The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper - Julie  Thomas Overall score: 3.5/5 stars."The Secret Keeper" is the story of two families (one German Jewish and the other Russian) who are bound together by a single, priceless instrument: a 1742 Guarneri del Gesu violin.The Horowitz family loses everything in the Holocaust, including the precious instrument ... which, through a variety of circumstances becomes the property of the Valentino family. We see the story of both families, across several generations, beginning before the onset of WWII and ending in 2008. Throughout the story, we see the travels of the precious Guarnerius.Julie Thomas clearly knows both her classical music and her violins. I have been privileged to hear a 1742 Guarnerius played in concert and there truly is nothing like it (she goes on in detail about what makes this particular make and model violin so unique). She also knows how to tell a story; the plot was gripping. I came to think of every character as a real person, and felt tremendous sympathy for young Daniel Horowitz, a gifted violinist who would rather be playing baseball with his friends when all is said and done.Unfortunately, the book suffered from editorial issues. There were numerous instances when quotation marks and italics should have been used to differentiate musical pieces from the surrounding text ... and others where it was done correctly. There were also several run-on sentences that could have used a semi-colon.Unfortunately, this book has been removed from Smashwords. I also like to review books at the site where they were purchased, but that is not possible in this case.Overall, it's an entertaining read that classical music buffs, violinists, and historical fiction lovers are sure to enjoy ... with the caveats listed above.