Had I known this book was labeled as “Christian fiction” I think I wouldn’t have requested it, and it was my entire fault since the synopsis mentions God at least three times, but I didn’t realize until it was too late. At least now I can say that I have tried Christian books, right?
The butterfly and the violin contents two stories in two different times. During the Second World War, in Vienna, Adele Von Bron, a promising violinist, falls in love with a member of the Vienna Philharmonic, for which they both play. Vladimir is a nice man, but Adele’s parents are looking for an upper class husband for their child, and Vladimir doesn’t belong to that specific group. They live their love in secret and not only that, but even though Adele’s father is a Nazi officer, she helps Vladimir to get some Jews out of Vienna… until she is uncovered.
Today, Sera James looks for the original painting of a girl in Auschwitz playing the violin; she has been obsessed with that painting since she first saw it long years ago, and now she discovers that it may belong to a man who has just died, so she decides to go and talk with his heirs. She meets Will Hanover, a handsome man who actually doesn’t have the painting but also has his own reasons to get it, so they investigate together.
Both stories are linked through that painting.
The part set in the past is the one I liked most. Adele is a sensible young girl who just wants to help other people, and her love story with Vladimir is really beautiful. In Auschwitz she is forced to play the violin with other girls while the Nazis bring people to the camp and do their first selection, taking the people who can’t work to the gas chambers; but even in that situation she can consider herself luckier than the other prisoners. The “Christian” issue here is that she plays for God, which I found perfectly natural, taking into account that the poor girl needs to blow her mind somehow in a situation like that.
Sera’s part is like a romance novel, but it wasn’t very good, in my opinion. To summarize, she is devastated because her husband-to-be cancelled their wedding so she hasn’t dated other men for years, but she falls in love with Will Hanover who, by the way, is rich, and she is not sure about opening her heart and all that. He, meanwhile, confesses his deepest secret ever – which might be considered SPOILERS, you are warned – taking the plot to a momentous scene when he puts a bible on Sera’s table and says his dream was to be a minister since he was young, but his family didn’t let him because his fate was to be the head of the family business – business of millions of dollars, I mean, what a terrible fate! – and her heart instantly pounds harder full of love for him, while I was laughing out loud. I’m sorry, but that was too much Christianity for me.
So, did I like the book? Fifty-fifty. I loved Adele’s part, and it talks about a subject I didn’t know anything about: the art created in Auschwitz by the prisoners, which I found fascinating. But the plot set in the present is boring, trying to fit God everywhere, except for the end, when they discover the painting and the story behind it.The buttefly and the violin Kristy Cambron Published by Thomas Nelson 329 pages.