Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Keeper of Secrets Paperback – May 28, 2013
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From the Back Cover
A priceless violin. A family torn apart.
A decision that could change everything.
Berlin, 1939. Fourteen-year-old Simon Horowitz is awash in a world of music. His family owns a superb collection of instruments and at its heart is his father's 1742 Guarneri del Gesú violin. But all is lost when the Nazis march across Europe, the Horowitz family's possessions are confiscated, and Simon and his father and brother are sent to Dachau. Amid unimaginable cruelty and death, Simon finds kindness from an unexpected corner, and a chance to pick up a violin in exchange for a chance to live.
In the present day, orchestra conductor Rafael Gomez has seen much in his time on the world's stage, but he finds himself oddly inspired by the playing of an aspiring violin virtuoso, a fantastic talent who is just fourteen. When the boy, Daniel Horowitz, Simon's grandson, suddenly rebels and refuses toplay another note, Rafael decides he'll do anything he can to change that. After Rafael learns the boy's family once owned a precious violin, believed to have been lost forever, he thinks he might know how to get Daniel playing again. In taking on the task he discovers a family story like no other, one that winds from World War II and Communist Russia all the way to Rafael's very own stage.
Top Customer Reviews
I've read many accounts of the sufferings of Jews in the second world war, yet somehow had never read an account of the terrors of Krystallnacht from the point of view of a Jew until I read this book. It was enlightening.
I'm New Zealander, like this author and like her, had parents who had fought in WW2, and I find it cool that one of my nationality can write of these events so far from our home with the conviction that comes from having had family history that was a part of this world history. It feels right to me that Julie Thomas has written this story.
We all know about Stradavarius violins, but some of the world's most famous violinists, such as Paganini, Heifetz, and Menuhin, preferred Guarneris to Stradivaris because of stronger fundamentals of the lowest notes and a darker sound than a Stradivarius.
Before WWII Simon Horowitz lived in Berlin with his wealthy Jewish family and had played the violin since he was four years old. His family owned many priceless things, but the most precious and valuable was a Guarneri del Gesù violin. When Daniel and his family were sent to Dachau, the Nazis added the violin to their museum of stolen artefacts.
Simon was the only member of the family who survived Dachau. Many years later his grandson, Daniel, shows extreme talent as a violinist and at the tender age of 14 wins an international competition run by Maestro Rafael Gomez. Daniel is just as dedicated to baseball as music and when his family tries to make him stop playing baseball because he may damage his hands Daniel decides to give up music. To persuade Daniel to keep playing, Maestro Gomez delves into the past of Daniel's family and that of his benefactor, music loving Russian billionaire Sergei Valentino, and discovers amazing tales of horror, survival, deception and love.Read more ›
'The Keeper of Secrets' isn't that. It's a terrific story about a violin surviving World War II and the Cold War by the skin of her teeth, sandwiched between a stultifyingly boring contemporary storyline about a bunch of rich people trying to figure out, 'The Red Violin'-style, what happened to the violin. I began the story having to wade through the contemporary section, hoping things would get better, continually putting the book down for weeks because I frankly couldn't care less about concert management and scheduling and, unfortunately, the main characters of the book, a lifeless teenaged boy and a privileged principal conductor. However, the moment the book flashed back to 1935, it kept me up at night, chewing my fingernails at the urgency which suddenly infused the story. This is what Thomas should have left alone and not bothered with the 'mystery' about what happened to the valuable Guarnerius in the twenty-first century. In fact, as a mystery, it would have been even more compelling NOT to know, thanks to the vagarities of war and the caprices of the horrible people perpetrating it. The terrible descriptions of the camps populated by fascinating people and the secretive Soviet Union during Reconstruction were what was actually worth reading; extremely compelling and beautifully crafted. Then, when the book flashed back forward and wound its way up to a pat, somewhat ludicrous conclusion, I hurried through just to finish it.
Flash forward 60 years, and to the United States, to young Daniel, who is the culmination of the Horowitz family's violin-playing genius. At 14, he's well on his way to a superb career, however, his interest in playing the violin is equaled by his passion to play baseball. But his parents and teachers don't want him to chance damaging his hands by playing the game he loves and he swears he will stop playing the violin if he's not allowed to play ball. Step up a Spanish conductor who has taken an interest in Daniel and his talent. He decides to track down the lost violin to inspire Daniel to continue playing.
Thomas has written a lovely story about a family - actually a couple of families - and how the violin has brought them all together. It's not great literature, but it is a very solid read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Violins are described very good.
The story line jumps around & does not flow evenly!
I love historical fiction. This story was not only about people but the history behind a special musical instrument. Really liked it and would recommend.Published 7 days ago by vtmom1241
This was such a moving book , as sad a book the ending was just wonderful. I just wanted more and more. Thank you for writing a very moving and thinking book.Published 11 days ago by Diana Haber
Wonderful story, kept my interest every moment. It was hard to put down. I would heartily recommend the reading of his book.Published 24 days ago by Donna Boydstun
an interesting story about holocaust survivors, their families and treasures. A violin stolen in Germany during the war trying to find its way back. Read morePublished 1 month ago by valorie aftem
It was a graphic, but most rewarding novel. A lot of violin as well as WWII and holocaust history.Published 2 months ago by Marjorie J. Wiggins