Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Violin of Hope by Ella Schwartz

 



Memories are made by a young family when their Papa plays his violin at night. And on Fridays, he plays before Shabbos dinner. Music filled their home with laughter and closeness. Father patiently showed his son how to hold the bow and encouraged him to keep trying. All that changed one night when soldiers pounded on the door, burst in, and grabbed the violin, tossing it on a heap of gathered items and carted away.

Left in a damp cellar for years, the violin became cracked and warped. Years later a luthier (maker and repairer of stringed instruments), found the abandoned violin in the damp cellar and began restoring it. I love how the book describes the process of bringing the instrument back to life and the steps it took. When completed, the instrument was displayed in the luthier's shop until a father came into the shop looking for a violin for his son.

The luthier encouraged the boy to practice telling him that one day he would play as well as the luthier's grandfather. After years of practice, the boy grew into a man who brought hope to people through his music. 

The author included an end note about a father-son luthier team that have made it their mission to find as many confiscated instruments as possible and bring them back to their former glory. They are keeping alive the memory of those who lost their instruments in the war. Their project is called Violins of Hope; check out their website for more information about their program.

I loved the portrayal of music as a connector of people as well as a connector of generations with young and old enjoying music together. The information about Violins of Hope was fascinating and an important project that helps young people better understand history.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Violin of Hope from NetGalley for review. No other compensation was received and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Violin of Hope by Ella Schwartz

  Memories are made by a young family when their Papa plays his violin at night. And on Fridays, he plays before Shabbos dinner. Music fille...