Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

January 24, 2018 Christian, giveaway, historical, Liz Tolsma, romance 21

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.

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SERIES: Music of Hope #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Gilead
RELEASE DATE: January 16, 2018
PAGES: 320

“You bring a melody to my soul that I never want to end.”

I heard Beth Moore say once that music is our soul’s love language, and I absolutely believe that. It’s certainly true for Anna, and even for Horst. Despite initially being enemies (at least in the eyes of the war around them), music captivates them both, shatters their differences and ultimately unites them. I was so struck by one of the final scenes – in the audience’s applause after a performance by someone that a few months previously had been on a deportation list to the infamous Terezin concentration camp. The same people praising the talent now were many of the same people who had been intent on the extermination of the Jews.

Our souls are so fickle, aren’t they? Outside of Jesus, we move from one bandwagon to the next, trying to fill the emptiness with causes and dreams. The melody of our soul in these cases sounds more like an orchestra tuning up before a performance. But far too often we don’t realize that a relationship with Jesus centers our souls on Him and His dreams for us. When He fills our soul, the melody is better than anything the greatest symphony could play.

Ahem. Sorry for the mini-sermon LOL. I’m a preacher’s grandkid. It’s in my blood 😉

The characters in The Melody of the Soul are a study in internal contrasts. Anna, a Jew by blood & a Christian by faith. Horst, a man of faith forced to become a soldier for the Nazi regime even though he believes what they are doing to the Jews is wrong on all levels. (Note: In our reactionary culture, the thought of a Nazi officer falling in love with a Jew – and vice versa – is a fine line to walk in a novel. But I think the way these characters are presented, and the way they wrestle with the same fine line – the acknowledgment that it exists – is well done.) Patricie, an active member of the Resistance who is forced into a relationship with a Nazi soldier. And then there is Anna’s grandmother – my personal favorite character because she (and her relationship with Anna) reminded me so much of my own dear grandmother and our relationship. Her words of faith to Anna are another underlying theme of this novel:

Babička, wait. How can you trust him?”

“I can’t. But I trust the Lord.”

This review is becoming intolerably long, BUT I have to mention one more aspect that I loved about The Melody of the Soul: The cover is gorgeous and I love the interior design (chapter headings) as well! Here’s a peek:

Bottom Line: The Melody of the Soul is an exquisite symphony of emotion and grace. The quote in the graphic – “The music spoke of darkness and violence, but also of hope and trust” – is actually a pretty good summary of the book itself. Tolsma has beautifully captured the agony of the Holocaust and the struggle to trust God and find hope in the midst of such evil and darkness. This is one of those books that lingers with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

See what others are saying: Litfuse Tour

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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.

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Other Books by Liz Tolsma


Travel back in time to 1943 and meet Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian and concert violinist whose career is ended because of Nazi occupation in Prague. Don’t miss the new historical novel, The Melody of the Soul, by Liz Tolsma. Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Officer Horst Engel, quartered in Anna’s flat and dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.

Join Liz Tolsma and other bookworms for a Facebook Live event on February 6, plus enter to win Liz’s prize pack giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 6. The winner will be announced at Liz’s Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Carrie

21 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma”

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the review on “The Melody of the Soul” and for promoting it on the book tour. I would very much love to read this book.

  2. Brittaney B

    Even if I didn’t know that Tolsma is a great author, I would want to read this book. Because, wow! That cover is gorgeous. I’m curious to read about the relationship between a Christian Jew and a Nazi soldier. One of my favorite books ever (For Such a Time by Kate Breslin) included this same idea.

    • Carrie

      Yes! It reminds me of Kate’s book & Kristy Cambron’s The Butterfly & The Violin

  3. Ellen L Gray

    This books sounds really good! I really enjoy books set in the WWII era.

  4. Winnie Thomas

    Thanks for the lovely review and mini-sermon! 😀 This books sounds very intriguing. It seems like there are a lot of WWI and WWII books lately. I’ve read several and I’m learning so much about that time period.

    • Carrie

      There have been so many great books from that era lately. We are so blessed 🙂

  5. Melissa

    I don’t read historical fiction, but this summary has me much intrigued.

  6. Connie Saunders

    Your review just confirmed that I need to read this book! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Evangeline

    I have not read anything by this author, and this book sounds like a great beginning! I would be thrilled to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway. 😊

  8. Alison Boss

    Carrie,

    What a breathtaking review you have written! Your insights were inspiring and touched my heart. I have wanted to read The Melody of the Soul since I first hear about it, and your review makes me want to read it even more!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

    • Carrie

      oh thank you so much, Alison! I’m so glad my review makes you want to read the book – that’s always my goal! 🙂

  9. Dianne Casey

    Really like the description of the book. Sounds like a great read. Shared on Twitter.

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