic that while the Nazis forbid Jewish musicians their livelihood they forced those in concentration camps to perform concerts for their hierarchy. Gah! Good luck, Trixi.

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  17. Thanks for the review, Kav! I've had my eye on this book for a while, and it would be wonderful to win a copy. It looks and sounds so intriguing. I love reading historical fiction, and this looks like something I'd enjoy.

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    1. You definitely need to read it, Winnie. An amazing story. Good luck, Winnie.

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  18. Thanks for the review. Would absolutely love to read this book! Loved taking part in the chat with Liz on FB.
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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    1. Oooh -- you got to chat with Liz Tolsma on Facebook?! How cool is that? Good luck, Faith.

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  19. I would love to read this book, your review was intriguing! Please put my name in for this one for sure! drumb at att dot net

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  20. I definitely need to read this book after reading the description. It left me hanging there after reading the last part of it. Going to add it to my reading wish list. Is this a series? Thank you for the review.

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    1. Yes --- it's a series and this is the first book. Very excited to see what Liz Tolsma has for us next. Good luck, Karen.

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  21. I always look forward to World War 11 books.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. I do too and this one is exceptional. Good luck, rubynreba.

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