“I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you.” When I had read that Amy Harmon was writing and historical romance set in Florence during WW2, I was extremely excited and couldn't wait to read it, and I was not disappointed. Amy has become one of my favourite authors and her ability to write such beautiful stories is simple amazing! In this book From Sand and Ash we follow the lives of two young lovers Angelo and Eva and their struggles and ability to always come back to each other through this terrible time in history. This book showed how the human spirit can be strong and endure the most horrible things but still hold on to hope, love and courage! Bravo Amy for writing a story that was simply Epic!!!
An honest and compassionate portrayal of the horrific and shameful persecution of Jews and those who would protect them and how love, courage and faith are the only way to endure and perhaps survive such evil.
Thank you Amy for another outstanding story. I think , although I have loved all the books that I have read by you so far, that this will stay with me the longest. I never knew this side of WW2. I had no idea that the Jews of Italy are as persecuted as those of other European countries I had no idea of the involvement of the catholic church in the salvation of many of these people. I have truly had my eyes opened. Let history never repeat. Eva and Angelo's story is dull of emotion and courage. The strength of their love is inspiring ABC's although a work of fiction it brings to light the truth of many lives that are touched by other courageous and loving people. Thank you again Amy.
War, brutality, forbidden love, and courage, are among some of the many themes coursing through the veins of this tale. At the heart of the story are two childhood friends - Angelo who is encouraged by his family to enter priesthood due to a debilitated leg, and Eva, a young Italian Jewish girl.
The bond between the two has always been extraordinary, but like many lifetime friendships, love takes hold. As Hitler and the Nazi regime infiltrate Italy, the Jewish people begin facing segregation, internment, and death. Father Angelo secretly works for the Vatican to help hide and protect Jewish families and Eva also tries to help the resistance.
With each passing chapter, the stakes increase for the characters and tensions rise. Historical facts are welded seamlessly in the storyline and are never jarring, but always accurate and provides a good historical timeline for the effects that World War II had on Italy.
The passion I experienced for the characters ratcheted up with each new poignant scene. The author does not shy away from showing the suffering of the Jewish people as they were inhumanely loaded into cattle cars and swept away to the concentration camps. And of course there is the enduring love between a priest who will abandon his vows for the woman that he loves in a race to find each other again.
I am especially interested in novels that explore World War II and its impact on the Italian people, and this novel is one of the best I've read in this regard to date! HIghly, highly, highly recommended!