Hot Best Seller

The Silver Music Box

Availability: Ready to download

A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together. 1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure f A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together. 1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure for his young son before leaving to fight in a terrible war to honor his beloved country—a country that would soon turn against his own family. A half century later, Londoner Lilian Morrison inherits the box after the death of her parents. Though the silver is tarnished and dented, this much-loved treasure is also a link to an astonishing past. With the keepsake is a letter from Lilian’s mother, telling her daughter for the first time that she was adopted. Too young to remember, Lilian was rescued from a Germany in the grips of the Holocaust. Now only she can trace what happened to a family who scattered to the reaches of the world, a family forced to choose between their heritage and their dreams for the future.

*advertisement

Compare

A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together. 1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure f A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together. 1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure for his young son before leaving to fight in a terrible war to honor his beloved country—a country that would soon turn against his own family. A half century later, Londoner Lilian Morrison inherits the box after the death of her parents. Though the silver is tarnished and dented, this much-loved treasure is also a link to an astonishing past. With the keepsake is a letter from Lilian’s mother, telling her daughter for the first time that she was adopted. Too young to remember, Lilian was rescued from a Germany in the grips of the Holocaust. Now only she can trace what happened to a family who scattered to the reaches of the world, a family forced to choose between their heritage and their dreams for the future.

30 review for The Silver Music Box

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 When choosing to read a book about the Nazis and the Holocaust, one knows they are opening themselves up to some of the darkest days in history. Yet, if the word gentle, could be applied to any book that touches on this subject, this is the one. The focus is on one Jewish family, the Blumenthals. The men Jewelers by trade, and the events that touch them are unveiled gently, with much of the focus on the Germans who were their friends, and others who went out of their way, at great risk to th 3.5 When choosing to read a book about the Nazis and the Holocaust, one knows they are opening themselves up to some of the darkest days in history. Yet, if the word gentle, could be applied to any book that touches on this subject, this is the one. The focus is on one Jewish family, the Blumenthals. The men Jewelers by trade, and the events that touch them are unveiled gently, with much of the focus on the Germans who were their friends, and others who went out of their way, at great risk to themselves, to help them. That is not to say they don't have their share of suffering and losses, just that is was different to read a book where this happened. The silver music box, is the connector between the generations, both symbol of love and a means of identity.i am not going to rehash the plot, the summary for this book, is one of the better ones. Gives enough away without saying too much. The first two-thirds of the book covers the family in Germany and starts in the 1930s, when they begin to realize where the future, for Jews, may be heading. This part is strongly written, well done and the focus is again on various members of this family. I liked this part very much, which made my disappointment with the last part vividly stand out. The last part takes us to the 1960's, and a young woman has had some surprising news. This will send her on a guest to find those forgotten or scattered after the war. Some of the revelations at this point lack the shock value, they would have had if this story had been told in a linear fashion. It is also a little over written ,and one line in particular I felt was cheesy, didn't fit at all. Still all in all this is a good story, with a different bent than many of these years. This is the book a mother can read with her young teen to introduce the Holocaust, much to discuss and not horribly graphic. ARC from Netgalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    4.5 stars The Silver Music Box is one of the best Kindle First books I have read. I started it this morning when I had a little free time and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. The book is beautifully written – it was originally written in German and then translated into English so occasionally a turn of phrase or expression is a little unusual but that didn’t impact the story one bit. The tale starts out slowly but really picks up about a third of the way in. The silver music box is at 4.5 stars The Silver Music Box is one of the best Kindle First books I have read. I started it this morning when I had a little free time and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. The book is beautifully written – it was originally written in German and then translated into English so occasionally a turn of phrase or expression is a little unusual but that didn’t impact the story one bit. The tale starts out slowly but really picks up about a third of the way in. The silver music box is at the heart of the tale. As the book opens in 1914, Johann Blumenthal creates an ornate silver music box for his son Paul so that Paul will remember his father while Johann goes off to fight for Germany in World War 1. The story continues through the decades until the mid-1960’s following Paul and his family members and close friends with the silver music box remaining the thread that ties them all together. At times uplifting and at other times heartbreaking, the story sucked me in until I made it to the very last page. My favorite part of the book was Lilian’s story, and the path she is lead down when her adoptive parents die. Have tissues handy!! I also liked that a list of characters is included at the front of the book; it is very helpful because there are a lot of people in the book. I also enjoyed the Author’s Note at the end where she discusses her exhaustive research and the facts she altered a bit for the purpose of maintaining the flow of the book. I was happy to learn that one of my favorite characters, August Konrad, was based on a real person – what a pleasant surprise! The Silver Music Box is a wonderful and heartrending tale that will stay with me for a long time. When I read a story like this one, I can’t help thinking about the extreme divisiveness plaguing the U.S. today and wondering if humans will ever learn.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    This book is just amazing and one of the best I've read it a long time!~ Very hard to put down! There are a lot of characters in the book and they are listed in the front of the book and I found that to be very hopeful. The book starts in 1914 and father Johann Blumenthal creates a silver music box for his young son to remember him by when he goes to fight in the German WWI . The silver music box is at the heart of the tale and the book follows 3 generations of the family through heartwarming tim This book is just amazing and one of the best I've read it a long time!~ Very hard to put down! There are a lot of characters in the book and they are listed in the front of the book and I found that to be very hopeful. The book starts in 1914 and father Johann Blumenthal creates a silver music box for his young son to remember him by when he goes to fight in the German WWI . The silver music box is at the heart of the tale and the book follows 3 generations of the family through heartwarming times and severe heartache. The music box helps to reunite what is left of a family after WWII. This amazing story will stay with me for a long time. Pub Date 01 Dec 2017 Thank you to NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in the novel - Lubeck and Hamburg A story that sings and soars like the bird of the bird box. It’s made by a Jewish jeweller for his little son before the father volunteers for WWI to show he is a good German. This war story, is unlike any other in that it looks at the Jewish people and how they helped and worked hard for their country, helped others less fortunate and wanted to play their part in the war. It’s a poignant story and one where you gasp in hope one moment, cry in Visit the locations in the novel - Lubeck and Hamburg A story that sings and soars like the bird of the bird box. It’s made by a Jewish jeweller for his little son before the father volunteers for WWI to show he is a good German. This war story, is unlike any other in that it looks at the Jewish people and how they helped and worked hard for their country, helped others less fortunate and wanted to play their part in the war. It’s a poignant story and one where you gasp in hope one moment, cry in the other and shed tears knowing that this is not going to end well. The premise of using a music box which joins the stories across time to tell the whole picture was nicely done and this is a book which is going to stay with me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    This book was one of my Kindle First selections and so heart-wrenching! The tale of a Jewish family trying to flee the growing animosity towards they’re ‘kind’ from the Germans. It’s heart-breakingly accurate when you read about what all they had to go through. The characters were relatable and your heart went out to them as they dealt with the persecution, especially from those they thought of as friends. I love historical novels, getting to learn things from a different time and I definitely lear This book was one of my Kindle First selections and so heart-wrenching! The tale of a Jewish family trying to flee the growing animosity towards they’re ‘kind’ from the Germans. It’s heart-breakingly accurate when you read about what all they had to go through. The characters were relatable and your heart went out to them as they dealt with the persecution, especially from those they thought of as friends. I love historical novels, getting to learn things from a different time and I definitely learned a lot by reading The Silver Music Box. I highly recommended this one!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mel (Epic Reading)

    When I read the blurb on the back of The Silver Music Box I expected a story that jumped between the past and the 'present'. Initially I was disappointed that this is not how the story is written. Organization Usually organization of material is only relevant in non-fiction; however, Mina Baites has made it relevant in this book. The blurb will lead you to believe that you will be reading the story of a woman discovering her heritage for half the book. While technically you do read Lillian's heri When I read the blurb on the back of The Silver Music Box I expected a story that jumped between the past and the 'present'. Initially I was disappointed that this is not how the story is written. Organization Usually organization of material is only relevant in non-fiction; however, Mina Baites has made it relevant in this book. The blurb will lead you to believe that you will be reading the story of a woman discovering her heritage for half the book. While technically you do read Lillian's heritage story; however, it's very misleading as that portion of the story is only the last 70 or so pages. I would have much preferred to read up to a point when many of our characters are separated in WWII, or Lillian is dropped at the orphanage (not a spoiler it's in the blurb). Then a second book could have been Lillian's story that discusses her origination and eventually ties her to our previous characters. Main Story I adored the main story and the way it was set-up to focus on chunks of time that are relevant. There are points where it may skip many years but it never felt like I missed out on anything important. Additionally the main story is where the true value and morale behind the story of The Silver Music Box is pointed to. That morale is that: while events that may seem innocuous in the past they can become the reason something happens in the future. Baites shows us that karma is indeed true and that if you give something positive to someone you will receive positive back (albeit might take 30 years, lol). The End Story I'm calling the end story the portion where we move forward rapidly in time and find out the fate of our characters from the eyes of Lillian (the orphan). Instead of telling us the full story in the main story line we are instead told the ultimate outcome of our main characters as it it is told to Lillian, who is searching for answers about the music box. I found this to be very unsatisfying. I had no vested interest in Lillian and just wanted to go back to the POV's that I loved. That of Paul, Lotte, etc. And while some of our characters do tell their own story to our future gal it's not near as satisfying as if I had read it in order and from their viewpoint like the rest of the book is written. Overall I loved the first approx. 350 pages. The transition over to the orphan in the future seemed unnecessary and annoying. Almost like Baites was told to quickly wrap things up and so to do that she rushes the last of the story in to a flashback. I will certainly pick up Baites again. I really did love 75% or more of the book. I also adored the way a series of events created causality in the future. Karma can be a powerful thing and so Baites clearly illustrates that if you give to others they will (eventually) give back unto you or yours. For this and more of my reviews please visit my blog at: Epic Reading Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Epic family story spanning from 1916 thru 1963, in Germany, London and Cape Town, South Africa. The Blumenthal Brothers of Altona, Germany, Max and Johann, are jewelers and silversmiths, and have been doing business for years. Johann decides to volunteer during the First World War, leaving his wife and young son. Before he goes, he makes an intricate silver music box for his son, Paul. The music box never leaves his son's hand. Next comes the turmoil in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Paul is no Epic family story spanning from 1916 thru 1963, in Germany, London and Cape Town, South Africa. The Blumenthal Brothers of Altona, Germany, Max and Johann, are jewelers and silversmiths, and have been doing business for years. Johann decides to volunteer during the First World War, leaving his wife and young son. Before he goes, he makes an intricate silver music box for his son, Paul. The music box never leaves his son's hand. Next comes the turmoil in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Paul is now grown and working in the family business. He and his family believe that although they are Jews, they will be “protected” because of his father's military service years before, but they are mistaken. Now married, Paul, his wife and young daughter, his mother, aunt and uncles need to decide what to do as the anti-Jewish propaganda takes hold in the entire country. Fast forward after the war to the early sixties in England, and a newly orphaned young woman finds her whole world turned on end because her “parents” kept an important secret from her. Now her goal is to find the truth and how it connects to an old silver music box. An amazing, emotional story that is difficult to put down.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joan Bannan

    I guess I could consider this a page turner if I meant I found myself turning the pages rapidly without reading predictable paragraphs. I found it more like a journal than an novel. I realized last night that i was reading it just to have something to read while riding my stationary bike to nowhere. I'm abandoning it without finding out why the author chose this title.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eliz

    I thought this book was pretty good, up until the last section. It's in three parts, WWI, the years leading to WWII and the 1960s. The story of the Bluementhal family in the first two parts shows real people and issues. When we get to the third generation it's like the author rushed through and Lillian comes across as a shallow woman, and while she changes her mind, it's not done well enough to make you see any growth.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hohenbrink

    Not worth it This book is poorly written and the plot jumps forward many times skipping over crucial developments. The characters are not developed. The young men are all handsome and loyal. The women lovely but lack personality. I got this through Amazon’s first program, bu I wish I had chosen a different book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    I was disappointed in this book. In fairness to the author, I'm always a bit hesitant to criticize a work in a translation. Some examples: the translation of The Solitude of Prime Numbers was superb (I do read French and some Italian); there is a world of difference between the original, very stilted Charles Archer translation of Nobelist Sigrid Undset's magnificent Kristin Lavransdatter and the later quite wonderful one of Tiina Nunnally. I have read that the English translation of Stieg Larsso I was disappointed in this book. In fairness to the author, I'm always a bit hesitant to criticize a work in a translation. Some examples: the translation of The Solitude of Prime Numbers was superb (I do read French and some Italian); there is a world of difference between the original, very stilted Charles Archer translation of Nobelist Sigrid Undset's magnificent Kristin Lavransdatter and the later quite wonderful one of Tiina Nunnally. I have read that the English translation of Stieg Larsson's Dragon Tattoo series was badly flawed, but the power of the story and the characters nevertheless came through powerfully. The plot itself of The Silver Music Box, although rather predictable and not well-developed, has some interesting moments, but the tone and style are jejune, flat and, quite frankly, boring, and the characters are stereotypes. My friends know I am a very fast reader, but it took me four days to get through it. Although it is not categorized as young adult fiction, it might have appeal for some younger readers who are not familiar with the history of the period.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    If there was ever a "gentle" book about war (two wars, actually, The Great War and World War II), this is it. An uplifting book about war? This is it. I read it with my 11-year-old granddaughter. Tragedies. Horrible tragedies. But the book exudes such hope throughout. I will not spoil the ending because everything does not turn out for the best but it does turn out better than hoped or expected. And the centerpiece is a small, bird-shaped music box made by a Jewish jeweler for his little son bef If there was ever a "gentle" book about war (two wars, actually, The Great War and World War II), this is it. An uplifting book about war? This is it. I read it with my 11-year-old granddaughter. Tragedies. Horrible tragedies. But the book exudes such hope throughout. I will not spoil the ending because everything does not turn out for the best but it does turn out better than hoped or expected. And the centerpiece is a small, bird-shaped music box made by a Jewish jeweler for his little son before the jeweler volunteers for WWI--to show he is a good German. The exquisite bird is passed down through the family and helps reunite those who remain after the horrors of World War II.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy Collins

    3.5 Stars. Review to follow.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    I really, really wanted to love this book. The story begins in Germany at the beginning of the First World War and ends in South Africa in 1963. It follows Blumenthal family through these years and tells of their trials and tribulations during this time. The silver music box is a family heirloom that also follows the Blumenthal family through the years. The premise of this story was very interesting and had a lot of potential. However, I felt there was a lot missing from it. It was almost like r I really, really wanted to love this book. The story begins in Germany at the beginning of the First World War and ends in South Africa in 1963. It follows Blumenthal family through these years and tells of their trials and tribulations during this time. The silver music box is a family heirloom that also follows the Blumenthal family through the years. The premise of this story was very interesting and had a lot of potential. However, I felt there was a lot missing from it. It was almost like reading a very extensive outline for the book. The story spans 50 very significant years in history and had a list of characters at the very beginning yet it was only 250 pages long, I usually only see a list of characters for much longer novels or for a series. I just didn’t feel engaged in the story or the characters until maybe the last 10% of the story. The author’s simple and pleasant writing style made this an easy read and is probably what helped maintain my interest in the story. I did like this book. I just wish there had more to the characters and the story. I just realized that this IS the first in a series ... I would be interested to read the subsequent books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Niles L. Kaplan

    Story too choppy, but very good in places I would have preferred Baites to have developed the story and characters in more linear fashion and in greater depth for greater interest and cohesiveness. For instance, by the time Paul tells how Clara died, his remembered loss had none of the devastating impact it must have had when it happened. Emma's character is all but lost so abruptly that the impact of her time with Lilly is diminished when she does return to the narrative. However, I was moved to Story too choppy, but very good in places I would have preferred Baites to have developed the story and characters in more linear fashion and in greater depth for greater interest and cohesiveness. For instance, by the time Paul tells how Clara died, his remembered loss had none of the devastating impact it must have had when it happened. Emma's character is all but lost so abruptly that the impact of her time with Lilly is diminished when she does return to the narrative. However, I was moved to tears several times by the trials suffered by this family and those of the jews they represented who were trapped in the Nazi net. Also, I learned so much more about the kindness as well as the atrocities perpetrated by the Germans. Perhaps this could have been 2 books, the sequel being Lilly's story. I am glad to have read this book, and I always will remember it; however, it could have been so much better.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Heller

    Those who follow my reviews know that I'm not parsimonious in giving out stars, but I remind you that three stars means 'I liked it'. The Silver Music Box was a free Kindle selection for Prime members this month and I selected it when only a few had reviewed it, but all of those reviews had been five stars. The title of the book makes the denouement of the story somewhat obvious. I have read a tremendous amount of holocaust fiction and this book fits a mold that makes it a decent read, but it jus Those who follow my reviews know that I'm not parsimonious in giving out stars, but I remind you that three stars means 'I liked it'. The Silver Music Box was a free Kindle selection for Prime members this month and I selected it when only a few had reviewed it, but all of those reviews had been five stars. The title of the book makes the denouement of the story somewhat obvious. I have read a tremendous amount of holocaust fiction and this book fits a mold that makes it a decent read, but it just doesn't stand out as an extraordinary book. The author wrote a plausible, interesting multi-generational tale, but there's too much competition in literature on her subject to make The Silver Music Box stand alone.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katz Nancy from NJ

    A really good book! I read lots of books about Germany before WWII and the Holocaust. Some are very good. Some are just OK. But I really enjoyed The Silver Music Box and look forward to reading the second book in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Irfken

    A rare literary gem as the name suggests is almost impossible to find but once found it shines and illuminates the deepest recesses of the soul. This book is that rare gem. It's not often I find books that tear me apart and put me back together, books that just bring tears to my eyes and have a healing effect on my soul but that is exactly what this book did. I love historical fiction and especially WWII fiction and this book is the best work of World War II literature I have ever read putting t A rare literary gem as the name suggests is almost impossible to find but once found it shines and illuminates the deepest recesses of the soul. This book is that rare gem. It's not often I find books that tear me apart and put me back together, books that just bring tears to my eyes and have a healing effect on my soul but that is exactly what this book did. I love historical fiction and especially WWII fiction and this book is the best work of World War II literature I have ever read putting the likes of buzzed about albeit mediocre and overrated books like The Nightingale and Salt to the Sea to shame. This book also lacks all the pretension of All the Light We Cannot See and is all the better for it. It is simply put, a heartbreaking and powerful story of family. Beautifully written and powerfully resonant, it follows the trials and tribulations of a Jewish family, their loves and struggles through WWI and WWII. It centers around a beautiful music box a father made for his son and how such a small object can hold so much pain, joy, sorrow and history. It's the story of a family and a people through love, evil and war and the search for family and identity, I have never read a book that captures humanity and emotion so powerfully. I am truly moved to tears and I rarely cry when reading. It's a translated book and a great and important one that I would implore everyone to read especially in today's times.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paula Girard

    Back to historical fiction and this interesting cross-generational novel about a Jewish family divided by World War II. I don't know why I am so drawn to this time period but I am and this novel did not disappoint. Really enjoyed it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    I was lucky enough to win this Kindle edition from Goodreads (Thank you!). What a heartbreaking read. The book spans three generations, through two World Wars, and a silver music box that ties them all together. Johann Blumenthal, a Jew, is a silversmith who creates the music box for his son, Paul, before he leaves for WWI. Paul then gives it to his daughter Margarethe during the outbreak of WWII. The book centers around the music box and the love each father has for his child. The book is basic I was lucky enough to win this Kindle edition from Goodreads (Thank you!). What a heartbreaking read. The book spans three generations, through two World Wars, and a silver music box that ties them all together. Johann Blumenthal, a Jew, is a silversmith who creates the music box for his son, Paul, before he leaves for WWI. Paul then gives it to his daughter Margarethe during the outbreak of WWII. The book centers around the music box and the love each father has for his child. The book is basically three sections, each generation. The first section is about the making of the box and the love Johann has for his son before he leaves to fight in WWI for Germany, fighting as a Jew which was not very popular. The second section is about Paul keeping his father’s jewelry store afloat while the horrors of WWII begin, what they went through as a family even though Paul and his wife had converted. The third section was about Paul’s second daughter, the keeper of the music box, finding her family after riding the kindertrain to England at the outbreak of WWII while the family was trying to emigrate to South Africa. I liked this book A LOT, the story of each generation was so engrossing you could actually see and feel the emotions. However, the third section felt rushed to me -- Lillian finding out her real existence and what happened. I felt a lot happened in just a few pages that could have been a lot more of the book. In the end, it did make me cry, all the heart ache that Paul went through to keep his children safe. The one part that did kind of frustrate me, was in the acknowledgments where the author talked in depth about the real August – which was actually a couple of pages – and how little of August’s story was in the book (perhaps there could be a sequel of August’s story – hint, hint!). I would definitely recommend this book to friends, especially those that love WWII and horrors of Hitler.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sina

    Der Jude und Besitzer eines Juwelierladens Johann Blumenthal meldet sich im Jahr 1914 freiwillig für den Kriegsdienst, um für Deutschland an vorderster Front zu kämpfen. Bevor er geht, schenkt er seinem Sohn Paul eine selbstgemachte silberne Spieldose, damit dieser eine Erinnerung an seinen Vater hat, solange er im Krieg ist. Doch für das jüdische Volk wird es zusehends schwieriger, in Deutschland frei zu leben. Der Hass wird größer. Dies wirkt sich auch vehement auf die Familie Blumenthal aus. Der Jude und Besitzer eines Juwelierladens Johann Blumenthal meldet sich im Jahr 1914 freiwillig für den Kriegsdienst, um für Deutschland an vorderster Front zu kämpfen. Bevor er geht, schenkt er seinem Sohn Paul eine selbstgemachte silberne Spieldose, damit dieser eine Erinnerung an seinen Vater hat, solange er im Krieg ist. Doch für das jüdische Volk wird es zusehends schwieriger, in Deutschland frei zu leben. Der Hass wird größer. Dies wirkt sich auch vehement auf die Familie Blumenthal aus. Paul, der in die Fußstapfen seines Vaters getreten ist, kämpft mit den Vorurteilen, die herrschen und fasst schweren Herzens einen Plan, um sich und seine Familie zu retten, der jedoch auch das Leben kosten kann. Der Krieg, ein schwieriges Thema. Der Zweite Weltkrieg aus Sicht eines Juden - ein noch schwierigeres. Und ein bewegendes. Vieles wird uns im Unterricht beigebracht. Wir lernen, was passiert ist. Wir lernen, warum es passiert ist. Wir lernen, dass es nie wieder passieren darf. Doch wie es wirklich war, kann uns keiner sagen. Nur derjenige, der selbst daran beteiligt war. Und selbst dann kann man das ganze Ausmaß nicht richtig verstehen. Grausam und erschütternd, unverständlich und schwierig. Die Autorin hat sich nun an dieses Thema gewagt und eine Familiensaga geschaffen, die einem mit jedem geschriebenen Wort immer mehr in den Bann zieht. Von Anfang an mit dem liebende Vater Johann Blumenthal, der sich freiwillig an der Front meldet, von dessen herzlichen Frau Lotte, die große Sorgen durchmachen muss. Der Sohn Paul, der sich später in Carla verliebt und von vielen anderen sympathischen und vor allem mutigen Charakteren - der Bann bliebt bei jedem bestehen und man klebt an der Geschichte, nein, man erlebt die Geschichte. In ruhigem Schreibstil wird erzählt, wie schwer es die Juden in der damaligen Zeit hatten. Welch Leid sie ertragen mussten und welche Schritte gegen sie unternommen wurden. Dabei führt uns die Autorin noch nicht einmal in das KZ, sondern schildert Gegebenheiten, die im Alltag passierten. Anfeindungen durch ehemalige Freunde, Zerstörung von Eigentum, Erlass von Gesetzen gegen Juden. Hass, der in Wellen um sich schlägt und das Leben zur Hölle macht. Und mittendrin immer wieder die silberne Spieldose, die sich wie ein roter Faden durch die Geschichte zieht. Sie wirkt unscheinbar, drängt sich nicht in den Vordergrund und doch ist sie ein wichtiger Bestandteil und macht einen großen Teil der Geschichte aus. Die Charaktere sind durchweg sympathisch, haben ihre Eigenarten und auch Fehler, und doch ist es gerade das, was sie unheimlich menschlich wirken lässt. Manches kann man nicht nachvollziehen, doch liegt dies auch daran, dass die Zeiten anders waren, dass die Wege nicht einfach waren und vor allem, dass die Liebe, die zwischen den Charakteren herrscht, dazu führt, dass man zu Mitteln greift, die einem als der letzte Ausweg erscheinen. Die Autorin hat ihr Herzblut in die Geschichte gesteckt, wie sie in einer gemeinsamen Leserunde dazu berichtet hat. Diese Geschichte zu erzählen, hat sie selbst viele Nerven gekostet und auch so manche ruhelose Nacht. Denn die bewegende Story führt dazu, dass man selbst anfängt, sich so hineinzuversetzen, dass man meint, selbst dabei zu sein. Das Kopfkino hatte jede Menge zu tun und tat sogar manchmal mehr, als man wollte. Aber genau das macht eine gute Geschichte einfach aus. Man spinnt sie weiter, erweckt eine Nebenstory, zieht neue Fäden ein und lässt das Buch einfach leben. Die Autorin hat verraten, dass sie nichts, was sie je geschrieben hat, so berührt hat wie diese Geschichte. Mich hat sie ebenfalls sehr berührt. Dies wird ein Buch sein, dass ich nur einmal lesen kann, da mir die Thematik einfach zu sehr unter die Haut geht. Trotzdem möchte ich es nicht missen, dass ich die Geschichte gelesen habe. Fazit: Ein intensives Buch.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com

    The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites (translated by Alison Layland) is a historical fiction novel which takes place during World War II. Ms Baites lives in Germany and is the author of several books. Johann Blumenthal, a Jewish silversmith, creates a magnificent music box for his little boy, Paul, before volunteering to go to the front during World War I. Paul keeps the music box as a treasure he will never let go of. Decades later, Lilian Morrison of London, discovers the music box which opens up The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites (translated by Alison Layland) is a historical fiction novel which takes place during World War II. Ms Baites lives in Germany and is the author of several books. Johann Blumenthal, a Jewish silversmith, creates a magnificent music box for his little boy, Paul, before volunteering to go to the front during World War I. Paul keeps the music box as a treasure he will never let go of. Decades later, Lilian Morrison of London, discovers the music box which opens up doorways to the past and sends her on an amazing journey. When I saw The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites I knew that this book would be right up my ally, and I was not wrong. The author wrote a very compelling story taking place over decades in one of the darkest times in our recent history. Ms. Baites created an interesting narrative, combining it with informative information and fascinating characters. The story is very interesting and engaging. Somehow, however, the author managed to completely skip over the holocaust and German atrocities. She describes life in the 1930s in Germany, how all the anti-Jewish laws had a devastating effect on persons and families, but then we move forward several decades. It works, there is nothing wrong with the storytelling – I just found it strange. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, it was well written and engaging. The characters were developed, interesting and likeable, the family’s journey was amazing and horrible as the reader could sense their hopeless depression and refusal to believe what their eyes see. The second part was good, just not as good and somewhat predictable. One of the most disturbing aspects for novels like this, at least to me, is that I can imagine the behavior that people display at those evil times in Germany repeating themselves easily, almost with the snap of a finger. This is something, I believe, that we must always keep in mind, telling ourselves that us, or our friend, will never act like that is fooling ourselves. For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    Historical fiction holds a special place in my heart. Especially WWII. My four star is because of the fast forwards in time. I wanted it all. I’d have sat down and read this family’s story even had it been 700+ pages. The tragic and horrific events of WWII are dehumanizing. And in a sense it sickens me because I can sit here and call them “events.” I react on an emotional level to the written word in historical books (albeit a fiction or a textbook) and I’m aware that these were defining times i Historical fiction holds a special place in my heart. Especially WWII. My four star is because of the fast forwards in time. I wanted it all. I’d have sat down and read this family’s story even had it been 700+ pages. The tragic and horrific events of WWII are dehumanizing. And in a sense it sickens me because I can sit here and call them “events.” I react on an emotional level to the written word in historical books (albeit a fiction or a textbook) and I’m aware that these were defining times in people’s lives. I can not imagine being a parent faced with the decision of what to do to save my children. Or those who make life altering choices to no longer have to suffer. To leave the place they once called home because they’re no longer welcome or to leave prior to being forced. I think my pull towards HF books is not only the history but the hundreds of thousands of stories of individuals and family’s and how they overcome and survived. I experience these events WITH the characters, I respect these individuals and their choices and I can find the beauty that these individuals managed to find whilst living through such hatred and bigotry. The fact is that these events are real. And for me...I see what I’ve stated above in every historical fiction book I’ve experienced.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    The Silver Music Box was a beautiful, touching story spanning nearly 50 years. At the centre of the story was the silver music box, made in 1914 by Jewish silversmith, Johann Blumenthal, for his then four-year-old son, Paul, before the father joined up during the Great War. The book was basically divided into three sections - Johann, Paul and Lilian - although Paul's life was given the greater focus. His struggle to protect his family from Hitler's clutches was not only terrifying, but heart-wren The Silver Music Box was a beautiful, touching story spanning nearly 50 years. At the centre of the story was the silver music box, made in 1914 by Jewish silversmith, Johann Blumenthal, for his then four-year-old son, Paul, before the father joined up during the Great War. The book was basically divided into three sections - Johann, Paul and Lilian - although Paul's life was given the greater focus. His struggle to protect his family from Hitler's clutches was not only terrifying, but heart-wrenching. The choices he had to make were ones no parent should ever have to face. I loved his story the most although both Julian's and Lillian's stories were still engrossing. I liked Lilian and her determination to uncover the story behind the music box which unexpectedly came into her possession. In fact, I cried more in her story as she journeyed back to Germany, than I did in either Paul's or Juliann's section. Unfortunately, though, her story felt a bit rushed. A lot happened in a few pages and when I reached the end, I still wanted more. The Silver Music Box was an engaging read with wonderful characters and a captivating storyline that took me on an emotional journey of joy and heartbreak from the first to the last page. A delightful read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    Before setting off to fight for his country of Germany in World War 1, Johann Blumenthal gives his son Paul a beautiful music box. Paul treasures this item as he grows into a young man who runs the jewelry store his family has owned for years. But because the Blumenthal family is Jewish, the family business and their lives will be changed forever as the Nazis come into power. This is a story of what people are willing to sacrifice in the name of love and their dreams. This was an incredible histo Before setting off to fight for his country of Germany in World War 1, Johann Blumenthal gives his son Paul a beautiful music box. Paul treasures this item as he grows into a young man who runs the jewelry store his family has owned for years. But because the Blumenthal family is Jewish, the family business and their lives will be changed forever as the Nazis come into power. This is a story of what people are willing to sacrifice in the name of love and their dreams. This was an incredible historical fiction novel. I have read many books taking place right up to and during World War 2 but was not very familiar with role of Jewish soldiers fighting for Germany in World War 1. I thought the story of Paul and Clara was fascinating and what they were willing to do in order to fulfill Clara's dream. I loved the role of the music box in the story and how it spanned generations. Knowing how history played out it made for tense reading at times but in my opinion it is a book well worth reading because it accurately shows the tough decisions people had to make during that time period. I definitely recommend to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book is outrageously great! It is quite an achievement by an author to hold the attention of readers for any length of time. And I couldn't put this novel down for any length of time! "The Silver Music Box" is a deceptively simple story of a family who are silversmiths and Jewish in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. At the heart of this book is a beautifully crafted silver music box that follows the family and is actually the main character of the book. It is the heart of th This book is outrageously great! It is quite an achievement by an author to hold the attention of readers for any length of time. And I couldn't put this novel down for any length of time! "The Silver Music Box" is a deceptively simple story of a family who are silversmiths and Jewish in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. At the heart of this book is a beautifully crafted silver music box that follows the family and is actually the main character of the book. It is the heart of the family as it passes from one generation to another. The characters are extremely well written and the plot takes us on a journey of joy and heartbreak that the reader will not soon forget. I received this book from NetGalley and Amazon Crossing in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan Hamilton

    I had high hopes for this novel. I really wanted to love it, but ultimately, it was just ok for me. The premise of the book, a keepsake that helps a family reunite after the atrocities of the Holocaust was interesting to me. The problems for me were that the development of main characters was inconsistent, the plot dragged in places it shouldn’t have, and was rushed in places that needed more exploration, and the ending fell too neatly into place: particularly for a story within the context of t I had high hopes for this novel. I really wanted to love it, but ultimately, it was just ok for me. The premise of the book, a keepsake that helps a family reunite after the atrocities of the Holocaust was interesting to me. The problems for me were that the development of main characters was inconsistent, the plot dragged in places it shouldn’t have, and was rushed in places that needed more exploration, and the ending fell too neatly into place: particularly for a story within the context of the Holocaust.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jazz Singh

    A beautifully told story of Nazi Germany and how a gentle way of life was overturned by an extreme ideology. Reading about that period is never a happy experience, and this book brings alive the trauma and suspense and daily fear a successful family of Jewish jewellers faced, their persecution and eventual separation. Reading about the past in the garb of fiction makes it easier to understand than from history books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Resa

    This is a story about a family that loses each other during the holocaust and about how they find the remnants of each other again. It covers a lot of different aspects of the holocaust. The theft of businesses, the loss of livelihood, the Kindertransports, the refugee crisis, & the brutality of the Nazis. In many ways, a timely and engaging novel, although I felt that it lacked depth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne Woodbury

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Quick read. Moved fast. Liked the plot. Somewhat predictable. I liked how it took place a lot before the Holocaust to give you a sense as to how it all happened. That was very interesting. I think the author could have done more with the conversion of the couple to Christianity. Did they believe any of it or was it just to stay safe. More of the mental transition.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.