Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Review: A Sparrow In Terezin

photograph by me
Kristy Cambron first came across my radar sometime after the release of her first novel The Butterfly and Violin. It was a review of her second novel, the one I am reviewing here, that I read in WORLD magazine that sealed the deal. I knew I wanted to take a chance on these books. WWII. Art. Gorgeous covers. Good reviews. It had enough of my favorite things to take a chance on.

So, last year I took that chance and read The Butterfly and the Violin. I fell in love with Kristy’s writing and style of storytelling. I became a fan. And now I just finished her second novel A Sparrow In Terezin and there is no going back. I am officially invested in Kristy’s writing career. *stalks any news of upcoming Kristy Cambron books*

A Sparrow In Terezin follows the story of Kaja Makovsky as she barely escapes Nazi occupied Prague, forced to leave her parents behind, and then finds herself facing the London Blitz in England. Working for the Daily Telegraph, Kaja is horrified to learn of the extermination of Jews in concentration camps by the Nazis and makes the decision to go back to Prague. Determined to get her parents to safety, Kaja returns to a Europe shrouded in darkness and suffering.

As much as I loved Butterfly and the Violin, I enjoyed and loved A Sparrow In Terezin even more. I felt more connected to Kaja as a character and to her and Liam’s story. For some reason it felt more personal. Maybe it was Kaja’s more reserved personality or the fact that she worked for a newspaper, I am not sure. If I am honest, I was more connected to Sera and William’s present day storyline this time around as well.

One of my favorite aspects of this story was Kaja's fierce determination to hold onto hope even in the darkest of times and worst of situations. Even when she felt like there was no hope, there would be a reminder that God had not abandoned them and that even in the horrific suffering of the concentration camps there was reason to hope. And how, sometimes, these reminders come from the most unthinkable of sources.

Kristy’s writing and style of storytelling is one of my favorites. Her writing is so vibrant and touching. I adore her usage of dual timelines, even if the WWII era thread will always be my favorite. And I love the fact that in a Christian publishing market dominated by romance novels, she never has the romance threads be the point or sole focus of the story. Her stories are the kind that touch your heart and you cannot easily forget.

Basically, go read this novel. If you love WWII historical fiction or really good, moving stories you are bound to love this one! I cannot wait to read her other new releases.

Have you read any of Kristy Cambron's novels? Or, do you have any pressing questions you want to ask me? Leave a comment on my post here and I'll answer them next week.


  1. You know, this review is perfect, Hanna! <3 I love Kristy Cambron so much as a writer - oh my goodness! She's one of my favourites for sure :).

    I LOVED The Butterfly and the Violin, but I think I have to agree with you - A Sparrow in Terezin was something altogether special. I think it was the characters that stood out to me especially as so vivid and rich, and ahhh! I adored it, really.

    I'm a total Cambron fan too. I still need to read her 2 most recent releases "The Ringmaster's Wife" and the "Illusionist's Apprentice" but I am also so looking forward to her new "Lost Castle" series I believe it is called that will soon be coming out. It sounds amazing!

    1. Aw, thank you, Joy! You're so sweet! Kristy Cambron is AMAZING!

      And there is definitely something undeniably special about A Sparrow In Terezin. IT'S SUCH A GOOD BOOK. I had difficulty condensing all my fangirlish thoughts into a coherent review.

      I bought my sister The Ringmaster's Wife for Christmas. Now, I just need to borrow it. :) And I am SO excited for Kristy Cambron's "Lost Castle" series. I am kind of hoping she will do another live video stream to share more about it.

  2. I keep hearing about her books! They sound really good. I enjoyed reading your review, Hanna! It sounds like I need to read this - I especially enjoy deep soulful stories, and WWII has always been a favourite.

    1. You really should read it! It is definitely a stand out amongst modernly printed Christian fiction. WWII stories are near and dear to my heart.


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