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10.14.2016

Book Report - The Moonlit Garden

I recently read The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann. This was another free book as part of my Amazon Prime membership.
Lilly Kaiser, a young widow who owns and operates an antique shop in Berlin, is unexpectedly given an old violin by a mysterious stranger. Feeling she is not the rightful owner of such an exquisite instrument, Lilly, with the help of her best friend Ellen and the handsome music professor, Gabriel Thornton, traces the origins of the violin to its original owner, Rose Gallway, who lived in Sumatra over a hundred years earlier. Once a famous and highly sought after violinist, Rose simply vanishes from the musical circuit practically overnight. As Lilly's musical adventure takes her from Germany, to England, to Italy, and eventually Indonesia itself; she discovers the mystery surrounding Rose's past and realizes a different life might yet be possible for her if she is just willing to open herself up to loving again. 

I was initially interested in reading this novel for the violin portion of the story. As a former violinist (I played from 5th - 8th grade, and then on and off since then) I'm partial to anything that has to do with violins (see here). For the most part, I enjoyed the read. It was really two stories in one. It started with Ellen, in present times, and her quest to solve the mystery of the violin; then would jump back in time to Rose, the original owner of the violin, and then tell her story from her perspective. It helped move the story along nicely. I actually preferred the Rose story to the Ellen one. Ellen's felt a little contrived - like how convenient that her best friend is also a violin restorer. Rose's story felt more authentic, plus the time period and being set in Sumatra made it more exotic and intriguing to me. I did like the bit of romance between Ellen and Gabriel though. It's been a while since I read anything romantic, which is funny since there was a time in my late teens when that was all I read. Finally, I didn't love the ending, although it wasn't bad by any means. It just wasn't what I was expecting, and again felt contrived. Overall though, I'd say The Moonlight Garden was just an okay read. It's decent enough when you're in the midst of reading it, but unfortunately not very memorable.

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