Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Review: The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

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Title: The Melody of the Soul

Author: Liz Tolsma

Series: Music of Hope #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


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.

**3 stars**

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma is set during World War II and focuses on a young, Jewish woman living in Prague. It explores some of the horrific happenings during the Holocaust and weaves a story of Jews who hid, trying to escape the horrors being forced on them.

Book one in the MUSIC OF HOPE series, this novel is filled with drama, sorrow, action, and glimmers of hope.

So, though The Melody of the Soul did keep my attention and I felt like I learned some more about this particular war, the Holocaust, Jews, etc. - it wasn't my favorite read. Perhaps because the writing style was more narrative and I couldn't really feel the emotions of the characters. I didn't feel super invested in the character's lives, though I did very much hope for Anna, her grandmother, and the rest to survive!

There were some breathless moments, wondering if they were going to make it. Because of the theme and the time and setting, this book had a pretty heavy, dark air about it. But as I mentioned above, there was hope. A little bit of romance. And a lot of faith content. I appreciated the strong, unapologetic faith theme, even if the characters didn't quite feel real to me.

I rate The Melody of the Soul three stars because it did mostly keep me turning pages. The faith content was good, and the ending satisfying. If not for that, I may have rated it less, because of the things about the book (unrealistic characters or scenarios) that bothered me.

I received a copy of The Melody of the Soul from Litfuse Publicity Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review.

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