The Keeper of Secrets
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Beautiful and mysterious, The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas follows a priceless violin across generations—from WWII to Stalinist Russia to the gilded international concert halls of today—and reveals the loss, love, and secrets of the families who owned it.
In 1939 Berlin, 14-year-old Simon Horowitz’s world is stirred by his father's 1742 Guarneri del Gesu violin. When Nazis march across Europe and Simon is sent to Dachau, he finds unexpected kindness, and a chance to live.
In the present day, orchestra conductor Rafael Gomez finds himself inspired by Daniel Horowitz, a 14-year-old violin virtuoso who refuses to play. When Rafael learns that the boy's family once owned a precious violin believed to have been lost forever, Rafael seizes the power of history and discovers a family story like no other.
Something in his voice made Rafael concerned, and he moved closer to the old man. Sergei swung around. “I just happen to know. Guarneri del Gesú used that phrase to describe the sound his violins made, the tears of an angel.” “How do you know that?” Sergei frowned. “Doesn’t everyone know that?” “No, they don’t. Who told you that?” “My aunt, when I was young and she played for me. I believe my grandfather told her when first he gave her the violin.” Simon studied the
Giuseppe, he used a cedilla. Yes, the label looks old and the characters of the printing are correct, but the fact remains that the Cremone is spelled differently, with an ‘a’ before the last ‘e’ and there is no other example, in all his work, of a label like that one. Plus the f holes are different from every other 1742. The closest match is a Vuillaume replica.” He sat back in triumph. Rafael was genuinely shocked. “The Paris Conservatoire instrument is not a Guarneri at all? Is that
purposefully ignoring the small group that stood on the sidewalk at the bottom of the path. These people looked exactly the same, except there were no yarmulkes and no laughter. “Jew!” one of them yelled as the people began to pass by. Still the families ignored them. “Dirty Jew! Get out, leave us all in peace!” As a woman passed close by him, one of the protesters spat at her face. She stopped, pulled a handkerchief from her pocket, wiped her face, and continued to walk, without
chair. He felt very exposed in the bare room with nothing between him and the Russian officer. “What is your name?” the Russian asked in perfect German. “Helmut Becker.” “Where are your papers?” “I lost them.” He raised a hand to the graze on his cheek. “Some men attacked me in the street yesterday and stole them.” “Where were you going?” “Home. I live on the Weibberstrasse.” The only emotion on the large face came from the eyes that bore relentlessly into his skull.
position, right behind him. Comrade Stalin seemed to like Valentino too, perhaps because of his lowly origins or more likely because of his earthy sense of humor, and he’d fit into the Red Army headquarters in Moscow quite easily. Now he had an unusually spacious apartment close to the diplomatic quarter, a car with driver, and the lovely dacha in Sochi, not far from Stalin’s own holiday residence. A few yards away, his wife of twenty-nine years, Nada, busied herself preparing for the evening