by Amy Harmon
Genres: Historical, Romance
AMZ US Audible
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.
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review and did not influence my opinion of the book.
❝ How can you compromise with people who don’t want you to exist? They want us to disappear. I can’t adapt to death.❞
FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR! BY FAR, WITHOUT DOUBT!
Beautiful, heart-wrenching, exquisite and incredibly powerful, From Sand and Ash is the best work this author has created.
Amy Harmon is unforgiving as she retells history. She doesn’t sugar coat it for her readers, she doesn’t hide the pain, tragedy, and atrocities. She immerses the reader in the pain and horror and the despair of her characters.
From the start, I was riveted. The prologue set the book up exquisitely and perfectly letting us know this was not going to be an easy read.
Angelo has been sent to live with his grandparents in Italy after his mother died. Due to his physical disability, his father commanded Angelo to move to Italy and become a priest.
Eva was charming, vicarious and full of energy. She was loyal and smart and a gifted violinist.
Having known each other nearly their entire lives, Eva and Angelo have been raised together in the same house, even though they were not related. His Italian grandparents were the household staff of her Jewish family. What started as a friendship quickly turns to love, but Angelo is destined to be a priest, and Eva is a Jew.
❝ I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you.❞
Hitler is in power and has invaded Italy. Slowly, and methodically his troops are forcing their way through the streets, alleyways and into the villages and homes of the Jewish-Italian people. Ripping away their families, their freedom, their lives.
❝Will there ever be a time when people aren’t afraid? ❞
From Sand and Ash is realistic fiction. The story not only happened, it is happening today. Hitler is no longer in power and trying to rid the world of Jews, but there are others in power attempting to wipe out entire races and religions. Syria comes to mind. The significance of this book in our world, in our time, is not only powerful but important.
❝ I wonder sometimes what would happen if everyone without a choice had made a choice anyway. If we all chose not to participate. Not to be bullied. Not to take up arms. Not to persecute. What would happen then?❞
Harmon gives us a story of about family, perseverance, love, loyalty, right and wrong, and selfless devotion.
I am humbled with gratitude to have received an ARC. Because this was the most beautiful, poignant and significant book, I have ever read! EVER. If there is one book, JUST ONE book that I could choose to read for the rest of my life, it would be THIS BOOK!
❝ They cannot take our thoughts. They cannot take our talents. They cannot take our knowledge, or our memories or our minds. In music, there is no bondage. Music is a door, and the soul escapes through melody.❞