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From Ashes Into Light

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  43 reviews
From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the hauntingly tragic story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born
Hardcover, First Edition, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2016 by Raincloud Press
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves historical fiction.
**I received an e-book copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Will something wonderful come out of our suffering, or will our suffering become the suffering of others? Outside leaves shaped like hands drop all over the garden, red, yellow and brown.

This book is obviously a historical fiction and aside from the setting of World War II, the main concepts and the way the author portrayed the characters are quite abstract. To put it differently, ther
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first this book confused me. There were alternating chapters, from the point of view of people in WWII Germany and Austria, and Native Americans. Then - slowly but surely - I got the correlation. This is a very good book. It makes comparisons I (clearly) would never have thought to make. And tells a familiar story from an unfamiliar but very apt angle.
Abhaya Kathleen
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I first held the book From Ashes into Light in my hands I read a quote of Karin Rita Gastreich's on the back of the cover. And now that I've finished reading it I can think of no better way to describe the essence of this book than Karin's quote:
"Three lives, three places in time, one single thread of truth. This is a transcendent novel that speaks to the cycle of souls, the terrible wheel of human suffering, and the ultimate capacity we all share for hope and healing."
I read novels, not so
Liz Clemmer
Excellent book, I could not put it down.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw is a novel which follows several people and a mysthical creature, and jumps timelines to boot.

This is a novel with a strange narrative, reading more as an adult fairytale than Holocaust fiction. The narrative follows three voices, a Jewish child during the Holocaust (Ruth), a Native American during the time of the Spanish conquest (Saqapaya), a sexually abused immigrant from Germany during the 1940s (Friede Mai), all guided and a phoenix bird who watches over
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

This book contained stories from multiple incarnations of one person as well as a Phoenix that watched above them all. I think if any of these stories had been fleshed out into separate novels, I would have like each of them, but tying them all together didn't work for me at all. Overall, I found that the mixed stories were confusing, with some far more well hashed out than the others. I appreciate the attempted experiment, but it did not sit well for
Tony Parsons
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WWII Nazi Germany. 11/10/1938, Kristallnacht (Salzburg, Austria). Ruth Gutherz (Jewish), Oma Gutherz, Onkel David, Stefan Richert, Anna Richert, Esther, Rolf (Ruth’s classmate) Uncle Franz, Aunt Lili, Esther Gutherz, all suffer through the atrocities of the Holocaust.

The question is who will survive & who will perish.
Saqapaya (Native American, narrator, Shaman) lived along the Pacific coast of El Paraiso CA., during the Spanish uprising & conflict with the US.
Saqapaya looks to lots of others
Ju Transcendancing
An eARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Some books are such a privilege to read, they are deep and transcendent, they move you on a deep and personal level. From Ashes Into Light is one such book, it is truly exquisite.

The writing in this book is poetic, it’s lyrical and it seems to flow as you breathe in and out, one breath to the next. At first I was almost confused by the three different story lines, but they weave together beautifully through the e
Claire Davis
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
I have received this book through Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

I have given From Ashes Into Light 3 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Books that contain historical fiction draw me in instantly, there’s just something about that genre that interests me so deeply. Maybe it’s the events that occur, the wondrous characters you get to learn about or the era that the book might be set in. From Ashes Into Light was exactly that kind of read that drew me in and I didn’t want to stop turning t
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw is a historical fiction novel on three main characters:
Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in Austria.
Saqapaya, a Native American from California during the time of the Spanish conquest. Friede Mai, born during World War II to a Bavarian soldier and a East-Prussian mother.
I personally liked how the book offered several different perspectives. I always enjoy book that allow the reader to see the story through the eyes of different characters as it a
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was a very abstruse novel. I found the plot incomprehensible to follow. It is not that the story line is complicated but it was not to my taste. The chapters alternate between the story of Ruth, who living as a young Jewish girl during the Holocaust, Friede who is of German decent living during the Holocaust and her father is a soldier who is sent away to a work camp. This is all set against a story of Saqapaya, a Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conque ...more
Pam Truax
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw is a very moving story of hardship, inspiration, family, etc. told by three different people in three different times. You will meet Ruth, Saqapaya and Friede. The times and perils they go through involve war and the situations each of them find themselves in and how they cope and live through it all.

Ruth is a Jewish girl in World War II, Saqapaya is a Native American in the Spanish Conquest and Friede is born during World War II.

From Ashes Into Light immerse
Rachel Foley
"I try to push away these reflections, but my mind rides a locomotive. There's no stopping, no getting off, and all the dispatches bring discouraging news."

I received this book through the Library Thing early reviewers program.

I was very excited to start this book. The concept was very interesting. I was expecting something amazing from it, especially since the idea of it being from multiple historical perspectives was fascinating. I must say I was extremely disappointed.

The perspective of The
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
From Ashes Into Light: A novel by Gudrun Mouw is an interesting story line composed of three characters, each one from a different time period. Each character has a suffering element to them. The reader is shown, through transcending the suffering aspects of their lives, they can attain redemption, renewal, and coping mechanisms through faith and spirituality.

I found the transformations and power of each character to be written with sensitivity, yet with the evocation of strength to survive and
Oct 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway-books
This is a story built around the concept of transcendence - the ability to move through time and space. While each of the characters were interesting, not enough time was focused on each one individually. A difficult story to read, considering the tragedies, especially since the timeline of WWII means that some of those who lived through it are still living and dealing with the horrors they experienced - or that we may be acquainted with someone who did live through it. In times of extreme dures ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

From Ashes into Light is a compelling story for three people. Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in Austria. Saqapaya, a Native American from California during the time of the Spanish conquest. and Friede Mai, born during World War II to a Bavarian soldier and a East-Prussian mother.

Beautifully written, told through each ones voice, we learn of their hardships, joy, fear and love. The struggles that they go through are not easy, and seeing how each
Danielle Urban
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw is the most fascinating historical fiction piece readers will find. I couldn't help but to fall in love with the characters and their journeys as the plot unfolds. Three unique characters are brought together...each one with their survival story. I found this tale absolutely compelling. Never have readers seen a book quite like this one. The culutral aspects and the historical time periods make this a number read for everyone.

Gudrun Mouw is a talented writer
I officially gave up on this one. I made it through the first 35 chapters by pushing every day....but then I just couldn't finish. I tried....I really did! But I have to admit this book is not for me and move on. I need to pick something up and read...quick! Struggling with this has caused me to put reading aside. :0 And I don't even know why.

The premise of the book is interesting and I thought I'd really like it. But I found the book confusing and almost 'too spiritual'. I never connected with
This book is about strength, courage, spirituality, hope, remembrance and tragedy. It is told by:

Ruth - a Jewish adolescent growing up in Austria during the holocaust.
Saqapaya - a Stalwart Native American in California during the Spanish conquest.
Elfriede Mai - born during World War II to a Bavarian soldier and a East-Prussian mother. Her whole life she has been haunted by memories that are not her own. Friede and her family eventually immigrate to the United States where she meets her spiritual
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this as a Early Review from Library Thing. Have never read anything by
Gudrum Mouw. This is a historical fiction and well written. I would say
this was well researched for its historical part.

I did find it a moving story of three different time periods and three different people.

The story is of hardship, faith and family strength that holds one together.
Ruth is a young Jewish girl during World War 2 Austria, Then we meet Saqapaya
who is a native American living during the time of the Spa
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it

This book is very transcendent in nature — it's historical fiction, but also spiritual fiction, though its tone isn't religious. Reading the book is reminiscent of meditating or yoga. The author is a very descriptive writer and paints imagery that makes you feel like you're floating above your very existence. The messages this book portrays on prejudice, intolerance, war, and endless cycles of human suffering hits pretty close to home because I am reading this a week after Donald Trump won th
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was an ARC. The author captures from the first chapter and holds onto you until the final page. The book is about three separate people all dealing with their tradition, and the evils in the world that no one should have dealt with. The common ground these three have is not anything like location, or religion but a Phoenix, that seems to bring to each person the memories of the three that are connected. You need to pay attention on who you are with, but the author does label each chapt ...more
Karen Conner
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
I received a copy of this book from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.
The book is an attempt to merge the stories of three individuals through a transcendental or new age element, the Phoenix. Unfortunately, I don't feel it merges smoothly. I enjoyed the story of Ruth and of Friede but felt the story of Saqapaya fell short. At times I had difficulty following the plot and the connections the author was trying to make. When reading the narrative that did not include the new age part
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first, the disruption in time and space had me off balance, but the more I read, the more I understood Phoenix’s journey, love and protection of Sqapaya, Friede and Ruth. Through his rising, we come to see how sorrow, love, fear and life while not the same, are shared by one and all. Some feel and benefit from this connection better than others and even manage to temporarily escape the worst of life to maintain their sanity. But it is possible Phoenix may save his kind guidance for the best o ...more
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received this book as an advanced copy for an honest review. I have never reviewed a book on Goodreads before, so this will be my first. First of all, I want to say that I love the genre of historical fiction. When I started reading this book, I thought that that was the genre of this book. Even though it did have historical elements, in my opinion it was not an historical fiction book. It did have some lovely ideas, but I must admit it really didn't draw me in personally and I struggled to fi ...more
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: librarything
Thanks to LibraryThing for an ARC for an honest review. From Light Into Ashes by Gudrun Mouw was a transcendental story interconnecting the lives of three people, Ruth, Friede and Saqapaya, by the presence of The Phoenix. I enjoyed reading the different stories of Ruth, Friede and Saqapaya but it didn't flow as well as I would have liked. I often had to go back and read phrases to see how it connected, if it connected at all. I love the message this book tries to convey of us all being intertwin ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this ARC courtesy of Library Thing and the publisher. pub date 02/26/16

This book is very hard to follow, as it skips from person to person to bird. It does, however, show the similarities between Hitler's treatment of the Jews and the missionaries' treatment of the Indians. Slowly taking away their rights, prohibiting native dress and forcing European clothes/dictating the wearing of the yellow star, confiscating their land and property and confining them to reservations/ghettos.

I had no
Jun 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I received and ARC from Goodreads. Thanks for all the books you've sent me. The story revolves around three characters and tells us about the evils humankind has done to them. Add in the Phoenix for a clumsy way to tie the tale together. This book just did not work well for me. At the very heart of book I think there is a good story, but I did not care for the writing and thought the execution extremely poor. ...more
Lee Parker
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this for free through Goodreads First Reads

Each individual story was compelling and interesting, but altogether in one book, jumping back and forth between them made it very confusing and hard to follow. I believe had the author made it a series, and made each individual character have their own book, with more thorough stories, it would have been far more enjoyable.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I did not realize before reading that this would be a book heavy on mysticism/transcendentalism/universalism. The story lines were interesting but the overall tone and message just weren't for me. The underlying thread of shared humanity is an important and vital one but the tone and style didn't resonate with me. ...more
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Gudrun Mouw was born Gudrun Dorothea Wacker in East Prussia in 1944. After her maternal grandfather received deportation papers to Auschwitz, she became a refugee. At the age of 7, she arrived in the United States with her parents as a displaced person.

Gudrun Mouw received her Master’s Degree in English Literature in 1969. In 1978, she received her yoga instructor certificate from the Integral Yog

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