What a story of hope, sacrifice and finding beauty in the darkest of places and times! Kristy Cambron’s sophomore novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, is another beautifully written tale, drawing you into two different times and eras, but connected through a child who survived the war. It’s not an easy story to read (stories surrounding WWII rarely are), but it’s 112% worth it!
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 fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned 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.
1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája 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, Kája 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 Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.
This history of what happened around the world during WWII, especially the horrific things done to Jewish families who crossed paths with the Nazis is a disturbing topic. Yet even in the midst of such horror, those brave souls who survived tell stories, not of darkness, but hope. The art of so many innocent children lost, the daring sacrifices people made to mess with the Nazis’ plans and save others…it shines light on a dark period in history.
Kája’s tale of returning to her country is one of such courage, sacrifice and love of family. There are many heart breaking moments along the way, but through her life and her eyes, we catch a glimpse of true heroism. Plus I really enjoyed the friendship and relationship of her and Liam. He was fabulous friends! In our modern day story, I loved seeing Sera and William as a married couple. Dealing with deep wounds, it was refreshing to see a couple deal with issues while already married. It shows the mess within the beauty, the courage of daily choosing and what forgiveness looks like. While I enjoyed the historical setting a bit more (based on a personal preference and obsession with history), I liked coming back to Sera and William too!
Right after I finished this book, without even realizing, I started singing this hymn (in case you’re wondering, I only sounds pretty to Jesus : ), one I haven’t thought of in years. Yet the way the book ended, with Kristy’s final notes, I’m not surprised my heart and soul thought of this song.
Where have you seen beauty in the broken recently?
(Thank you to Thomas Nelson and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)