the girl with the violin by shelley davidow

Reviews and praise for The Girl With the Violin

"The Girl with the Violin has deep emotional truths running throughout, bringing together major historical events in modern history, the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall. The poetic musicality of the storytelling captures the emotion, which at times can be raw and gripping.
This novel offers a fascinating reflection of how music can play a major part during times of conflict and aid with the healing process: being able to move forward, but not forgetting the past.
Highly recommended.

Claire Stanley Good Reading Magazine.

​"From time to time we are gifted with a book that is so beautifully written it is akin to a work of art. The Girl with the Violin is one such book.
It is a love story, just waiting for you to turn that first page and become immersed. A story which is a cycle of love and loss, of success and failure, of perseverance and endurance and ultimately of hope and forgiveness – I dare you to put it down once you start. "

Good Read Reviews.

"There is a complex, intricate and international love story running through this cracker of a novel, but underlining it is a deep sense of time, place and culture, and how society endures. As Davidow says: “There are levels of meaning to the falling of the wall that you can never appreciate unless you were there, and if you were, they never leave you. "
Phil Jarratt -

Read some reviews from preview readers.

The Girl with the Violin by Shelley Davidow is an emotionally written historical fiction novel. The story focuses on a young violinist, Susanna, who arrives in Berlin, Germany to fulfil her musical dreams. The characters were well written and I felt immersed in Susanna’s heartbreak, romance, vulnerability and life journey. It was a moving read that I recommend to lovers of historical fiction. I look forward to reading more works by Shelley Davidow. 5 Stars! Brittany, VIC, 5 stars

As I always enjoy novels about the Holocaust, despite being sad and depressing, this book did not disappoint. Loved the way it was set in the now but references to the past. A poignant and thought provoking read that will please many. Jenny, VIC, 5 stars

I was kept guessing by the frequent plot twists, that I could not imagine. A good read, and clearly written. Claire, VIC, 5 stars

A powerful emotional historical fiction that I truly adore, I honestly felt like I was going along with Susanna in the events that unfold for her in the story feeling connected to what she felt and how the past could also change the present. It was interesting to also learn a little German as well as my Muttersprache (Mother tongue) is English. The information in it as well about Berlin and what happened in Germany back in world war II was interesting to read about. Mary, VIC, 5 stars

The Girl With the Violin by Shelley Davidow was an absolute amazing read. I just love watching the main character Susanna navigate the highs and lows of life. The dramas of injustice, heartbreak of love, and like many of us, get sidetracked by life. This book has a juicy strong story line throughout it . Yet I love the historical back story of her grandmother, and the serendipitous circumstances that lead her back to her dream. Whilst it has an interesting twist at the end. Overall, just totally enjoyed this book, it was fast, interesting, just a beautiful relatable story. Fran, VIC, 5 stars

This book, “The Girl with the Violin” by Shelley Davidow, was not at all what I had expected but it completely stole my heart. It is such a beautiful story that spans across decades, full of sadness, longing, hope and love. It explores the unthinkable and unexplainable acts of human kind, generational trauma, societal expectations and the heavy load that women are expected to carry. It is a beautiful reminder that we can never truely know a persons inner truth, especially if we never ask or share. It also shows our potential as humans to love and care without judgement, to heal and to help heal. This story broke and warmed my heart and I am grateful to have read it. Chloe, VIC, 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed Susanna’s journey in life, love and music, and also how her Oma’s past was included. This is only the second book I have read in many years and I couldn’t put it down! I was passionate about finding out what would happen next in Susanna’s journey and where it would take her. I absolutely loved this and will be recommending this to my work book club. Ali, QLD, 5 stars

This book is about a young Jewish/ Australian girl who goes to Germany for her music studies. This is a great drama that follows Suzanna from Germany to Australia. With a heartbreaking storyline and so well written you will want to keep turning those pages to find out if she will ever get her happily ever after. I really enjoyed this read!! Highly recommend . Judy, NSW, 5 stars

I found this book difficult to put down. Susanna’s story was an emotional, and at times heart-wrenching, journey. Shelley’s beautifully descriptive imagery made it very easy to place myself in the world of Susanna, and that of Berlin in 1989. The Girl with the Violin is a story of discovery, growth, acceptance and compassion, with love at its core. A beautifully written, and entirely engaging novel, from start to finish. Chrissie, WA, 5 stars

Shelley Davidow grabbed hold of my heart with “The Girl with the Violin”. Susanna became apart of my daily life, when I was away from my book I pondered what she might do next. I was sad to reach the last page but Susanna has not left me. I adored this story of Susanna who is a young Jewish girl with a talent for the violin. Growing up in Australia she feels her dreams of doing something great with her talent will be limited until she earns herself a scholarship to Berlin. It is there that she is to be taught by Stefan Heinemeyer who is a famous Violinist. As time goes by she finds herself drawn more and more to Stefan who is several years her senior and engaged. Stefan takes her one day to visit the concentration camp where her grandmother lost her life and this experience is made all the more amazing as Stefan is the grandson of a Nazi. Many events happen that has the end result that Susanna finds her dreams derailed. But life moves on even though she finds she can not face playing her Violin ever again. This is a must read. 
Annamaree, QLD, 5 stars

Read more here:

A powerful love story in which one woman’s quest for identity and healing also becomes the single way she can honour her grandparents, whose lives were irreversibly shattered by the Holocaust. Perfect for readers of Anna Funder and Megan Rogers.

It’s 1989 and for a young Jewish-Australian violinist, a scholarship to Berlin is the chance of a lifetime. Germany is on the verge of change as the wall is torn down, and Susanna is swept along by the tumultuous event. Under the careful guidance of Stefan Heinemeyer, her renowned violin teacher and the grandson of a Nazi, she begins a composition in memory of her grandmother, Mirla, who died in the Buchenwald concentration camp during the Second World War, and Susanna is inspired to retrace Mirla’s final footsteps.

It’s a journey that reconnects Susanna to her heritage and propels her musical gift to extraordinary heights. Yet as a forbidden yearning for Stefan begins to unfurl, Susanna’s life is forever changed, and the repercussions will echo through decades and across continents.

In a world where history, society and inherited traumas threaten to silence Susanna and prevent her from ever becoming her true self, can she find the courage to reclaim her power as a woman, a musician, and a composer, and in so doing, lay her haunted past to rest?

Background to The Girl With The Violin

coming July 3 2024