©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin

I have fallen in love with Kristy Cambron's writing. She has a way of pulling the reader into the story with the very first line of her books and then she doesn't let go until the reader is wrung out, worn out, but thoroughly satisfied with the way the story comes out. I reviewed The Butterfly and the Violin here. Last night I finished reading A Sparrow in Terezin, and I was wrung out, worn out, and thoroughly satisfied with the way the whole story came out.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a painting of a sparrow.

Now that that's out of the way, we can get down to the nitty-gritty of the elements of the book.

There are two plots that weave together and bring life to the book. Sera and William have just finished speaking their wedding vows and officers show up to handcuff William and take him off to jail--a fine way to open the reception. It takes about four days before William can get bail and be released to find out what has truly happened. William is accused of selling assets from the Hanover Corporation and keeping the profits. Because William is tight-lipped about what he truly thinks happened, Sera takes it on herself to go to London and find out from William's father herself.

Kaja lives in Prague with her family in the late 1930's. As her father sees the writing on the wall, he works to get Kaja and her sister Hannah out of Prague to safety. Hannah and her husband settle in Palestine, and Kaja goes to London and finishes her education then gets a job as a copy editor for the London Telegraph. When a story about the concentration camps and death camps run by the Germans comes across Kaja's desk, she knows she has to go back to get her parents out of Prague. The day after she arrives, the SS arrives to transport her family to Terezin, along with thousands of others. Because Kaja's father is a physician and because he signs their house over to the SS, the family gets better jobs, better accommodations, and more food, such as it was. Kaja is put in charge of teaching the children too young to do any meaningful work. She tells them stories and has them paint pictures, write poetry and stories.

Kristy has worked several life-affirming concepts into this novel. The first is Kaja's favorite verse: Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for I am with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (annotated). The other concept that weaves itself through the story is the one of God's time not being the same as our time, that God cares for every creation, including the sparrow, and His time is more important than our time.

I know I have left out several important facets of the plots, but, I'd like to leave something for the reader to discover. =) It's worth the time and effort to plumb the depths of this book!

Thomas Nelson provided an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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