Thursday, November 19, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Violinist of Auschwitz


Auschwitz, 1943: In the depths of hell, can hope rise? And can love triumph over hatred?

Based on the unforgettable true story of Alma Rosé, The Violinist of Auschwitz brings to life one of history’s most fearless, inspiring and courageous heroines. Alma’s bravery saved countless lives, bringing hope to those who had forgotten its meaning…

In Auschwitz, every day is a fight for survival. Alma is inmate 50381, the number tattooed on her skin in pale blue ink. She is cooped up with thousands of others, torn from loved ones, trapped in a maze of barbed wire. Every day people disappear, never to be seen again.

This tragic reality couldn’t be further from Alma’s previous life. An esteemed violinist, her performances left her audiences spellbound. But when the Nazis descend on Europe, none of that can save her…

When the head of the women’s camp appoints Alma as the conductor of the orchestra, performing for prisoners trudging to work as well as the highest-ranking Nazis, Alma refuses: “they can kill me but they won’t make me play”. Yet she soon realizes the power this position offers: she can provide starving girls with extra rations and save many from the clutches of death.

This is how Alma meets Miklos, a talented pianist. Surrounded by despair, they find happiness in joint rehearsals, secret notes, and concerts they give side by side––all the while praying that this will one day end. But in Auschwitz, the very air is tainted with loss, and tragedy is the only certainty… In such a hopeless place, can their love survive?

This devastatingly heartbreaking yet beautifully hopeful tale proves that even in the darkest of days, love can prevail––and give you something to live for. Fans of The Choice, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Orphan Train will lose their hearts to this magnificent tale.



 The Violinist of Auschwitz
Author:  Ellie Midwood
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   356
Date of Publication:   November 18, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

During the dark days of World War II and the ugliness of Auschwitz, there is a beacon of hope and light that comes from the strings of a violin. Alma Rosé quickly learns that she can stave off the hideousness of the gas chamber due to her musical skills. She is losing people left and right and does not know when her number will be up - literally. She makes a request, albeit seemingly odd, and that is for a violin. Talented beyond belief, getting her hands on a violin brings her an amazing opportunity.

Not only does she get to keep playing, Alma stays alive, and so do others that she trains to play in the small orchestra that was formed. She plays for both prisoners and the enemy and learns tricks along the way to thrive during the darkest of times. Reluctant at first, Alma quickly learns that her exceptional skills hold great advantage. Not only can she stay alive, but she can keep others alive as well, even getting extra food and other necessary things to survive.

I learned something while reading The Violinist of Auschwitz. I had read in other novels about the subtle differences in the different camps, and how certain skills gave the otherwise hopeless prisoners something akin to hope. In this case it was music. However, music was not the only thing that brought more to Alma's life. She meets a pianist named Miklos, and they proved to be kindred spirits. I fondly remember the gentle words that Miklos uttered to Alma and truly enjoyed their gentle love story. 

This book brought intense feelings of sadness, as is always the case when reading of this time in history. However, those feelings of sadness were well matched with the lightness that I have mentioned. That light brought beauty. Brought hope. Brought love. What a story! Even while writing this review weeks after reading this book I have a lump in my throat. This is the fourth book that I have read by Ellie Midwood and I was truly touched by reading this, just as I was with the other three books I have read by her. She writes of the darkest of times, but brings a beacon of hope in her stories. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, The Girl from Berlin.' Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

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  1. This looks lovely - I was afraid this one would gut me

  2. Sounds inspiring. I love stories like these. Great review.

  3. Sounds like a very heart-wrenching read. Great review.

  4. i know i will be reading this one (i think i already might have it on my tbr)