Review: From Sand and Ash

by - 9:17 AM

29904278From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon 

| ISBN: 978-1503939325 | Pages: 372 |
Publication Date: December 1, 2016 | Source: Own
| Rating: 5 out of 5 stars |

Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II.
As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.
Amy Harmon cannot write a bad book! I feel like I always start my reviews for her books with that sentence but it's true every time. Ever since I started reading her novels, each one has confirmed the fact that she's an incredibly gifted author with the ability to connect her readers to her characters.

If I'm not mistaken, this is her first historical fiction novel and I was so excited to find that it took place during WWII. Right from the start, we're introduced to Angelo as he is struggling to find his way back to Eva and that sets the tone for the entire story. My heart went through so many rollercoasters with this novel from the beautiful to heart wrenching scenes as we traveled through the story with Angelo and Eva.

From sand and ash, rebirth. From sand and ash, new life. With every song and with every prayer, withe very small rebellion, Eva felt reborn, renewed, and she bowed to press on. She vowed to push back. To make glass from the ashes. And that courage was a victory in itself.

At the beginning, I was unsure about how Amy Harmon was going to weave the story together with Angelo and Eva being from two completely different worlds. Despite growing up together, Angelo becomes a Catholic priest and Eva is a Jewish musician who is facing persecution. Throughout the story, we follow Angelo as he constantly struggles to figure out how to divide his heart between Eva and God while Eva has to find the willpower to stay alive. There's so many instances where there seems like they have nowhere to turn, but then Amy Harmon just injects these beautiful quotes of hope and perseverance and that just made the whole reading experience more meaningful.

“Love had not made them poor. Love had made them wealthy. In that moment, they were royalty, a king of fortune and a queen of destiny, embracing a tiny prince of peace.” 

“Life is like a long note; it persists without variance, without wavering. There is no cessation in sound or pause in tempo. It continues on, and we must master it or it will master us.” 

The novel offers a glimpse into WWII and I'm reminded of just how powerful novels written in this time can be. We're constantly reminded of the horror that have happened in the past and novels like this one affirms the pain that people have experienced but also highlights the beautiful strength that lies within ourselves. Eva and Angelo are just one example of countless numbers of fighters who have fought to stay true to what they believe in and it's honestly so inspiring and refreshing to be able to experience their lives through this book.

“We are at war. War has a way of stripping us of perspective. War is about life and death, and it paints everything in shades of now or never.” 

From Sand and Ash is an absolute gem. It's beautifully written and has the power to move its readers and inspire the world. I'm once again blown away by Amy Harmon and if you haven't read this book you definitely need to because I promise you, your life will be completely transformed.

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