From Sand and Ash

  • by Amy Harmon
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Such beauty in the darkest of times <3

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

“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.”The year is 1943 and World War II Nazi-occupied Italy played its part in the persecution, deportation, and ultimate murder of the Jewish people. However, Amy Harmon manages to incorporate so much beauty in this very dark time. From Sand and Ash is full of contrasts: life/death, hope/defeat, courage/fear, compliance/rebellion, faith/doubt, love/rejection, desire/restraint... the list goes on. But such is this magical life – we cannot survive the depths without having at least a flicker of light, and even more so when the world is at war and a beautiful people are being destroyed simply because they exist.Amy Harmon has created incredibly human characters full of complexities. She has also replicated the palpable emotions that coincide with tragic times, but the themes of family, love, and resiliency shine through. For me, this was an incredibly rich reading experience that gave me hope. Hope that with every negative, a positive can be found and with every person full of evil intent, there will be another who will choose to do the right thing. I loved this book ♥My favorite quote:“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.”


What other book might you compare From Sand and Ash to and why?

Jojo Moyes The Girl You Left Behind and Kristin Hannah The Nightingale. Similar wartime settings. Choosing to do the right thing. Themes of loyalty and family.


What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Stunning accents.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"From sand and ash, rebirth. From sand and ash, new life. With every song and with every prayer, with every small rebellion, she vowed to push back, to make glass from the ashes." -Amy Harmon


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- featherlashes

An exquisite masterpiece in Historical Fiction

Definitely Amy Harmon’s finest work and I have enjoyed all of her books thus far. There were so many things I loved about this book but writing stands out the most. Amy Harmon’s storytelling was so intense, visceral and poignant. This story was set in Italy starting before the German invasion and lasted for the Nazi occupation of the Italy. It was such a dark and depressing historical period, but the author managed weave a tale of love, hope, faith and loyalty.

Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were childhood best friends despite being her being Jewish and him being Catholic. Despite their affection for each other, Angelo decided that he could best serve God as a priest.
“God makes me strong. He gives me courage. He gives me peace. He gives me purpose.”
As Angelo joined the priesthood, Eva began navigating life in Italy where Jews were stripped of every conceivable right of citizenship despite the Jews “making up 1% of the countries population”. At her darkest hour, Angelo took in Eva and some other family friends to hid them, but it endangered all the priests around.

Angelo was forced to consider what his life would be like if the Nazi’s were to find Eva and the other Jews that the priests were protecting. While Eva struggles to survive, she was also forced to deal with the fact that the man she loved chose to be a priest over a life with her.

This story was both inspiring, enlightening and emotionally POWERFUL. Every time I felt despondent, a gestured or an event occurred that contributed some reason for hope and encouragement.
“Hope is the only thing resistant to the fear, and it is the hope that makes the next breath possible, the next step, the next tiny act of rebellion, even if that rebellion is simply staying alive.”
The author didn’t mislead the readers by painting a rosy picture of war times. But those tendrils of devotion and faithfulness kept me optimistic as I listened to tale. The narrator Cassandra Campbell was excellent in her various accented voices. She was a great choice for this book.

I loved both Eva and Angelo for different reasons. Both were strong characters, loving, honest and altruistic. Eva though just stole my heart. She had a clarity about almost everything. She was decisive and even stubborn. Angelo was so endearing because he truly tried to honor his faith even if he had to sacrifice his own heart. I admired his commitment and his perseverance. The author did an amazing job developing these characters as well as the overall plot. I never felt that the author sacrificed the historical plight of the people in favor of a love story. It made everything feel so much more authentic and genuine. I am always amazed at the blessings that occurred despite immense suffering during the tragedies of war. This story was one of the best written historical fiction novels I have ever read.
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- Ezinwanyi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-01-2016
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio