From Sand and Ash Paperback – December 1, 2016
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A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, Historical Fiction
“I just finished and I can’t stop crying. From Sand and Ash was phenomenal. The writing was brilliant, the love story was epic, and the depiction of events, gut-wrenching. I had to stop throughout to catch my breath.” —Schmexy Girl Book Blog
“Amy Harmon is a fresh and creative voice in fiction. I marvel at her ability to weave together a story that grips hold of my heart and my imagination.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“I was mesmerized. It felt completely and utterly authentic, painstakingly balanced between history and fiction and faith. I barely took a breath.” —Katy Regnery, New York Times bestselling author
“Amy Harmon’s love stories never cease to touch my heart, but From Sand and Ash touched my soul. Just a gorgeous masterpiece of a book.” —Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author
“Beautiful and luscious. Tragic and harrowing. War. Love. Faith. Gorgeous prose around historical details. A Panzer tank through your heart, leaving dirt and rubble through which poppies bloom.” —Suanne Laqueur, author of An Exaltation of Larks
About the Author
Amy Harmon is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels, including the Whitney Award–winning The Law of Moses. Her historical novels, inspirational romances, and young adult books are now being published in twelve countries around the globe.
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Paperback : 383 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1503939324
- ISBN-13 : 978-1503939325
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (December 1, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The reason I am adding to my five (really ten) stars rating is to make sure there is a one-star review that does tell this book is not clean romance. If someone only wants a clean read this book is not for you. As I read I could see it was not one of those, so skipped over the graphic parts in order to keep reading. Because I only read clean, as in lacking graphic sex scenes, I skipped over the pages I could see were there. I stopped reading to evaluate what the book offered me and chose to keep reading. I felt the story told was gripping and taught so much about melding two religions. I learned about history in Italy and was drawn to the characters and their struggles. Her writing is excellent and there is depth to this book not normally found in my "reading for pleasure." It is an epic story, more than just a light romance with details thrown in for "interest."
I've read many books of the true accounts of holocaust survivors, seen the movies and documentaries, taken classes concentrating on this area of study. But never before have I been made to fall in love with an individual, with a couple, with a family, before I took such a horrific journey with them. To feel as though you know their strength, to get to know their life up until the moment it is stolen away, to know their helplessness in the face of something so unjust and so terrifying, it changes the way you look at the world, to see such atrocities through their eyes. This may be a fictionalized account inspired by true events, but you won't convince my heart Eva and Angelo aren't real. This story weaves it's way under your skin and into your soul so you feel every step of their journey, of their fight, of this miracle. It's both beautiful and tortuous what Amy Harmon does here, but it's so right. It's so important. We don't truly know fear and loss and hopelessness until we take this journey ourselves. Opening this book, turning these pages, moving along with Eva and Angelo is taking the journey ourselves.
This is absolutely a story of survival and love. But, more, From Sand and Ash is a poignant reminder of where we all come from, that no matter where we live or who we pray to or what we believe in, we all come from the same place. We are all made of the same things. We all seek joy, we all look to find purpose. We all love and play and pray and laugh and hope, and we all just want to be understood. Above all else, we just want to be understood. That message screamed at me on every page, in every word. Our world would be such a beautiful, peaceful, harmonious one if we sought to understand each other instead of judging each other for the ways we are different, for the God we pray to, for where each of our trees first took root. The Law of Moses taught me that we should be celebrating our differences instead of being afraid to point them out, to label them. From Sand and Ash takes that sentiment and drives it home in a way that simply can't be ignored. It's a brutal demonstration of what comes when we stop trying to understand each other, when we stop trying to relate, when we take what makes us different and use it as a means to divide us, to hurt each other, to push each other away. We need this message. We need this book. We need this reminder that when we refuse to learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it.
I'm asked often what book has changed my life. I can't say I've ever had a clear answer. I've read books I've loved, I've read books that have made me see things in ways I never have before, I've read books I'll never forget. But From Sand and Ash is a life changing book. This book will change the way you go forward by forcing you to go back. It'll change your heart, it'll change your mind, it'll make you seek to understand rather than condemn. It'll make you choose to see the good where there seems to be only darkness. It'll remind you that we're all the same where it matters, that we've all come from the same place regardless of where we're going. It'll inspire you to be better. It'll demand you pay closer attention to the opportunities to do something important. It will humble you, empower you, it'll strengthen your awareness of your world, your history, your place in it. You can't read this book and not come away changed.
From Sand and Ash is a rich work of art, a stunning masterpiece that has moved me, altered me, captivated me. It'll take your breath away, it'll break your heart in ways it's never been broken before, it'll leave you speechless. I was overcome with so much emotion while reading this brutally beautiful story. I was painfully terrified. I was both angered and uplifted, both defeated and empowered, broken yet healed. These characters, this fictionalized truth swathed in Harmon's unparalleled storytelling and her breathtaking writing style make for an epic story of bravery, love, resilience and loss that is both haunting and heartwarming all at once. As long as I live, I will carry this story with me.
Amy does not get overly detailed about politics or the war, and everything was broken down into simple facts and explanations. She spared us the gory details and yet still manages to paint such a distinct portrayal of the suffering that took place during this time. The common theme within all of her books is that love and faith conquers all, and how hope and resilience can help you rise above even the most difficult of situations. I think her trademark message has never shined more brightly than it does in From Sand and Ash. Eva & Angelo’s story is one that I will never ever forget.
I really hope that people give this book a chance. Even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction, the message in this book is one that we need to be reminded of. We need to remember the atrocities that happened in Europe during WW2 so that millions did not die in vain, and nothing like this will EVER happen again. Thank you Amy, for honoring the memory of my Jewish ancestors and the millions of others who lived during this awful time in our history.
These are just a few of the dozens of powerful quotes I highlighted. Amy’s writing has never been better:
“In him I have found a slice of the divine, a morsel of peace, and when his lips are on mine, his hands on my skin, there is reason to believe that life is more than pain, more than fear, more than sorrow. I am hopeful for the first time in years. And strangely enough, I find myself convinced that God loves his children – all his children – that he loves me, and that he provides moments of light and transcendence amid the constant trial.”
“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.”
"Our immortality comes through our children and their children. Through our roots and branches. The family is immortality. And Hitler has destroyed not just branches and roots, but entire family trees, forests. All of them, gone."
Top reviews from other countries
Obviously well researched and beautifully written, this epic tale is a lesson in human kindness, human wrongs and in why we should never vote fascist narcissists into power. A lesson a scary amount of people appear not to have learnt, despite the unquestionable historic evidence of the devastation it causes.
I've loved all of Amy Harmon's books but think this one is good enough to be made into a film and should be.
I definitely recommend.
We learn in the acknowledgements that the historical events shaping From Sand and Ash are all based on real life occurrences of that period in time, which adds an intelligent and thought provoking dose of gravitas to this heartfelt fictional story and illustrates the care and attention to detail used by the author when crafting her story arc. As I read I wondered how I would be able to find the adjectives to adequately convey the quality and the depth of this story. It whisked me away to Italy, charmed me, made me love the characters, each and every one on the side of good showing the courage of their convictions. I admired their bravery and basked in the vivid nature of the writing. Amy Harmon's words hooked me into a narrative that, at times, left me breathless with the expanse of emotion evoked and completely invested in the romance element delicately weaved through the layers of the perfectly executed prose to the point that I was mesmerised by the happenings and on the edge of my seat for the conclusion of their story. The genre is historical romance and I highly recommend to all those who seek beautifully crafted stories that accurately transport the reader to another place in time with characters who inspire and a love that takes one’s breath away.
I read as a KINDLE FIRST title
This book brought out every emotion in me, from smiles and laughter to anger, horror and heartbreak. I shed tears of sadness and joy. I'm sure you are all aware of what happened to the Jews in WWII, but this book was brilliantly written, sensitive and truthful. Horrific circumstances like this bring out the best but also the very worst in people and we see this throughout, but not always from who you expect. Yes the love story was fiction but so beautiful in it's struggle, the love between a Jewish girl and a Catholic boy. I honestly had no idea how it would end.
If you love a bit of history with your romance and want a book that makes you feel so much, read this, I cant imagine you will will be disappointed or come away unaffected. The narrator was excellent, her voice bringing the story to life. Thought provoking and emotional, this story will stay with me for a long time
5 huge stars