“The Melody of the Soul” by Liz Tolsma

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By 1943, Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost everything, including her career as a concert violinist and almost her entire family. The only person she has left is her beloved grandmother, and she’s determined to keep her safe. But protecting Grandmother won’t be easy–not with a Nazi officer billeted below them.

Anna must keep a low profile. There’s one thing she refuses to give up, though. Despite instruments being declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to practice her violin. She has to believe that the war will end someday and her career will be waiting. Fortunately for Anna, the officer, Horst Engel, enjoys her soothing music. It distracts him from his dissatisfaction with Nazi ideology and reminds him that beauty still exists in an increasingly ugly world.

When his neighbors face deportation, Horst is moved to risk everything to hide them. Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals to her might break her trust and stop the music forever. . . .

Liz Tolsma
Tolsma captures the heartache and hardship of the Holocaust with her new novel The Melody of the Soul!  Horst’s bewilderment at the plight of his Jewish neighbors leaps off the page, as does Anna’s hope for a brighter future.  If not for that – and for knowing the ultimate ending of the Holocaust story – the book might have been overwhelming; it’s that well written.  As it was, while I was totally caught up in the story and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next, I did occasionally put the book down and catch up on Facebook news just so that I wouldn’t head out and try to join the Polish Resistance.
The Melody of the Soul is not only well-written, but it’s realistic, too.  While you’ll fall in love with Horst and Anna, and you’ll want to see miraculous, happy endings for all of the characters, that won’t happen; because that’s just the tragic way that the Holocaust went.  Tolsma does pull out a stunning ending, as it goes, and I think it’s pretty miraculous, but people will be lost along the way, and if anything else happened, it wouldn’t ring nearly as authentic as it does.  
That authenticity is important, because The Melody of the Soul will encourage you to increase your faith and to see the big picture when we so often get caught up in the here and now.  Peggy’s role was important; George’s role was important; Horst’s role was important, and maybe that’s one lesson we can learn from this book:  that we’re all intertwined, and we all need to do our part to make the world a better place.
Anna’s musical talent is another aspect of this story that I enjoyed.  In college, I took many classes about the Holocaust from a German man born at the end of the war, and he made sure that we knew the real history of the war; however, I learned little about the role that music played in Treblinka, and it is an intriguing angle of the story.  
The Melody of the Soul is the first in Tolsma’s new Music of Hope.  I’ve seen some great tidbits about the upcoming books in the series.  After reading The Melody of the Soul, I can’t wait for more!
Click here to read other reviews in this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

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