Hope & Beauty ~ THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN by Kristy Cambron

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz–and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.


“…As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places.”

THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN is a powerful story, well told … beautifully told. ‘Tis a gifted writer who can not only open a window for a reader to peer into a different world, but transport the reader there. Kristy Cambron transported me to another world ~ and I don’t feel as if I’ve quite returned yet.

On finishing the story, I closed the cover and felt strangely untethered from my overly hot summer home. Also bereft at leaving behind this place Cambron had so thoroughly delivered me to. I still haven’t analyzed the why. I’m not certain I want to. But I do know that this tale displays our urge to create beauty and the power of beauty to infuse hope. That message resonated with me. I suspect it will with you. (I’ve posted about creativity before. You can read my encouragement here.)

ED n Karl + redwood copy crpThe quiet, reverent awe this book provoked reminds me of walking among the giant redwoods in John Muir Woods.

Below, the blurb from THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN ~ which I highly recommend.

“Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl–a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes. In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover–the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul–who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire. As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.”


Creative Influence

Had a lively conversation this morning with my son about friendship and how great friends spur each other to new ideas, greater creativity. He was pleasantly surprised to learn that J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were members of the same literary discussion group in Oxford, England ~ The Inklings.

Great art touches people. We want to see it for ourselves. We travel to it,study it, watch documentaries about its creation, learn ways to preserve it. No surprise though ~ God the Ultimate Creator has planted part of Himself in us and I believe our creativity is one slice of that.

I love observing some of the forms creative expression takes. My mother-in-law painted portraits & landscapes in oils and watercolors~~also pictures or designs on clothes!


My cousin Ray, battling brain cancer for perhaps 15 years, makes lovely wooden vases and bowls.


Friend Kay leads a group called Creatively Connecting with God.

My daughter-in-law Sandy painted beautiful designs on furniture and makes any room into something lovely. I suspect when camping, her tree stump table has a few flowers or acorns on it at mealtimes.

Watching HGTV, you often hear home buyers say they want to put their own stamp or style on a house. Then there are the visionaries who turn a train car or concrete bunker into an amazing home. (Have you SEEN the movable apartment one guy has in New York City made from a garbage dumpster?!)

I’ve always been nudged to express things creatively—poetry, drawings, playing guitar—all mediocre, at best! :-) I worked with choreographer Liz Lerman who paints pictures with people in motion. Before spinal surgery restricted me, I made pictures with needle and embroidery floss. One of the oddest results of a burst of creativity was a chess set made from bits and bolts from the hardware store. That was fun! Now I paint stories with words.


I love seeing youngsters at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch have summer fun and paint horses, then give them great loving massages as they wash them. Amazima Ministries raises funds for programs to empower women in poverty in Africa by selling jewelry THE WOMEN MAKE.


There are likely thousands of organizations that help folks use their creativity to empower themselves, multiply its impact, and reflect God.

So, please think about how you express yourself creatively. (You do.) And the next time your youngster plays in a mud puddle then fingerpaints a work of art on the car, be encouraged—they are reflecting God’s image.