From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon is a beautiful story about Angelo Bianco, a young priest, and his childhood friend, a violinist named Eva Rosselli.
Set in Italy during the German Occupation, this is a tale of a passionate and forbidden love in a time where things were so uncertain, and full of obstacles.
The kind of novel that I had never thought that would make me feel so emotional while reading it. Seriously, it was that engrossing and heartbreaking to read.
Furthermore, the author of this inspiring story had captured its readers by giving them a glimpse on how these people from all the countries that were invaded by the Germans lived during those times. So as a reader, I was painfully hit hard of the idea on how arduous it is for them to live a life in fear, but at the same time, trying to be brave and strong as they cling to the hope that one day, they will be able to see the light of a newer and brighter world. A world in which everyone would live in peace and harmony – without any judgment or discrimination just because they have a different race or religion. And that it also doesn’t matter who they are because what matters most is the sense of respect, kindness, and love for one another.
For sure, every reader who have already read the book, knew that the story of Angelo and Eva is something that they will never ever forget. Not just because of their love story, but more on how this couple have been such an inspiration, and despite the fact that Angelo is a Catholic (and a priest), and Eva being a Jewish. Such obstacles have really been a test on how strong is their love for one another. Using that love not just for themselves, but also offering it all to God; asking for the strength and courage to guide them in helping the Jews in their community. Risking their lives because they want to fight for justice because of all the inhumane and cruel things that they’ve witnessed from the German soldiers and officials.So before I wrap it up this blog of mine, I would like to share that before I’ve finished reading the novel, I already knew that this one have definitely made it at the top of list as one of the best books that I’ve ever read. For it was so heartbreakingly beautiful, and I still haven’t recovered from it. And just thinking about it every now and then gives me that emotional feeling that I just couldn’t entirely explain.
Well yes, it’s a fiction, but all the details about the invasion that were described in the story were true. A reminder, especially after so many decades had passed, that one should always hope and pray that something like that should never happen again, and to keep the faith that the good will always triumph over evil.
Plus, even if I’m a person who doesn’t entirely practice her religion, but I faithfully believe in God. That I believe, not in its traditions, but in humanity’s faith to do good things.
And as a bonus, below are the following quotes that I’ve highlighted while reading the book.
“They can take our homes, our possessions. Our families. Our lives. They can drive us out, like they’ve driven us out before. They can humiliate us and dehumanize us. But they cannot take our thoughts. They cannot take our talents. They cannot take our knowledge, or our memories, or our minds. In music there is no bondage. Music is a door, and the soul escapes through the melody.”
“Love had not made them poor. Love had made them wealthy. In that moment, they were royalty, a king of fortune and a queen of destiny, embracing a tiny prince of peace.”
“God makes me strong. He gives me courage. He gives me peace. He gives me purpose.”
“Sand and ash. The ingredients of glass. Such beauty created from nothing. It had been something Babbo had marveled about and something she’d never understood. From sand and ash, rebirth. From sand and ash, new life. With every song and with every prayer, with every small rebellion, Eva felt reborn, renewed, and she vowed to press on. She vowed to push back, to make glass from the ashes, and that courage was a victory in itself. Eva”
“Does it matter how we pray, if our devotion is pure, if our love for him leads us to love and serve and forgive and be better?”
“But we have to live in order to learn. And sometimes we have to fight in order to live.”
By the way, if you want a copy of this book. You can buy it online with a free shipping worldwide at Book Depository.
Well that’s it for now and till my next book review.
Thank you so much for reading.