This is a beautiful and haunting book. The story opens in the 1990s with a concert featuring a beautifully crafted violin. The story then traces the roots of how the instrument was crafted: by a luthier in a concentration camp. The violin owes it existence to a bet between to ruthless Nazi commanders of the camp.
This book is simple and that alone makes it hauntingly beautiful. The last few chapters do seem to bounce around a bit, but it makes sense in the end. Probably some of the most chilling parts of the book are the openings of the chapters, which feature actual Nazi documents from the concentration camps. The disregard for human life is stomach churning, but adds an additional depth of emotion that makes this book that much more poignant.