Title: A Sparrow in Terezin
Author: Kristy Cambron
Series: Hidden Masterpiece #2
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: April 7, 2015
About the Book:
Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through 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 like she’s stumbled into a charmed life until a brutal legal battle against fiance William Hanover threatens to destroy their future 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 with the man she loves.
1942: Kaja Makovsky narrowly escaped Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939 and was forced to leave behind her half-Jewish family. Now a reporter for The Daily Telegraph in England, Kaja 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, she 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 Kaja must cling to the faith that sustains them and fight to protect all they hold dear even if it means placing their own futures on the line.
A Sparrow in Terezin picks up Sera’s story shortly after the end of The Butterfly and the Violin. With Adele and Vladimir’s story concluding in the first book, Kristy Cambron introduces another character’s journey into the story. In the beginning Kája is able to flee Prague and is employed by the Daily Telegraph in England. Working there opens her eyes to many of the horrors occurring at the hands of the Nazis. In a desperate attempt to save her family, Kája gives up her safety to return to Prague and hopefully help her family escape.
Books about WWII history have a way of breaking my heart a little bit at a time as I read through them. At the end of the book after the author’s note, Kristy shares a few books she recommends for some additional reading. One of them is called I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944. It was part of her inspiration for the book. Can I be really honest and say that seeing that book at the end has affected me as much as reading the story itself? To know that there is actual artwork left behind from the innocent little children who were at Terezin and then transported their deaths… it makes me feel sick. I can’t even talk about it– it breaks my heart.
Although Kája’s story had me intrigued in this book, I didn’t personally feel like I connected with Sera’s part. I didn’t feel like there was enough explanation as to what was going on with her and William, but also didn’t feel as interested to find out. I really clung to what was going on with Kája to keep me going.
On the whole I would recommend this book, but definitely after reading the first due to the connections that exist between them. It’s a very emotional read, but one that’s well worth it. I am personally torn as to whether I think I could emotionally handle taking a look at the book that displays the actual children’s art. In a way, Kristy has given them a voice through this book. Although the characters she used were fictional, not all events were entirely made up. There were really children in a camp called Terezin, and they really made little pieces of art, and most were really transported to their deaths. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Age Appropriateness: This book is similar to the 1st in the series as far as content goes, and my personal recommendation is for 13 and up.