Liz Tolsma has written another wonderful book set during WWII. “Melody of the Soul” is a compellingly thrilling novel. Anna is a Christian Jew living with her family in Prague. Her parents and sisters have gotten their deportation papers and must leave for a concentration camp. Anna is left to care for her elderly grandmother in their tiny apartment, awaiting their turn to be deported. The Nazi’s have removed a Jewish family from the apartment downstairs in order to move in a Nazi officer, Hauptmann Horst Engel. Anna was a music student at the university until the Nazi’s forbade the Jews from attending. She plays the violin and keeps playing despite an order that Jews are forbidden to play any instruments. Hauptmann Engel hears her playing and loses himself in her music. Horst is weary of the war and extremely troubled by what the Nazi’s are doing to the people and by what his role in the war has become.
When Anna and her grandmother receive their deportation papers, Horst hides them in his apartment. He cannot in good conscience be a party to their demise. When a fellow officer finds out about his obstruction, they must all run far and fast. Horst and Anna become very close to each other despite their different backgrounds and the rules forbidding their comradeship. Ms. Tolsma’s story of their escape and the atrocities that occur keep the reader from putting the book down. I cannot wait for the next stanza in the Music of Hope series.