The Violin Maker's Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you for the opportunity to read this. I will be posting a full review to Goodreads, Amazon, and Instagram.
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As reviewed on my Goodreads account...
I received this book through NetGalley and am thankful to the publishers for allowing me to read it. 
Unfortunately I was super unimpressed with this book. The premise of the story was good and interesting but the book fell far short of my expectations. The writing style was so tedious for most of the book. There were so many run on sentences...I’ve never seen so many commas and dashes in a book before! Then the author kept rephrasing the same sentiment over and over again in different ways. Add to that the fact that Sarah had to be the absolute most annoying character I’ve ever read in my life...yet the sudden maturity overnight? Sorry it was just too farfetched for my liking...
As much as I love WWII novels, I’m just not sure I could recommend this to anyone.
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I am always tempted by the newest WWII historical fiction. Interesting story based on a main character from German-occupied Alsace. The main character caused me to feel frustrated at times as she often made some immature and impulsive decisions however there was eventually some great character development and growth in maturity. A good read with some interesting plot twists!
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I was entranced by the books cover and the title. Never having read Sharon Maas before, it was the genre that also attracted me to this book.  Many thanks to #NetGalley and Bookouture for making this possible.

Sarah is the eldest daughter of the violin maker, Josef, a French Jew living in Colmar under the radar of the Nazi round up. But the families times of freedom are fast disappearing and Sarah must be the first to leave her family, making her escape by a perilous journey across France via Paris to Poitiers. She must hide who she is and take a new name for her own safety. She is no longer a French Jew but a German girl. 

Sarah is saved from a terrible fate by Ralf, a German soldier - who because of his actions, now must go on the run too, as a  deserter. This is the love story of the book.

There are scrapes and close calls along the way which I enjoyed but I was really annoyed by Sarah and how childish she was. Yes, she was a child so this is fair, but it meant I skipped large tracts of text where she dithered about her feelings - emotions swinging backwards and forwards. I found this all too wordy. I wanted to be caught up more in the action!

But I stuck with it and was rewarded later in the book when she became more involved in resistance activities.

I must admit, I did guess the "surprise" at the end. But over all, a historical fiction I feel was worth persisting with.

#TheViolinMakersDaughter #NetGalley
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The Violin Maker’s Daughter by Sharon Maas is a World War 2 novel of love, spying and lots of action. I became absorbed in the characters from the beginning. Sarah in the first two parts of the book was so naive and childish. She was so annoying. She was Jewish with a German name and passed as a German. She was the first daughter that had to flee from her home in Colmar. Her father was a violin maker. Sarah meets a German soldier, Ralf, who she hates because he is a nazi. Ralf hates Hitler and he just walks away.  They fall in love. Ralf joins the French Resistance. Sarah gets news that Ralf has been killed. In the last part of the book she matures and becomes a spy to help the Jewish people. Many twist and lots of adventures. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ADR COPY. All opinions are my own.
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As always World War II historical fiction novels draw me in. I couldn't put Sharon Maas' The Violin Maker's Daughter down!! The book was so intriguing that I didn't want to stop reading for anything. I appreciated the interesting premise of a Jewish girl (Sarah) escaping the Nazis with a Nazi-defector by her side (Ralf). My one hang up with this book was that Sarah was just SO naive and even her efforts towards the end of the war did not make her immaturity seem any less immature. But overall, this was a good read. 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book! All opinions are my own.
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The Violin Maker's Daughter by Sharon Maas is a wonderful book set during WWII.  The setting fluctuates between France and Germany.  The main character is of partial jewish descent and hence the problem.  The characters are rich and deep.  You feel yourself talking to them, urging them on and understanding them as if they were your friends. .  Some of the characters you will love and others you will not.  The plot is wonderfully woven.  The story is loosely based on actual events and people.  I am actually going to do some future reading to learn more. Historical Fiction based on real people or events always peaks my interest.  The author does a wonderful job in keeping the reader interested and involved and the pages just fly by.  The author is also very adept at keeping the reader interested right up until the last page.  This is my first book by Ms. Maas and it will certainly not be my last.  I will be looking forward to reading more of her work. Well done.

I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Sarah, her parents and her four sisters live in Colmar in the Alsace region – one that ping-ponged between French and German rule for much of World War II. Non-practicing Jews, with a Christian mother, the family doesn’t have the onus of “Juden” on their papers: in fact, only a few of their most trusted friends even know that her father is Jewish. Their surname of Mayer is very Germanic, and the girls all had names more French than Jewish, leaving them reasonably ‘safe’ in a wholly unsafe place.  To add to their protection, Sarah’s father, a violin maker, was certain to keep his daughters close and indoors, not mixing about with others or being seen in the streets often, particularly since the annexation. Instead, Sarah’s days were spent learning the craft of the luthier from her father, playing music, and helping with her younger sisters. 

But the time has come and Colmar is no longer safe for the family. Arrangements are made for them to leave in stages, in secret. Sarah is to go first – and, while she protests and fights the inevitable, off she goes with hopes to meet up with her family in a few weeks. Naïve, spoilt and more than a bit in the midst of a typical teenaged strop, Sarah is led and guided by her emotions and how she feels of the moment. At only 17, and sheltered for most of her life, she’s not prepared for the constraint or changes in the world that she will see, and only longs for comfort from those she encounters. This Sarah is very age appropriate and it is easy to see just how unsettling and what an upheaval the situation is for her…moods swinging from abject homesickness to feeling ‘old enough’ to know her own mind, much information and advice is ignored, although she does ‘hear it’ – it will take some growth and understanding of the actual dangers before much would sink in. 

From the start, Sarah’s choices and emotions are tested, and when she finally listens to Raif, a German soldier that has deserted, she’s starting to grow up – even as she is developing ideas about their relationship and the ‘future’ for them. But, he’s listened and knows the ways of the world, and leaves to join the French Resistance, with information that they can use in their mission to stop the Germans.  Sarah is brought into a collaborateur’s household as a governess/nanny, hiding her Jewish roots and her actual name, and finds a ‘friend’ in the sister of the woman she works for.  Sarah is still so immature and trusting – desperate for friends, so she is often indiscreet – which leads to Raif and his cell of fighters being captured: headlines say they were ‘tried and executed” – but with her secrets out – flight is her only option.  Armed with nothing but her anger and her ability to ‘appear’ as a gentile, with her fluency in both French and German, she’s joined the fight – and travels into Germany to gather information. 

What Maas has done is created a character in Sarah who is both lovable and eminently frustrating – but grows and learns with each new experience, fueled with her worry for her family, grief with the loss of Raif, and the horrors she sees around her. From learning to use her new found confidence in her own beauty, strangely enough fueled by her collaborateur ‘friend’, she’s shed the girlish things and found purpose , and with the war’s end, answers about family and people she met along the way.  Gripping, emotional and wholly engaging, this is a story unlike others I’ve read before – with moments of actual history mixed in with a main character ‘inspired by’ an actual woman, and tactics used during the war.  

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

Review first appeared at   I am, Indeed 
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A WW2 novel focused on Sarah, a Jewish girl who whose family has flown under the radar of the Germans.  Eventually the family makes a plan to escape and Sarah is the first to make the journy.
Sarah quickly learns of the dangers along her way but quickly becomes very close to Ralf who is a German deserter.  The two of them continue to deal with fear, escape and turmoil of the war as they continue on their journey.  This book was interesting but Sarah's naive nature got to be a little too much for me.
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Sharon Maas writes another historical novel that is thoroughly enjoyable. Threatened by Nazis, Sarah Myer must flee France to avoid persecution as a Jew. Sensitive to the fact that Sarah is young, her character development is poignant. Her meeting with Ralf, a runaway German soldier, makes things much more complicated.
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It is 1940, Josef a secular Jewish Violin maker lives a quiet life with his German wife and daughters believing he is safe. That is  until the Nazi’s arrive in their small town of Colmar and Josef realizes that they are no longer safe and must flee. He has no choice but to split his family apart. He must send his daughters on a perilous journey across France alone, with the help from resistance safe houses along the way, and hope that they survive. 
Sarah is the oldest and first to leave on the arduous trek. Although she is the oldest she has lived a very sheltered life and that is beginning to show in the challenges that she is faced with.

This story had many twists and turns and kept you always wanting to read just one more page.  Would definitely recommend it.  This is my first Sharon Maas book and definitely not my last.

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

A solid 4.5 stars from me.
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I loved this book right from the beginning until the very last page. It was interesting, sad but also sweet and exciting.
The story carried me along and I didn’t notice the pages turning as all I wanted to do was to keep on reading to find out what happens.
Although I guessed what happened to the girls family and also who she ends up with it was still a brilliant read.
It starts in WW2 in Germany which makes a change as most books I read start in England during the war. It gives you an insight into the plight of families in another country being bombed by us instead of the other way round. Loved it!!!!
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Bookoutre for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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Beautifully written story that tugs at the heartstrings 
Thoroughly enjoyable book that the reader will not want to put down
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I received this book "The Violin Maker
s Daughter" from NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own.  The main character Sarah was a bit annoying. You just want to scream at her. I did like reading about the war and the story line. Although the part of the story was somewhat predictable, I kept hoping that the family would all be together in the end.
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I have read quite a few books by Sharon Maas and have loved them. This was a great story as well of a young Jewish girl who becomes the first to leave her family to get to safety during WWII, when the Germans were isolating the Jewish community and taking them to camps. Her family lived in Colmar, in the Alsace region of France.
Sarah's family had not confessed to being Jewish as they had a German name and were not religious, but someone new about them and they needed to leave for safety reasons. The family was large with a lot of children so they thought going in stages was a smarter option. Sarah was the first to leave, and she would need to go from safe house to safe house, on her journey across France to Poitiers, hopefully to be reunited with her family at some point.
Sarah meets many wonderful and brave people as she takes this journey, each risking their lives to help Jewish families escape. 
It is a love story as well between Sarah and a young German deserter, who risks his own life to save her. 
The story was great, but the main character Sarah was a bit frustrating, she had a lot of growing to do and was very naive at times, but I guess that was the part this character plays as she develops to maturity. I must say it added to the tension in the story.
I cant wait for the authors next book.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this book.
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The Violin Maker’s Daughter is a story of love and loyalty, loss and sacrifice, strength and bravery in the face of adversity.

As the plot develops, so does the character of Sarah.  At the start of the story, she is a naive 17-year old, protected by her family and sheltered from the war so far.  The wartime hardships imposed on her family and her town force Sarah on a journey in which she matures mentally and emotionally.  I enjoyed Sarah’s story the more it progressed.  The second half of the book has some really well-written twists and turns.

Although this is a fictional story, the author, Sharon Maas has accurately portrayed the events that took place in the Alsace region of France during World War 2.

Historical fiction is my favourite genre to read and this book was another great read for me.  It is the first time I have read any of Sharon Maas’ work and I would happily recommend The Violin Maker’s Daughter.

I am grateful to the publisher, Bookoture for an early digital copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Sarah Mayer is the eldest daughter of the violin maker in Colmar in Alsace.They are Jews although they haven't declared they are so the family is forced to flee as Nazi troops move into the area. They decide that Sarah should leave first on a long journey by foot with the aid of many members of the Resistance. Before long she is captured by two German soldiers but one of them shoots the other when he tries to rape Sarah. Ralf was a medical student before being drafted into the German army and after this event he deserts and helps Sarah on her journey.

At first I thought this was written for young adults given the style of writing and the plot but in the second half the language seemed more for adults. While the story kept me reading until the end, the story concentrates mostly on the romance that develops between Sarah and Ralf. There is little depth to either the characters or the story which annoyed me most of the time as I felt it relied on cliches rather than providing any real exploration of the subject matter.
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I love Alsace and I was eager to hear more about the region after reading the author's previous book.  The area was touched on a few times and I remembered several places after visiting there.

I found Sarah to be a really irritating and childish nearly to the point of giving up the book! I stuck with it and towards the end of the book she improved.

I found this one lacking in comparison with the previous book.
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From the opening chapter, I had a feeling that this would be quite an epic book. The heartbreaking tale of a Jewish family broken apart during the Nazi occupation of France. The eldest daughter of a Jewish violin maker in Nazi-annexed Alsace must start her family’s journey to the south of France. But will she ever be reunited with her parents and sisters?
As a lover of history, I have studied Nazi Germany at GCSE, A Level and as part of my degree; the latter also included Vichy France. I feel like I have a good ground on the factual side of the era so enjoyed reading a fictional account of life under the Nazis.
The journey of The Violin Maker’s Daughter is fraught with danger. Knowing which characters to trust is tricky for us as well as Sarah. I admit that I enjoyed the action in the book and therefore I found some of the train journey a little long winded as it didn’t seem to move the plot on much.
I have really mixed feelings about the main character Sarah. She is quite frustrating at times, especially in the opening parts of the book, as she puts herself and others in danger. I’m not sure how believable I found these occasions when she acted in a childish way. She is also incredibly brave, increasingly so towards the end of the book, and faces unimaginable fears as she hides from the Nazis and despairs of seeing her family again.
I enjoyed the style of writing and the way that author Sharon Maas makes reference to the camps as they understood them at the time of WW2, whilst obviously we as readers know the true horror of the extermination camps and Hitler’s Final Solution. Perhaps this is why I was annoyed with Sarah for her emotional reactions to situations: she simply didn’t understand the enormity of the danger during the first parts of the book.
I won’t give away the ending, but almost inevitably there is some heartache and some joy carefully balanced to leave the reader satisfied.
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Here, we’re transported to Alsace-Lorraine, as Sarah, the eldest daughter of the Mayer family, takes a dangerous journey through France to escape persecution as a Jew.

This does have the feel of a gripping adventure story, as Sarah and Ralf (the runaway German soldier she falls in with) negotiate their way from Alsace-Lorraine to France and safety. Along the way, they meet with Resistance fighters, learn how to pass undetected past checkpoints and blockades and turn their hands to spying and survival.

I was definitely a fan of Ralf: he had just the right combination of regret, kindness and a determination to put things right to endear him to the reader. Sarah… a little less so. Unfortunately, Maas writes her as a naive and selfish girl which (although probably very true to life) does make you want to scream at the page a bit every time she puts them both in danger. In wartime France, you’d hope she’d grow up a little quicker!

Despite that, the sheer number of twists and turns and the super-speedy plot kept me reading right until the bittersweet end. If you enjoy your spy thrillers with a dash of romance and naivety, this is for you!
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