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The Violin Maker's Daughter: Absolutely heartbreaking World War 2 historical fiction Paperback – 1 January 2019
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When the Nazis march onto the cobbled streets of Colmar on November 1st 1940, Josef, a Jewish violin maker, gathers his wife and daughters closely to him and tells them everything will be all right.
But one year later, three sharp knocks on the door at midnight turn his seventeen year old daughter Sarah’s world upside down. As the oldest child, Sarah must be the first to leave her family, to make her escape in a perilous journey across France via Paris to Poitiers. And she must hide who she is and take a new name for her own safety. For now, bilingual Sarah is no longer a French Jew but a German girl.
As she bids farewell to her beloved father and family, Sarah has hope, against all odds, that she will see them again when the war is over. But, travelling through the mountains she finds herself in terrible danger and meets Ralf, a German deserter, who risks his own life to save her.
Ralf and Sarah continue their journey together, keeping their identities secret at all cost. But when Ralf is captured, will Sarah pay the ultimate price for sharing who she really is?
A gripping and heart-breaking account of love, bravery and sacrifice during the terror of war. A story of standing up for what you believe in; even if it’s going to break your heart. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Ragged Edge of Night.
Readers have fallen in love with The Violin Maker’s Daughter :
‘From the minute I opened this book I was completely enthralled. I couldn’t put it down. It was well thought out and expertly written… Really a great read and I can’t wait to look into other books by this author!’ Being Perry, 5 stars
‘Sharon Maas never disappoints! She is one of my favourite authors and with this wonderful, harrowing, heart breaking tale of courage and love in the face of unimaginable danger, she has cemented her place as one of the best historical fiction writes of today, right up there with Antony Doerr and Kristin Hannah. I SO loved this beautiful story… so stunningly realised. For me, it made the war come alive, the suffering and angst of ordinary people, both Jews and Germans, their bravery in the face of adversity so vividly brought to life thanks to the author's magical writing. I would very highly recommend this book and give it ten stars if I could. If you're going to read one war book this year which marks the 75th anniversary of D-day, make it this one!’ Renita D’Silva, 5 stars
‘A gripping, heartbreaking, but yet heartwarming historical fiction (that is based on real facts concerning Colmar, Alsace and Lorraine as well as French and German Resistance)... It is raw and emotional, yet a necessary story to tell. Sarah is only 17-18 and is so strong for her age. I enjoyed all the characters of individuals that helped her and Ralf along the way… it still had plenty of positivity and hope, that I felt it ended appropriately and honestly. A great read. 5/5 stars’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘I loved it! Once I started reading, I could not stop... I was on the edge of my seat… This is the first book I have read by this writer, I am eager for more!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘A heart wrenching story of bravery, love and sacrifice.’ For the Love of Books
‘The Violin Maker's Daughter is a good emotional story. The characters are well-developed and the storyline is interesting. Well written.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
- Publisher : Bookouture (1 January 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 378 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1786819791
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786819796
- Dimensions : 12.85 x 2.41 x 19.84 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 113,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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The ordeal suffered by the violin maker’s daughter as she journeyed through war-torn Europe dominates the tale but continued reference to Nazi atrocities reminds the reader of the futility and heartache of that global conflict. Recommended.
I lived through the war. It was very real.
Top reviews from other countries
Sarah, I felt, was a very naive, silly girl who made some really stupid decisions which proved to be very dangerous - it was as if she didn’t realise the reality of her situation and, although she was young, I don’t think anyone could use that as an excuse for being as stupid and childish as she was and not having any common sense. She irritated me no end, especially when she continued to write down the fact that she was a Jew in a houseful of Nazi collaborators! To leave such evidence lying about, which also described the fact that her boyfriend was in the French Resistance, was ridiculous. A child of 12 would not have done that, let alone a 19-year-old!
The descriptions of her spying activities towards the end of the book were not detailed enough and there was no tension whatsoever. After reading several books about SOE agents, I don’t think it was ever that easy!
All in all, it was a very slow-moving book which I hoped would improve but, sadly, it didn’t. Not one of Sharon Maas’ best.
The family at the front of the story is Jewish which is non practising and carries the German name Mayer. As such they do not make it public that they are Jewish - for obvious reasons in this Nazi climate - until some traitorous and mischievous person betrays them and so the Nazi heavies set about removing them.
The story, so engagingly told, then tells how the family of 6 has to split to escape and Sarah the young, unworldly, but eldest of the brood, first makes her way West into France. A frightening episode on the climb over the Vosges from Colmar throws up a startling about turn by one of the German soldiers who had captured them, but who, witnessing an attempted rape, saves them and thereafter accompanies and befriends Sarah. The adventures are told with nail biting tension and most beautifully written.
This is a very fine and major novel and is enthusiastically recommended without reservation.