The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
I was captured by this story immediately. A missing original photograph of a beautiful girl with shaved head and Nazi concentration camp numbers tattooed on her arm provides the backdrop of this story. Why are two people searching for this intriguing painting? One, a wealthy business man from California and the other, an art gallery owner in New York. They both have copies, but they both feel compelled to find the original for very different reasons.
As the story unfolds we learn the identity and story or the international beauty in the photo. She is a non-Jewish Austrian who, like many others, ended up in the Nazi concentration camps. Why is she, once the "Sweetheart of Austria" imprisoned, shorn of her hair, and tattooed? Who painted the photo that was obviously painted years ago. In a camp? Did she survive, or was she a casualty of the camp's gas chambers or firing squad?
Written in alternating sequences between New York/California and Austria/Germany, the story unfolds quickly and beautifully. The descriptions are so well crafted that the reader sees the scenes as the characters did.
This is a love story, both modern and historic. The message comes through loud and clear but without preaching, our gifts are from God and not to be wasted.
I highly recommend this book. I received my advance copy through Netgalley.