The Keeper of Secrets

The Keeper of Secrets

Book - 2013
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Berlin, 1939. 14-year-old Simon Horowitz is awash in a world of music. His family owns a superb collection of instruments and at its heart is his father's 1742 Guarneri de Gesu violin. But all is lost when the Nazis march across Europe and Simon and his father and brother are sent to Dachau. In the present day, an aspiring violin virtuoso, Daniel Horowitz, suddenly refuses to play another note. His orchestra conductor, Rafael, learns that the boy's family once owned a precious violin, believed to be lost forever, and thinks he might know exactly how to get Daniel playing again.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062240309
Branch Call Number: THO
Characteristics: x, 358, 10 p. ;,21 cm

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PMSyme
Jan 02, 2014

This book is quite a roller-coaster of emotions. The opening chapter sets the Nazi anti-Jewish scene with a brief hark-back to the Kristalnacht attack on Jewish establishments. Then the first part of the book is about Daniel Horowitz , an extremely talented 14-year old violinist who refuses to play if he is not also allowed to play baseball and be a "normal" boy. It is not so easy to be engaged by this part of the book. However, the middle section of the book moves on to the holocaust and Dachau. From here on, it's a riveting read. The remaining section is concerned with a priceless violin that had belonged to the Horowitz family, how it was stolen by the Nazis and then by a Russian and what it means to the remaining family members. Julie Thomas is a NZ writer who has done her research. She said herself that she shed tears over some parts when writing the book so it is not surprising we feel emotionally caught up in the events.

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