Friday, March 6, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin

Kristy Cambron

Bound together in time, two women will discover a powerful connection with one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day--With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairy tale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she's stumbled into a charmed life--until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she's planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942--Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939 and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája
discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight
to protect all they hold dear--even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

The Sparrow of Terezin is the sequel to Kristy Cambron’s The Butterfly and the Violin.  I was unaware of the first book when I opened the pages of Sparrow but found myself immediately swept away in a spellbinding mystery of intrigue as the bridegroom is escorted away from the alter in handcuffs by the FBI.  The mystery surrounding the bride and her groom with impending doom of prison for fraud was a great story line unto itself.  Even though, it would have been to my benefit to have read the first novel for some of the backstory, the events of the current story were strong enough to keep the reader on track.  Interwoven with this story of love, angst, and despair was a second theme and storyline.
It was the second theme and storyline that truly stole my heart and carried the weight of the novel from the opening segue that took the reader back to the very start of WWII in Czechoslovakia, as Hitler was entering and Jews were fleeing.  Kristy allowed us to see the horrors of the conflict of WWII through the eyes of a young Jewess as she survived the bombings of London and returned to Czechoslovakia during the thick of the war to rescue her parents and ended up in a concentration camp. 
I have read Schindler’s List, Diaries of Anne Frank and so many other great and heart-wrenching books about this period of time.  Each one has reached out and touched on the horrors that happened during that time.  Each book has spoken to the injustice inflicted on not just one race of people, but also towards the innocent and the helpless.  The Sparrow of Terezin has done a beautiful job of once again opening our eyes to a new group of innocents who needed to be spoken for, whose voice needed to be heard, even these many years hence. 
Kristy presented the story with heart.  It was riveting, it was heart-stopping at times, as the story set the nerves on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  But, Kristy also is a romantic at heart.  She tells a beautiful story of love that survives the worst of conditions.  That true love never fails.   This was found to be true in both story tracks, as they wound through the book.   In both tales, though seemingly unrelated, the two heroines needed to believe in the love of what could not be seen but was essential to their sanity.
There were times the box of Kleenex came out, for I knew the reality of the story behind the story for Terezin.  It was in those darkest moments that the heroine would look up and see the sparrow fly across the sky above and be reminded of His love for even the sparrow.  It is with that strength that she could carry on another day. 
As with any good author, Kristy was able to take the threads of her stories and weave them together so that by the final page a beautiful portrait was spread out before the reader.  It left this reader reflecting back over the story and how those threads were woven and how the story was laid out all along for us, the reader to see.  I look forward to going back to read the first book in this series and the next offering that Ms. Cambron has to offer.
The Sparrow of Terezin received top ratings this week from this reviewer.  Four Stars for a wonderful job on such a difficult topic and presenting it in such a riveting, but caring way.  Three Boxes for Kleenex and the heart strings that it struck as I read it.  A must read for anyone who loves WWII history.

I was supplied a review copy of this book by NetGalley.

“Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with WWII since hearing her grandfather’s stories. She holds an Art History degree from Indiana University and has 15 years industry experience as a corporate learning facilitator and communications consultant. Kristy writes WWII and Regency fiction. She makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons. Website: Twitter: @KCambronAuthor Facebook: Kristy-L-Cambron-Author”.