“With our hands, we reach for things we shouldn’t have and grab what isn’t ours. The way I have always reached for you.” Eva Rosselli, From Sand and Ash
This book is one for the ages. I’ve read Amy Harmon many times before and had no idea what From Sand and Ash was about when I purchased it on audible. All I knew was she is a good writer and I would enjoy it. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was listening to a story which would stay with me forever.
From Sand and Ash is one of the best books I’ve listened to in years. Considering I listen to about 200-300 books per year, that’s saying a lot. As soon as I finished reading this book I bought the paperback so I could have it in my house to read over and over again. Amy did a fantastic job making Eva Rosselli a normal, relatable girl who lived an ordinary life until the unimaginable happened to Italy and the world and Angelo Bianco a man who fought within himself what was expected from him and what his heart desired all while feeling powerless to protect the ones he loved.
What amazed me about the story was how it was written. How life changed in small bits for Eva (and all Italian Jews) in such a way that by the time they realized what was really happening, it was too late. Though Eva and Angelo’s story was fictional, it was so wonderfully woven into real life events that it felt incredibly true. Their love was timeless. I don’t know how else to explain it. It was simply beautiful.
“Confession: I’ve never hated anyone before. Not a single soul. But I’m learning.” Eva Rosselli
The story gave a whole new picture of the Holocaust to me. Amy Harmon was brilliant in telling the story from the lives of two different religions, but the same love. Not only was this a book about love that can survive all odds, but a quest to find happiness in a world filled in fear.
“You love Eva. And she loves you. You’re a priest and she’s a Jew.” Camillo Roselli (Eva’s father)
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.
I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m desperately wanting for From Sand and Ash to be made into a movie or television series.