by Amy Harmon
Released: December 1st 2016
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
“This is by far my favorite Amy Harmon book I’ve read to date.”
~ Under the Covers
Let me start this review by kicking myself because I knew I wanted to read this from before it came out and it took me two months to get to it! Why? I just KNEW this would be a great story because I’ve enjoyed this author’s work, and I do have a strange fascination with stories (books or movies) around this time period. I’m glad I didn’t wait longer, though. This is by far my favorite Amy Harmon book I’ve read to date.
FROM SAND AND ASH tells the story of Eva and Angelo. Children, living in Italy, being raised together as family but who aren’t really blood. Separated only by their difference in faith. He’s Catholic and she’s Jewish. That bond that starts as innocent friendship, with the years develops into deep love. But Angelo has known all along his true calling was to serve his God, and he does that by becoming a priest much to his and Eva’s heartbreak. Just at the time when the world around them becomes a dark and dangerous place and their lives are marked and changed forever. Everyone has to make choices, and bring forward the courage and faith from deeper within themselves than they thought possible. To do the right thing, even against their own well being.
This book straddles a line between historical fiction and historical romance. The romance plays a big part of this story, it’s fundamental to it. But it’s not your cookie cutter romance, either. I loved that about this story because I think it would satisfy both readers. There are so many things that are conflicting and serious. I think Ms. Harmon did a superb job at portraying those with ease, making the reader feel the despair and heartbreak of their situations at every step. The writing was sincerely beautiful. It managed to portrayed both good and evil, love and hate, giving hope in the midst of despair.
This was a book I didn’t want to let go of, I didn’t want to put down. These characters became my world for the time I was reading it, and even afterwards. And, as expected, it wasn’t a pretty world. There were more downs then ups. It was painful, but also full of love. Inspirational and epic. A truly perfect tale of forbidden love but which was also innocent. And while this was such a hard story, the book was a breeze to read. I couldn’t get enough of it.
If you’ve liked THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah, or even one of my all time favorite movies, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, then you’ll enjoy this book. Rest assured, there will be a smile on your face at the end with this one, though. FROM SAND AND ASH was moving and unforgettable and I really hope you give it a chance if you haven’t read it yet. Don’t be like me and put this off.
“Fear is strange.
It settles on chests and seeps through skin, through layers of tissue, muscle, and bone and collects in a soul-sized black hole, sucking the joy out of life, the pleasure, the beauty.
But not the hope.
Somehow, the hope is the only thing resistant to the fear, and it is that hope that makes the next breath possible, the next step, the next tiny act of rebellion, even if that rebellion is simply staying alive.”
“There was no one left to save.
He didn’t even know if he had the strength to save himself. Still, he rose on shaking legs and willed himself forward. It was a long way to Rome for a crippled man with a broken heart.”
“With our hands, we reach for things we shouldn’t have and we grasp what isn’t ours. The way I have always reached for you.”
“Many will seek to tell me what God’s will is. But nobody knows. Not really. Because God is quiet. Always. He is quiet, and my anguish is so intense, so incredibly loud, that right now I can only do my will and hope that somehow, it aligns with his.”
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