From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon is a World War II love story about Angelo Bianco, an Italian priest and Eva Rosselli, the Jewish girl he grew up with. The story starts in 1929 when Angelo came to Italy from America after his mother died. He lives with his grandparents and meets Camillo Rosselli and his daughter, Eva. The two children quickly became friends despite their religious differences. Fast forward to 1938, the Anti-Semantic laws are slowly coming into play as the lives of the Jewish community are being restricted. The Italian Jews still live a relative peaceful life, despite the racial laws and they hear of the terrifying events which are occurring in Germany. They know it’s only a matter of time before it happens in Italy. By 1940, it happens. Arrests are being made and communities around up and sent to the German concentration camps. Angelo is determined to hide Eva and as many Jewish families as possible. He becomes a part of a Catholic underground organization which hides and even helps Jewish people out of the country. But too soon their network is discovered and Angelo and Eva are placed in harm’s way. Will they survive the war? Will they be able to full express their love for each other? Can they even be together?
From Sand and Ash is a haunting story of a cold, dark time in history. The callousness of the German and Italian fascists against the Jews gives the story its drama. The love story between Angelo and Eva give it its hope. The reader will cheer for Angel and Eva and their friends as they work against the Gestapo and free as many Jews as possible. The reader will cry as the horrors are experienced by the Jewish communities. I enjoyed this story as I have never really read about the experience of the Italian Jews during the war. Most historical novels of WWII focus on Germany. I recommend From Sand and Ash.
From Sand and Ash
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