The Violin Maker’s Daughter by Sharon Maas – Book Review



When the Nazis march onto the cobbled streets of Colmar on November 1st 1940, Josef, a Jewish violin maker, gathers his wife and daughters closely to him and tells them everything will be alright. 

But one year later, three sharp knocks on the door at midnight turn his seventeen year old daughter Sarah’s world upside down. As the oldest child, Sarah must be the first to leave her family, to make her escape in a perilous journey across France via Paris to Poitiers. And she must hide who she is and take a new name for her own safety. For now, bilingual Sarah is no longer a French Jew but a German girl. 

As she bids farewell to her beloved father and family, Sarah has hope, against all odds, that she will see them again when the war is over. But, travelling through the mountains she finds herself in terrible danger and meets Ralf, a German deserter, who risks his own life to save her. 

Ralf and Sarah continue their journey together, keeping their identities secret at all cost. But when Ralf is captured, will Sarah pay the ultimate price for sharing who she really is?

A gripping and heart-breaking account of love, bravery and sacrifice during the terror of war. A story of standing up for what you believe in; even if it’s going to break your heart. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Ragged Edge of Night. 



This starts in the town of Colmar in the Alsace, it has been annexed by the Germans, who are ‘relocating’ all Jewish people….

Josef Mayer, his wife Leah and daughters Sarah. Amelie, Therese, Mannion and Sofie, have changed their names to more acceptable names, to keep their heads down and stay at home.

Sarah, the eldest daughter is an apprentice violin maker, she has a talent for it….but then German soldiers come to the shop and demand papers to show their aryan backgrounds, if they can’t supply this…..well the consequences do not bear thinking about…

With the help of a neighbour, Josef decides they have to leave…..first to leave will be Sarah…..

What follows is a tale of Sarah’s journey, the huge amount of people willing to help her get to safety, with danger at every turn….a constant fear..will Sarah survive? Will she finally see the danger she is in?

Set during WWII this is a coming of age drama set amidst the horror of Hitler’s Germany, the persecution of Jewish people and the many many lives saved by the resistance.  Historical fiction at its best….

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

You can buy a copy here ( only £1.99 for Kindle at the moment too)


About the author:


Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1951 and educated in Guyana and England. After leaving school she worked as a staff journalist at the Guyana Graphic and the Sunday Chronicla in Georgetown.

Sharon has always had a great sense of adventure and curiosity about the world we live in, and Guyana could not hold her for long. In 1971 she set off on a year-long backpacking trip around South America. In 1973 she travelled overland to India through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and spent two years in an Ashram in South India.




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