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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?
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
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
*Cue mini violin playing because we're supposed to be super sad
I should just stick to historical fiction and not romance/historical fiction. Everything was sooo . . . Sticky? Philosophical? I don't know. I just know I didn't like it. I love WWII stories but this was more of a raunchy novel between a priest and Jew than a good WWII novel. I felt like the book was just trying so hard to make you cry and feel bad that it fell flat. I skipped through most of it and put the listening speed to double because it was just so predictably tragic and philosophical. I love love stories. I love tragic stories. I love tragic WWII/Holocaust love stories. So I should have loved this one, right? Wrong. It was just so 'neon sign flashing 'look how tragic we are''
If you like being told what to feel- than this is the book for you. I know I'm sounding harsh but man that was disappointing. Be warned there are a couple of sex scenes (involving a Catholic priest no less ew) and crude language and violence. I loved Amy Harmon's early work, but each new book makes me like her less and less. I'm done with her works, I've decided. The narrator was decent though.
25 of 27 people found this review helpful
this book....wow! such a beautifully written story of love, loss and hope. I couldn't stop listening to it.
What a wonderful story. I was moved to tears throughout. I learnt a lot about Italy during the war.
loved it everything about it
great story and narration
A must read if you like war stories
A beautiful story. Tainted by loss, heartbreak and truth. Saturated by love, a love that hopes all things, endures all things.