Kelly Jones is the author of this gorgeous book. A trusted friend slapped this novel into my hands and told me I would love it. I did! Don’t allow the blurb from Nicholas Sparks to put you off. This is no romance novel. And though it is not a literary tome, it is well-written and beautifully crafted.
“THE WOMAN WHO HEARD COLOR” begins with a young woman named Lauren interviewing a woman in her eighties who is the daughter of Hanna, who is the main character. This story ebbs and flows back and forth in time from 1900 until modern day. And we begin in NYC.
As those of you know who follow my posts, I am a huge fan of WWII novels. So, when I say this one is unique, you can take it to the bank. I have never gotten such a sense of Germany before and during the war. Not only that, I absolutely found myself thoroughly involved with the city streets, the politics, the actual day to day life. Miss Jones takes us farther into both wars of that time than I’ve experienced before. It’s just different.
Hanna is a young woman eager to get away from the home of her father and stepmother. They live on a dairy farm outside Munich. The year is 1900. One day, Hanna walks out the front door and boards a train to the city where she finds work in the Jewish household where her sister is employed in the kitchen. Hanna becomes a housemaid. This Jewish family owns an established art gallery. And so Hanna’s interest in art begins.
So much insightful history of art is included in this historical novel of Germany. The artist Wassily Kandinsky catches the interest of Hanna early on and turns to be one of the most important artists of that time period. Plus, Kandinsky is also afflicted with the same unusual condition called Synesthesia. Hanna was born with this ability to hear in color. It is a real condition and we learn about it here. Deepens the emotions involved with the art. Brings it alive and makes it all pop.
As we hear the rumblings of the Nazi party rising through much of the book, Miss Jones certainly knows how to set the tone. The subtlety which she brings the war to fruition keeps us on our toes. Makes us realize the plight of many Germans during Hitler’s reign. They, too, were often terrified as they lived lives of quite desperation, under Hitler’s thumb. Many of them were keenly observed every waking moment. And these Germans were not Jews.
This amazing story is based on true stories of brave men and women who risked their lives to save German culture. What happened to much of the lost and stolen art of Germany and Europe? You are going to want to have this one in your beach bag this summer. It is absolutely superb!