Julia’s Violinist: A Story of Love, Courage, Survival

I miss Julia.

Sometimes my need to know the “rest of the story” competes with not wanting to let the main character go by finishing a book.

I can be almost finished with a book but find that I have to force myself to read the final chapter.

This is the case with Julia, the main character in Julia’s Violinist.

This is a beautifully written and compelling historical novel from author Anneli Purchase.*

Julia’s story begins in 1932 in Saaz, Neusattl in the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia.

Sudetenland “ the German name (used in English in the first half of the 20th century) to refer to those northern, southern, and western areas of Czechoslovakia which were inhabited primarily by ethnic German speakers, specifically the border districts of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Czech Silesia located within Czechoslovakia, since they were part of Austria until the end of World War I.

“The word “Sudetenland” did not come into existence until the early 20th century and did not come to prominence until after the First World War, when the German-dominated Austria-Hungary was dismembered and the Sudeten Germans found themselves living in the new country of Czechoslovakia. The Sudeten crisis of 1938 was provoked by the demands of Nazi Germany that the Sudetenland be annexed to Germany, which in fact took place after the later infamous Munich Agreement. Part of the borderland was invaded and annexed by Poland. When Czechoslovakia was reconstituted after the Second World War, the Sudeten Germans were largely expelled, and the region today is inhabited almost exclusively by Czech speakers.”

An Ordinary Life

Like most people in any country, Julia looks forward to a normal life.

She is a young woman being courted, riding her bike to work, and singing in the choir while living with her parents in their tiny village.

It is bittersweet to read about her innocent life knowing the hardships that war would bring to Europe.

Julia’s story is one of courage in the face of desperation and the appalling circumstances of war and its aftermath.

Julia, as a German, was on the wrong side of the war.

In telling Julia’s story, the author honors the story of her mother who was relocated to Germany after the WWII from the Sudetenland.

In reading this story, the reader comes to understand and appreciate that many ordinary Germans were victims also of Hitler’s brutal regime.

Ordinary people become pawns.

“I am young, I am twenty years of age; but I know nothing of life except despair, death, fear, and the combination of completely mindless superficiality with an abyss of suffering. I see people being driven against one another, and silently, uncomprehendingly, foolishly, obediently and innocently killing one another. I see the best brains in the world inventing weapons and words to make the whole process that much more sophisticated and long-lasting. And watching this with me are all my contemporaries, here and on the other side, all over the world – my whole generation is experiencing this with me. What would our fathers do if one day we rose up and confronted them, and called them to account? What do they expect from us when a time comes in which there is no more war? For years our occupation has been killing – that was the first experience we had. Our knowledge is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what can possibly become of us?” (pg. 180)   All Quiet on the Western Front

Beautiful love story that transcends the ravages of war.

This book tells the story of Julia before and after WWII.

It opened my eyes to a different group of people whose lives were upended by Nazi Germany.

The strength of women and the strength of love fill the pages.

I recommend this to anyone interested in WWII history recounted as an enduring love story. `My review for Amazon.

“The lovely Julia has it all—a seemingly perfect life. The aftermath of war in Europe changes all that. Widowed and homeless, Julia and her two small children become refugees in Germany. As she tries to rebuild her life, Julia becomes an immigrant and in the new country is drawn into a love triangle. New flames or old flames—both can burn and destroy.” Amazon description





39 thoughts on “Julia’s Violinist: A Story of Love, Courage, Survival

  1. Lori, thank you so much for reading and reviewing Julia’s Violinist. A special thank you for sharing information about my book with your followers. I appreciate it very much. I hope you won’t mind if I re-blog it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks again, Lori. You didn’t have to post this and I do appreciate the acknowledgment. I don’t think many readers realize how much a review or a good word to other readers means to an author. We have to do all our own marketing and that is much harder than writing a good book. BTW, I have a sharper image of JV if you want to replace it on your post. I realize you only had access to a photo from amazon (I presume). Just let me know.


    1. Characters in books often feel like part of my life. I think about them, their situtions, and am often haunted by their stories. Plus, I learn from them and often am inspired by them. As a young girl, I read biographies which inspired me. I find that the written word whether in retelling the life of real person or a fictional character can be very real.
      I hope that your weekend is going well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I know Anneli only from our blogging exchanges I believe that she is a wonderful person. She writes with sensitivity and depth about the events endured by Julia, her family, and others caught up in the tragedy of war. It is writing that not only reflects her intellect but comes from the heart.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, I am new to Anneli’s books but not for long. I look forward to reading more of her books. I have some books on my Kindle that I am waiting to read also…so many books! Such a nice “problem” to have! Thank you for reading and sharing your comments.


  2. Lori, this is a very good friend to write this review and feature Anneli’s book on your post! I have for three years taken my fellow bloggers who are authors and filled in Library Requisition forms. There is quite a big donation and often grants which they may use to buy more books. I think twice I compiled a long blog to encourage purchases. I have a simple one bedroom apt now, so it could be overwhelming to add many books. But, I was dismayed that so few of my written suggestions for approved. So, have started to adding to my small “library” of 15 adult books and about 30 children’s books. Hopefully, will have at least one from each friend within a year or two. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An interesting idea about library requisition forms…I plan to contact my local library. I understand about paring down books and I rely on my library for many books. However, I do love my Kindle…it is great for trips or when I am stranded somewhere (doctor’s office, etc). I always have a book close. How kind you are to post long posts promoting other bloggers’ books. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lori, I read your review of Julia’s Violinist, and agree with you 100%. This was one of the most interesting and heart wrenching books I’d read in a long time. It was very much a page turner and like you, I hated to see the story come to an end. In my head I am thinking, so what happens now? I find that most of Anneli Purchase’s novels have me feeling the same way. Definitely a must read story, and possibly a re-read story. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sonya, for your comments. I really appreciate your taking the time to share them. I plan to read her other books. Your comments about them make me want to start sooner than later!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was pleased to see Anneli Purchase on your blog page Lori. I’ve read four of her novels and my heart belongs to Julia’s Violinist. The characters are fleshed out beautifully and I also hated for it to end. Maybe a sequel someday? It’s the kind of novel that stays with you for years and I hear this from friends and neighbors who have borrowed and loved Julia’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know that feeling, Lori. When I wrote The Wind Weeps and it’s sequel Reckoning Tide, I couldn’t let go of the characters either and I have them reappearing (just little cameo appearances) in my next novel which is still in the works.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Julia’s Violinist is a beautiful, heartbreaking story, definitely worth reading, and this post does the book justice. I’ve read the book several times and Julia will always be very much alive for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello and thank you for sharing your comments. I am sure I will re-read this heartbreaking book. It is incredible how our lives can get swept up by forces bigger than we are! Have you read her other books?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anneli is a great writer and I am a big fan of her books. They are always tender and emotional and evoke the times and lives of her characters. Especially poignant knowing this was based, I believe, on the real lives of members of Anneli’s family. Fabulous book by a talented writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely blog. I have read Julia’s Violin as well as all of Anneli’s other books. Julia left a great impression on me since my Father also was a German whose parents escaped into Czech, then on to Canada in 1926. I empathize with Julia and her family. Thanks for sharing this bit of history with us.


    1. What a lovely blog. I have read Julia’s Violin as well as Anneli’s other books. Julia left a great impression on me since my Father also was German whose parents escaped into Czech, then to Canada in 1926. I empathize with Julia and her family. Thanks for sharing this bit of history with us.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. There were a lot of people who suffered in those war days and they were just like us – people just wanting to live a normal life. Thanks for reading Julia’s Violinist, Gladys, and thanks for sharing your feelings about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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