Book Talk: The Piano Tuner’s Daughter: My Best Friend by Ingrid Silvian
The Piano Tuner’s Daughter: My Best Friend by Ingrid Silvian. " A stirring story about two girls, one Jewish and one Christian, torn apart during World War II."
This is the story
Ingrid’s mother needed her grand piano tuned, and she asked the piano tuner for his help. The piano tuner brought along his daughter, Sonia, and Sonia met Ingrid. Since then, the girls became best friends.
Sonia and Ingrid spent many times playing hide-and-seek in the massive basement that Sonia’s father converted to a workshop. The girls loved it there. The old pianos and their rich imagination made the workshop the best playground where they would duck and weave around. One day, Sonia’s father caught them playing there, and Ingrid thought he would be angry. Instead, he took them to the kitchen and made them rye bread sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly, and he gave Ingrid his first sip of coffee.
When Sonia came to visit Ingrid, they usually played store in Ingrid’s walk-in toy store. They would tell make-believe stories and giggle to no end. They were young girls who immensely enjoyed their playtime until, one day, darkness fell upon the girls and their city. Then Nazis rose into power, and life was never the same again for the two friends.
The world that used to be their playground was suddenly filled with rubbles and smoke. The songs and daily chatter that used to punctuate the air were replaced with gunfire and deafening explosions. Instead of laughter and giggles, there were screams of terror and cries of pain. Instead of marbles and toys, there were shrapnels. They did not understand why the world had to change. They did not know people can be so cruel toward other people, even toward the elderly and the little children. These did not make sense to Sonia and Ingrid and to million other children who saw firsthand the ugliness of war.
When it seemed like things couldn’t get worst, Sonia and her father were taken away by the Nazis because they were Jews. Ingrid and her mother were herded to a nearby forest where Christians were sheltered for protection, but Ingrid never felt completely safe or appeased because her best friend was out there. When the war was over, and it was safe to come out, Ingrid and her mother searched high and low for Sonia and the piano tuner, but they were lost forever.
Ingrid Silvian’s The Piano Tuner’s Daughter: My Best Friend is a true-to-life vignette of a friendship that came to an abrupt end due to war. Having survived seventy-five years since then, Silvian hopes that, by reading her story, future generations will never forget about World War II and will be forever vigilant so it won’t happen ever again. Through her story, she hopes Sonia will live on and on.
Reviews and What Readers Say
" A stirring story about two girls, one Jewish and one Christian, torn apart during World War II. A pure, unadulterated love and care of a friend to another."
— The BookWalker
Reviewed by Amy Alcott
Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Ingrid was born in Solingen, Germany in 1930. She and her mother moved to Cologne when she was 4 years old, where she grew up. Ingrid came to the US in 1953 as a war bride with her one year old daughter. In later life, she published essays on social issues under Beacon Press (Boston) and others, as well as a monthly column for the SENIOR TIMES of Columbus Ohio for ten years, where she made her home for the last thirty-three years. Ingrid has lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Azores Islands. She has three daughters and one grandson.