Book Review (+ Giveaway!): The Melody of The Soul

30 Jan

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 quartered 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.

 

Best-selling novelist Liz Tolsma is the author of several World War II novels and prairie romance novellas. She also works as a freelance editor. She lives in a semirural area of Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters. Her son serves with the US Marines. All of their chidlren came to them through international adoption. Her other passions include walking, gardening, camping, and reading.

Find out more about Liz at http://www.liztolsma.com.

 

My Impressions:

Both man’s inhumanity and man’s compassion are revealed in Liz Tolsma’s latest novel set in WWII Europe, The Melody of The Soul. In this first novel in the Music of Hope series, Tolsma’s characters attempt to survive the soul-crushing cruelty of the Nazi regime in Prague and Terezin. This novel is a moving account that I just could not put down. Highly recommended.

Violinist Anna Zadok loves her family, Prague, and music. All three have been integral parts of her life for as long as she can remember. But with the occupation of the Nazi’s she loses one after the other as the Final Solution decimates the Jewish population of the city. Faced with either boarding a transport train or trusting a Nazi officer, Anna and her grandmother take a risk that God is really protecting them.

I loved the historical details that Tolsma effortlessly wove throughout The Melody of The Soul. The beauty and cultural richness of Prague is contrasted with the desperate conditions of the transition center the Nazi’s called Theresienstadt. She somehow portrays the horrible conditions of Terezin and the depraved actions of the Nazi occupiers without being too graphic. But the story still makes the heart break for all those lost in the Holocaust. The characters are very complex. Anna and Nazi officer Horst Engel struggle with their place in the drama that is unfolding around them, as well as what God is doing in their lives. Resistance fighters Particie and Georg place others above themselves. And the villain of the story, Stephan Jaeger, is a man of contrasts. Despite the hopelessness of many of the characters’ situations, they find themselves depending more and more on God and finding that He can indeed be trusted.

Music plays a major role in the characters’ lives. Anna’s brother David finds himself performing during his stay in Terezin. This is what it did for him — And then the music enveloped him, carried him far from this place. He sailed above Terezin’s confines, peering down on this miserable lot. He soared above green fields, majestic mountains of blue, shimmering turquoise oceans. Away, far away from the misery of his soul. The terrible ache in his heart over the loss of his parents, of his family faded. But music can only take you so far — only God can bring real salvation.

The Melody of The Soul displayed the human experience at its worst — grief, despair, fear and impotence, and at its best — sacrifice, faith, and perseverance in trial. While not always an easy read — there are many scenes I wished I could have looked away from — it is definitely a beautifully written and thought-provoking one.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Litfuse and Gilead Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway and FB Party! 

Join Liz Tolsma and other bookworms for a Facebook Live event on February 6, plus enter to win Liz’s prize pack giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the HERE. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 6. The winner will be announced at Liz’s Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

 

 

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