Friday, January 26, 2018

Review: The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

About the book:

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.

My Thoughts:

This cover is absolutely lovely. It shows a serene picture of Prague in the evening as if nothing is amiss. The title seems almost magical. However, opening up this book and entering into these character’s lives is anything but. In the midst of World War 2, Prague has been taken over by the Germans and the world has been turned upside down. The Jews are being rounded up and eliminated and Anna Zadok has watched her family be deported and maybe never to be seen again. And she herself is given a brief reprieve.

This story got under my skin in a way one hasn’t in a while. Anna is the only one left to take care of her grandmother. They had hoped they would be spared as they were Christian Jews, however this was the Nazi’s and they had one goal in mind. Anna and her grandmother’s life take an uncertain turn when Nazi officer, Horst Engel, moves in below them. Taking a liking to Anna’s violin playing they become acquaintances of sort.  

The feeling of danger is thick in this story and the characters we meet are faced with decisions that they must make concerning life and death, right and wrong. How do we live when the world seems to have gone mad? Anna and Horst have a very unlikely friendship that does grow into a romance and I cared about both these characters.  I understood Anna’s disgust and distrust of Horst at first, and I understood Horst’s revulsion at his fellow comrades and his own father. We are given both of their viewpoints and a few other important ones to get a more rounded picture. The author did a good job in really immersing the reader into a time and place when danger abounded and trusting your enemy was akin to jumping off a cliff.

I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

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

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