About the Book
Book: The Refrain Within
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: WWII Fiction
Release Date: September 29, 2020
To save a life, would you betray everyone you love?
Hungary in 1944 is a dark place. The Nazis have invaded and turned the country upside down, their evil making its way into every life.
Clarinetist Eva Bognar is engaged to conductor and composer Patrik Kedves, happily planning her wedding. At first she doesn’t think the war will affect her directly; everyone around her can be trusted to do the right thing. Then her Jewish best friend and sister-in-law Zofia goes missing–and instead of the Gestapo being to blame, a friend says it was Patrik who led Zofia away. Has he betrayed Eva and everything the family stands for?
When the rest of the family’s lives are directly threatened, Patrik’s secrets must come to light. The Bognars flee for the border in hopes of getting out of the country to the safety of Palestine. Eva must put her life and the lives of everyone she loves in the hands of the very man who betrayed her–and they may not all make it out of the war alive . . .
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MY THOUGHTS.....It's no secret that I love historical fiction because I never fail to learn something that I didn't know and this is especially true with this book. The Refrain Within begins in late April, 1944 and I was transported to a time when WWII was raging and Hungary was about to be overcome by the German occupation. There is a poignant scene when Patrik sees his sisters being put on a train that will take them to the Auschwitz concentration camp and once again, I was reminded of this devastating chapter in history. Author Liz Tolsma has created four fascinating main characters to tell this story and she vividly shows their strengths, their weaknesses, and their struggles to continue to trust in God during these dark times. They all, however, have the common love of music and they understand its power, even during their times of overpowering fear and grief.
"The music. No matter what else she lost, she would have that."
The Refrain Within has so many elements to draw you in. Danger, Intrigue, and suspense are intense as Patrik, Eva, Zofia, and Erno valiantly try to survive during the German invasion of their small village in Hungary but it is their love for each other that tugs at your heartstrings. Patrik and Eva are about to marry and Zofia and Erno are planning a family. Will these two couples be able to enjoy their lives together? Will their music continue to minister to them and provide a balm for their spirits?
"Joy, not sorrow. Love, not discord. Peace, not hatred. So those left behind would live the lives others couldn't."
This is a stunning tribute to the resilience of man during the worst of times and I recommend The Refrain Within to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to post a favorable review. I am sharing my honest thoughts.
About the Author
Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.
More from Liz
This is the third book in a series all set around music. The first heroine, Anna in The Melody of the Soul, was a violinist. The second heroine, Natia in When the Heart Sings, sang beautifully. So what did I choose for this heroine?
When I was in fifth grade, the band teacher from the middle school came to our class and encouraged us to join. She brought instruments with her for us to try. I really wanted to play the flute. I thought it was very feminine. But all the girls wanted to play that, and I would have to be really good to get a good chair. So I decided on the clarinet. I played all through middle school and high school, making first chair a couple of times. I participated in marching band and in solo and ensemble contests, earning a couple of first places in state competitions. Even after my “career” ended, I continued to play from time to time. I still play in church. I love the rich, full sound of the instrument. When played well, the clarinet is beautiful. It can be playful and happy or dark and sad. It can skip and it can cry. I’m very glad now that I chose the clarinet instead of the flute.
That’s why the heroine of The Refrain Within plays the clarinet. In fact, she comes from a family of clarinet makers, and her family stamp on the barrel of a clarinet means a great deal to her. As God would have it, my editor, Janyre Tromp, is also a clarinet player. Between the two of us, we worked hard bring out the unique aspects of playing clarinet, like the callous that forms on the inside of your bottom lip.
Eva is a special character to me because we share this passion for the clarinet. There have been many times throughout my life that my clarinet has skipped with me and plenty of times when it has cried with me. Music is God’s beautiful gift to us, and I thank Him for the opportunity to share some of that with you in The Refrain Within.
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To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.