Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: AmazonCrossing (Dec 1 2017)
Synopsis: 1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure for his young son before leaving to fight in a terrible war to honor his beloved country—a country that would soon turn against his own family.
A half century later, Londoner Lilian Morrison inherits the box after the death of her parents. Though the silver is tarnished and dented, this much-loved treasure is also a link to an astonishing past. With the keepsake is a letter from Lilian’s mother, telling her daughter for the first time that she was adopted. Too young to remember, Lilian was rescued from a Germany in the grips of the Holocaust. Now only she can trace what happened to a family who scattered to the reaches of the world, a family forced to choose between their heritage and their dreams for the future.
* * *
The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites is a beautifully written story about a Jewish family separated by War. The Silver Music Box remains the centre of the story as the characters move through their lives, from WWI to WWII and the post-war era. This roughly 230 page book encompasses about 50 years of history, so there are large jumps in time and “missing” years.
When a book encompasses such a wide span of history, I find that the transitions between the time periods is the most important part of keeping the reader with you – while there were some “awkward” transitions, mainly with large time jumps in the middle of a chapter. Ultimately, this didn’t lose me as a reader. This was in large part due to the beautiful writing style.
This book was originally written in German and translated to English and while translated books can often lose a lot of its heart, I didn’t feel this book did. The story and sentences still read smoothly and in many places, the writing was absolutely beautiful.
I really enjoyed the premise of this book and plot line. There were some things in the carryout that I would have changed, but it was an interesting and entertaining book to read nonetheless. Great for people with an interest in historical fiction.
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Thomas Allen & Sons *