Friday, July 19, 2019

Book review of The Violin Maker's Daughter by Sharon Maas

French Village Diaries book review The Violin Maker's Daughter Sharon Maas
The Violin Maker's Daughter by Sharing Maas

The Violin Maker’s Daughter by Sharon Maas


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 alright.

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

French Village Diaries book review The Violin Maker's Daughter Sharon Maas
Bookouture Books-on-Tour The Violin Maker's Daughter Sharon Maas

My Review:

Sarah is a child who has led sheltered life, loved and protected by parents who have hidden the threat of war from their daughters. As Jews in Alsace, however, they can hide no more. Sarah, as the eldest, must be the first to flee, and must leave on her own. Her journey from safe house to safe house, crossing tough terrain and facing danger at every step, is a terrifying experience that often had my heart racing in fear. I felt the turmoil of her emotions as she is forced to grow up quickly, especially when Ralf, the young German soldier who risked his life for her, becomes her travelling companion to Poitiers. 

Living an uncertain life where any mistakes could cost her, or those around her, their lives, it is often her emotional immaturity that lets her down and puts her at further risk. I sometimes found this book difficult to read as I feared for Sarah and the situations she found herself in, but ultimately watching her mature and become a stronger woman was worth the heartache. 

This book is well written, with strong characters and lots of emotions. We see the worst of war; the pain and grief at parting, the violence, the collaboration and the hatred, but we also see love and the power it has to win over hate. If you enjoy historical fiction that is graphic and gritty as well as emotional, this book should be on your reading list. 

Purchase Links:

French Village Diaries book review The Violin Maker's Daughter Sharon Maas
Sharon Maas

About the author:

Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1951 and educated in Guyana and England. After leaving school she worked as a staff journalist at the Guyana Graphic and the Sunday Chronicla in Georgetown.
Sharon has always had a great sense of adventure and curiosity about the world we live in, and Guyana could not hold her for long. In 1971 she set off on a year-long backpacking trip around South America.  In 1973 she travelled overland to India through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and spent two years in an Ashram in South India.

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