Customer Reviews

14
4.6 out of 5 stars
The English Rendition
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
Rarely has a book touched me on so many levels. It is definitely a book to keep on the shelf (or the Kindle) and reread through the years. Emily and the characters in her life are so real, you wish you could know them and bring them into your own life. So real I wondered where Susan now lived. I loved the way Emily lives her life so thoroughly, carefully, with the rigor of a concert violinist, but extracting joy from seemingly small daily routines and detail. Ms. Lightholder switches back & forth in time seamlessly -- the past is clearly the past - no confusion by the reader as to what era or country you are in. (wish I could say that of more authors)
The author showed amazing insight into the history and politics throughout Emily's life, and, more importantly, how her life's journey evolved through those events.
Themes that really "spoke to me": how historical events shape our lives, the sacrifices made by everyday people, the value of family, the value of the individual.. how love and survival, honor and truth can coexist and evolve.The English Rendition
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
The question of who we become if we hide from who we are is at the center of this novel. The author takes us seamlessly from present day California through four decades and manages to put us in the thick of the times. She creates a sense of time, culture, fashion, and mores without struggle or conceit. Her knowledge of music, violin building, Jewish custom and history is vast and offered with such a light touch that we don't even realize we are being educated. I haven't read such a good book since the Last Chinese Chef. This is truly a don't miss read. It's unfortunate that Oprah no longer has her book recommendations, as this one, although not as depressing as those tended to be, would have undoubtedly been chosen. Those of you who have book discussion groups will certainly want to include this thought-provoking, tender novel of strength and family love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
Being a close friend of the author, as I got further into the story, and the character of Rachel; I continued to wonder, is Sharon's first novel that good? Or am I enjoying the book, because I know the author? A few weeks have passed since completing the book, and the answer is -- she's that good. She's a great story teller that pays attention to detail, which makes the read much more interesting. A book to share with people who love music, and enjoy a good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
Author Lightholder provides info and insight into history, music, religion, and human behavior in this original and compelling story. The smoothly executed but unpredictable plot was especially rivetting - you simultaneously don't know where you're headed, can't wait to get there, and don't want it to end. This is my favorite book for gift-giving, and I'm anxiously awaiting Sharon O. Lightholder's next work!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
Took the book on a long plane ride and finished it on the way there. I just couldn't put it down. The character development was wonderful. The story line remained true even as it jumped from the present back to World War II. Bravo to the author for wonderfully crafted tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
This book is one that you will be sorry that it is over...for the lovers of music, intrigue, history, cultures and introspection, this book is for you! I had to remind myself over and over that this was a fictional work - the writing is that good...
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on November 12, 2013
I enjoyed the information about the violins and the music and appreciated all the research the author must have done in writing this book. However, she overdid descriptions and told everything rather than showed action or thoughts or characters in various circumstances, so the reader could participate in thought and enjoy the book. There were no surprises; everything was very predictable. It went on and on with what was taking place, although we the readers knew already what was going to happen. The writing seemed somewhat amateurish.
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on September 2, 2013
I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an exciting yet truly interesting historical fiction. The plot has some unexpected twists, which keep the reader engaged. As an aside, I was particularly taken by the understanding displayed by the author on the making and playing of a violin; I now have much greater appreciation of the craftsmanship required for the instrument, although i have no musical inclination personally. I liked the book so much that I gave it as holiday gifts.
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on November 11, 2014
A very complex and well-written plot. The story takes us back and forth from present time to WWII, and involves two families, their daughters and how their lives intertwine. There were a bit too many details on the makings of a violin, and after reading, you may feel that you could build one yourself. Otherwise, a fascinating story that shows what people will do in desperate times.
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on May 26, 2014
The story was really good, but it was a tad bit unbelievable. I enjoyed the characters, setting and story line.
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