Keeper of Secrets, TheThomas, Julie
In an attempt to bolster young violinist Daniel Horowitz's interest in playing, musician Rafael Gomez sets out to track down a precious 1742 Guarneri violin owned by the Horowitz family but confiscated by the Nazis. It is an international story ranging from Europe to the US and the antipodes and reflects comprehensive research into what happened to Jewish families and their prized possessions.
With its riveting plot and its rich musical content, this is an intriguing mystery and a triumphant story of a family and its heritage.
Comments from GroupsWe all rated this book very highly. Very well researched. Julie Thomas has a very good knowledge of music and violins. Many of her characters are drawn from real people or groups, and her empathy for them can be felt. A NZ author we can be proud of, and we recommend her book to others. Diamond Harbour 001 We had mixed feelings - some loved it, some didn't like it. The general feeling was that it described scenes in words rather than creating a picture. It was well researched, but we felt the author was under a compusion to include all the details she had found. We found the ending and Sergio's character a bit anti-climatic. Levin A great read. We were all most interested in the history of violin making, and the ownership of these throughout the centuries; the beauty and durability of each instrument and pleasure to each owner - intertwined with the horror of life in the concentration camps. Napier 005 This was a great way to start the year. Whilst the topic was sombre, the style of writing made it an easy read. Winton 001 Our group really enjoyed this book. The story was 'a good one', and we had lots of discussion about wars - past and current; music (learning as children versus as adults); whether a lay listener would hear the difference between a superior violin and a standard violin; plus what little we knew about countries behind the iron curtain. It was one of our longest discussions and most enjoyable. Christchurch 196 We liked the story but felt the writing style was aimed at young adult/film scripts - not our favourite styles. Wellington 074 ... For our group it was a fortuitous read, coming at the time of ANZAC Day. It gave us the opportunity to reminisce over WWll horrors, and the wonderful survival stories that came out of war. The book itself was a very easy read for us all, and yet although we all thoroughly enjoyed the book, it did not in any way dispel the need for discussion. I think it will be a book that we will remember for quite some time to come. Auckland 006