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    Historical Fiction Auschwitz Alma Rosé

    Instead of going to safety in England with her father, Alma Rosé a famous Viennese violinist stayed in Europe, she defied the German’s and continued to perform and she’s eventually arrested in Holland. She arrived at Auschwitz in 1943, and here she’s inspected, luckily she passed the first test, fumigated and tattooed. Thousands of people are kept in the worst conditions imaginable in the infamous camp; it’s a daily fight to survive and any sign of weakness; a person’s moldy bread ration could be stolen by someone stronger or they would be sent to the gas chambers and exterminated. Alma’s fame was noticed by the head of the women’s camp, she’s to be the conductor of the camp orchestra, perform for visiting Nazi officials and she had until Christmas to make sure they are ready. Alma at first is very reluctant to do it, why should she share her precious music with the German’s and they don’t deserve it. Then she realized she could use it to her advantage, the members of the orchestra didn’t have to do the back breaking work other inmates are expected to do and they might survive the camp. Alma was incredibly fearless, she asked for extra rations for orchestra members, better living quarters; they could shower, wash and wear civilian clothes. Alma and her group of musicians brought joy and hope to the entire camp; they looked after each other and become friends. Alma meets pianist Miklos Steinberg, they fall in love, surely the war had to end soon and the camp would be liberated? The Violinist of Auschwitz isn't an easy story to read and you are made aware of all the horrible things that happened in Auschwitz and nothing is left out. Alma Rosé was a real person, her story is one of determination, dedication and she was bold and an incredibly brave woman. I highly recommend reading The Violinist of Auschwitz, well done Ellie Midwood on writing an amazing book and five big stars from me
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    A deeply haunting and moving novel

    I absolutely adored this novel! It was so incredibly moving I had tears welling up and my heart was racing. I did not want to put it down. The violinist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Alma, who found herself in Birkenau, Auschwitz. Alma is a famous violinist who gets permission from the SS to create a women's orchestra. Along the way she meets both heroic and terrifying people. My absolute favourite part of this novel was the heroism shown by so many of the characters, especially Alma, and the relationships they have with one another. Alma fights for what she believes is right, even if it puts her safety at risk. Some of her actions are so deeply moving and heroic that I had to put the book down to take a deep breath. Midwood managed to create such wonderful scenery I felt like I was actually there, I could practically hear the orchestra in the room with me. The characterisation was phenomenal, managing to mix good and bad within the same person, showing the complexity of the situation. I loved the section on the true historic information that influenced the novel. It brought Alma and the other characters to life even more. Novels such as this one are so important, they highlight to the world how we can never let something like Auschwitz happen again. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in emotive true stories, historical novels or Auschwitz. I want to send a big thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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    WwII

    A new standalone novel of Ellie Midwood about Violinist Almo Rose and the women orchestra in Auschwitz. Ellie Midwood takes her readers into the harrowing and tragic story. I knew they had an orchestra in Auschwitz, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. I learned a lot while reading this book. It gives horrifying insight into daily life at Auschwitz and how Alma Rose lifts the Auschwitz women's orchestra to a higher level to increase their chances of surviving. Compared to others in the camp they lived in luxury, but the threat of death was still over their heads every day and they were victims to all the horrors. I wasn’t sure what to make of Alma in the beginning of the book, but she grew on me. She was so strong and fought and stood up for her girls, but that also takes a toll on a person. It was such a sad and tragic story but also shows what hope can do and even in the worst places love can bloom.
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    The Horrors of Auschwitz, with Music

    It is always very hard to read about the horrors of Auschwitz. I never heard or have read that they had musicians there. Alma was so talented and such a strong female figure. Thank you to Ellie Midwood for bringing Alma's story to light so we can all learn about her. . . although her ending was so tragic and heartbreaking.
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    Play for Your Lives

    This is a very emotional and heartbreaking story. I have read much about the horrible events taking place in Auschwitz and the atrocities placed on the Jewish, Polish, Hungarian, and Czech, among other’s that fit the Nazi’s definition of the defectives. It makes it even more heartbreaking when the story is a true story. Alma Rose is a famous violinist in Vienna Austria with her musical father. As the Nazi’s come closer she continues to play in Holland and hides when the German’s come. Eventually she is arrested as a Jew and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. She is eventually recognized as a famous violinist and put in charge of the Auschwitz music block putting together a ladies orchestra. Her orchestra is forced to play for the Nazi’s sometimes at the threat of their lives. When searching for a pianist to tutor her girl in the orchestra she meets Miklos, a Jewish pianist. They play instruments together for the Nazi’s and he tutors her pianist, they fall in love, but can their love survive…indeed can any of them survive? This is the story of Alma Rose, Miklos, and other’s in the Auschwitz orchestra. It tells the story of their efforts to survive by playing music, the efforts Alma takes to ensure their survival and what they see and experience in the rest of the camp. You will feel their pain, their helplessness, see their tears and hold your breath at times. I loved all the characters, I am glad that Miklos and Alma found each other and had some happiness in the awful surroundings of the camp. I marveled at the courage of Alma to speak up to authorities at times, even those most feared like Doctor Mengele. It saddened me to realize what a person would do for a crust of bread if they were starving. It warmed my heart to feel the love and respect they had for Alma. It will make you cry, make you smile and break your heart. I recommend this book. Thanks to Ellie Midwood, BookOuture and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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