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From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
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From Sand and Ash

by Amy Harmon

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From Sand and Ash is a historical fiction romance, set in World War II, Italy. We follow two main characters, Eva and Angelo, from their childhood years through the adulthood. Eva and Angelo are as different as two people can be. For starters, Angelo is a catholic, with a life-long dream of becoming a priest, and Eva is a jew. In nazi Italy of 1943 a match, a friendship or even a glance between those two is forbidden. Being born a jew is forbidden.

If you love and appreciate a good historical fiction, I cannot recommend this book enough. For me it was a magnificent, although heartbreaking, 5 star read. If you are not big on romance, don't worry, I am not either, but From Sand and Ash has so much more to offer.

For a complete review please visit my blog:
http://bookandsword.weebly.com/book-journal/review-from-sand-and-ash-by-amy-harm... ( )
  bookandsword | May 13, 2017 |
This is primarily a historical fiction work, discussing how the Catholic Church aided and hid many Jewish citizens in Italy during WWII. Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco are the fictional characters that allow Amy Harmon to tell this story, although there are a few characters based on real people. I must also mention the element of romance, because that is the common thread that ties the whole book together.

I had difficulty rating this one and wavered between 3 and 4 stars. In all fairness, the historical fiction novel I read prior to this earned a 5 star rating, and this novel couldn't measure up to that. Plus, there are a lot of other WWII novels out there, so it is difficult not to make comparisons.

From Sand and Ash kept me engrossed but the latter half of the book was less interesting than the first. I was actually absorbed in the historical elements more than anything else, especially the setting and religious details. Unfortunately, as the book progressed, the author included some plot twists that seemed coincidental and sappy (think, The Notebook). Also, some of the language in the book sounded Americanized and too modern for an Italian setting during 1943. For example, We’ve taken Rome, but if things continue as they have for the last nine months, it’s going to continue to be a slog, and we sure as hell won’t be getting out of Italy until Germany surrenders, or we do. Maybe it is just me, but somehow that doesn't sound authentic. Well, it didn't make me feel transported to a different place and time anyway.

On a positive note, even given the gravity of the subject matter, I got through this book fairly quickly. From Sand and Ash would make a good movie and probably would be popular with the twenty-something age group. I appreciated the Author's Note at the end, and am glad to see more historical fiction writers adding additional information to their books. As a reader, it is good to know which aspects of a story are true and which are entirely fictional. ( )
  Lisa805 | Apr 29, 2017 |
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