This novel is not a romance; rather, the title refers to the painting on the cover by Kamil Swiatek, which depicts three musicians. The book is the story, or the myth, of these three musicians called the Rovner Klezmorin. During the darkness of the Holocaust, three young men, Aron, Reuven, and Benjamin, forsake illustrious careers as concert musicians and choose to wander the Ukraine to Moscow making music to lighten the darkness. Myths abound: survivors throughout Europe claim to have been revived by the strains of their instruments.
Though there were hundreds of witnesses to their murders, as the years of the war dragged on, hundreds of survivors claimed to have seen and heard the musicians and been redeemed. “My soul was returned to me,” said one witness. A myth existed around Aron’s harp, a small hand-held one rarely seen, said to be the original harp played by King David. The format of the book is carefully constructed and complex. It is comprised of modern-day testimony by survivors who tell of their experiences with the Klezmorim; sections of the novel tell of the childhood days of the three boys and how they became good friends and a cohesive band; other sections tell of the present days in the lives of the young men before these magical lives were cut short.
The word magical is used carefully. The story floats and streams and comes alive as it awakens the emotions of the reader. This breathtaking first novel by Scott E. Blumenthal will stay with the reader as will the strains of music that he or she will hear at special moments as the kiss of the Klezmorim plays forever.