Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

From Ashes Into Light

Rate this book
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 during World War II to a Bavarian soldier and a East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times saving herself and family members from atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with the reverberations of trauma. Friede is unable to find inner freedom until she meets her spiritual guide, a Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from the past are teachers and the horrors of history are also beacons of light.

The three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

240 pages, Hardcover

First published February 26, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Gudrun Mouw

3 books65 followers
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 Yoga Institute founded by the late guru Swami Satchidananda.

She has worked as a community college English teacher, a university librarian, a columnist and a California poet-in-the-schools. Ms. Mouw has lived in the Santa Barbara area for 38 years, writing, as well as teaching yoga and meditation.

Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as PRAIRIE SCHOONER, PRACTICAL MYSTIC, THE CHARITON REVIEW, CALYX and others. Ms. Mouw is the recipient of a Sri Chinmoy Poetry Award, a Joycean Arts Guild Award and a Gladys Brown Award for poetry.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
17 (25%)
4 stars
15 (22%)
3 stars
20 (30%)
2 stars
11 (16%)
1 star
3 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews
Profile Image for Jasmine.
437 reviews707 followers
January 24, 2016
**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, there are 3 characters from various parts of the world at that time, with Ruth, a Jew from Austria, talking about her experience in Germany under the Nazis' control; Saqapaya, a Native American living in the Spanish conquest period, and Elfriede, a girl born in the time of war and tried to distinguish the friends and foes in her early age. Their suffering and what they've experienced, either forced or willingly accepted, is pretty relatable while reading the author's magical descriptions. Moreover, I personally like the usage of transcendence in the entire story, which means you'll see that some of the characters will suddenly see their future or travel to another time/space far beyond their present state of consciousness. I initially thought such writing skill would confuse me but much to my surprise, I could easily invest in their other mindset, or the so-called "spirits."
She hardly needs nourishment in a place beyond hunger and fear, where her spirit enters another world, a translucent world of secret sustenance, where those who have been before continue to speak.

The author's words are incredibly beautiful and heartfelt for me, particularly when she depicts the deepest, honest thoughts from specific characters. She masters the personification of both animated objects and pure essence when putting the real emotion in characters and thus successfully brings life to them.
I am Tadpole eaten by Raccoon. I am Fly inside the frog. I am Coyote, lapping a long thirsty drink along his favorite creek. I howl at the moon. I am things, and I am also the space around things.

Oddly speaking, I normally wouldn't read anything historical, but this one definitely intrigued me deeply. Therefore, I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction combined with sci-fi elements and a slight moment of creativity. In my opinion, it's worth giving a shot for everyone. :)
Profile Image for Heather.
295 reviews103 followers
March 6, 2018
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.
3 reviews6 followers
July 20, 2016
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 much to be entertained or amused, as to be transported to another place and get inside another person's world. Gudrun Mouw's novel managed to transport me again and again. Mouw is able to pierce through the trivial, and give the reader a glimpse of something incomprehensibly vast. Her human characters are complex, compelling and believable. The Phoenix, a being who lives outside the three dimensional world of time and space, is fascinating.
The novel is by no means sententious or moralizing, though it describes concisely the cruelties and suffering that accompany war and its lingering aftermath. What moved me deeply was that in the midst of horrendous suffering there are potent examples of human kindness and courage, including a lifesaving act from an 'enemy soldier' at the prison camp.
Some readers may not enjoy the multiple narrators, but I found it intriguing and enjoyed piecing things together as if I were doing a jigsaw puzzle. In the end there were areas of the puzzle that remained mysterious, and I enjoy that in a novel: it pulls my thoughts back to it and keeps me pondering. I would especially recommend this novel to literature teachers to use in their classrooms for two reasons: first, it would add an interesting dimension to the other books set during World War II, and secondly, it contains a thoughtful, well researched story of what the Native American experience may have been before and during the time of the California missions.
Profile Image for  ManOfLaBook.com.
1,161 reviews69 followers
January 15, 2018
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 them.

The different points of view give the story a much wider view of the world and how little human kind has advanced. The story is very insightful and absorbing, written with spirituality and hope.

The novel is written beautifully, even though the crossover stories are a bit difficult to get used to and a bit annoying. While slow at times, the narrative grows on the reader and we get a glimpse into the author’s mind.

For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com
Profile Image for Jenny.
80 reviews11 followers
June 18, 2018
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 me.
Profile Image for Tony Parsons.
4,156 reviews75 followers
July 25, 2016
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 such as: Xuxaw (elderly man), Phoenix (bird of resurrection), & Hew.

Ku’n (Hew’s son) is now learning the ways of the Native American culture.
1942, Wehburg, East Prussia, Adolf Hitler (WWII Nazi Germany).
Hans Mai (pastry chef, Bavarian soldier) courted/married Marta Mai (Mutti, wife/mother, photographer/film developer, nee Pulver, East Prussian).
Soon after the couple have a new edition to the family Elfriede “Friede” Mai (daughter).
The Dachau SS did not find the Mai family hiding this time.
Hans was later sent to Siberia.

1951, fast forward Friede, Marta, & Hans having been displaced for many yrs. They are all now headed across the Atlantic Ocean to the US.
The family now resides in Illinois.
What are Friede’s nightmares really about?
Friede seems to have a 2nd. Sense. Could someone like Saqapaya have been watching over her all those yrs.?
The family now goes back to visit relatives at the Bodensee, in Munich, West Germany.
Friede now attends San Martin State University (CA).

Who is Jake Zuckerman?
Will Rabbi Helderman be able to help Friede?

Follow the journey of 3 separate individuals as they struggle with their lives to overcome all odds.

Fabulous book, put on your thinking cap, dwell within.

Warning: This book is for adults only & contains extreme violent or graphic adult content or profanity &/or sexually explicit scenarios. It may be offensive to some readers.

I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.

A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written historical fiction book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great a piece together historical fiction movie, or mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.

Thank you for the free (Goodreads; Writersspace; Deer Creek Resources LLC.; ARC; Paperback book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
Profile Image for Ju Transcendancing.
450 reviews18 followers
January 28, 2016
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 eyes of the phoenix and each story becomes part of a bigger subtle narrative. What I took from this story is that we are all connected, past and present as humanity. We all experience the world in our own way, we all strive to overcome, to learn, to grow, to redeem, to survive. This three-way point of view tale gives such a deep, yet subtle insight into this and I am sure that many others will each take something unique from their reading of the story, it’s that kind of book.

Reading this was transcendent, whatever that elusive quality of books they call ‘literary’ is, this book has it to spare, it is such a satisfying, confronting, compelling book to read. I don’t think it is possible to be a white person from a colonial background to read this book and not be uncomfortable, as it is written from a very different cultural context, from within persecution, from within discrimination, from oppression, from betrayal and more. The harm visited upon people from war, from the holocaust, from colonisation is very clear in this book and I valued the opportunity to read from these points of view, to hear these voices and simply to listen, to learn a different context from the one history is so fond of telling me.

Sometimes the reading of a book changes you, sometimes you can identify that change, and sometimes you can’t and the experience of reading the book stays with you. This book, with it’s interwoven story through the eyes of the phoenix will stay with me for a long time to come and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Read this and my other reviews on my blog The Conversationalist.
Profile Image for Claire Davis.
224 reviews20 followers
March 30, 2016
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 the pages.

From Ashes Into Light is a very compelling novel which follows three characters: Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during the Holocaust. 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 an East-Prussian mother.

This is a novel built around the concept of transcendence, which is the ability to travel through time and space. The three main characters suffer through tragic historic times and learning about each tragedy felt very difficult to read but incredibly fascinating at the same time.

I felt a bit more connected to Mouw after finishing this novel as I soon realised that she let us have a glimpse inside her mind through her writing. (I researched about Gudrun Mouw when I finished this book and found out that she had survived a war zone in her early childhood).

The way Mouw has written this novel is so beautiful that I became absorbed very quickly! I was able to picture scenes from this book in my head very clearly due to her incredible descriptive writing.

The part of this book that let me down on two stars was getting used to the three characters’ stories as I didn’t feel there was enough said in each short chapter about the characters, so it made me feel a bit confused. Also, I had to read back over a couple of pages when the stories intertwined with each others as I couldn’t get used to it at first.

Mouw is a very talented author and I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading fascinating historical based fiction.
Profile Image for Misty.
499 reviews247 followers
February 25, 2016
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 allows the reader to learn more about the story without the bias of only one character perspective. I liked the almost magical aspect of the book with how the main characters experience transcendence ( they see through space and time to beyond where they are currently in time and space). I personally found myself liking Ruth the most. I felt like I understood how she coped with everything that was going on around her and I felt sympathetic towards her struggles. I truly enjoyed reading this novel; the author did an amazing job with pulling me in and getting me to keep turning the pages. The author truly did a great job with describing everything I had a clear picture of what was happening in my head for most of the book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historically based fiction. I was sent a free copy of From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw for only my honest and unbiased review of From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw.
651 reviews6 followers
March 17, 2016
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 conquest.

Each of the main characters are suffering through tragic turbulent times in history. Somehow there is a phoenix bird that flies through their stories tying them together. Then there is a light that shines through each situation as if the character is having an out of body experience, or finding truth.

When Friede is converting to Judaism she talks about a dream she had, "I had a dream last night. In the dream, there was a part where I saw nothing but light, and it was as if the light was chanting, ...
(she chants) As I repeat these words I feel strong inside, light shines around the walls of the room, along the ceiling and along the shapes of the celebrants. I see myself standing inside the light."

Though a topic and time period I really enjoy reading about, this book was not a story I enjoyed. I was not eager to finish reading the book and I would not, I am sorry to say, recommend it to friends.
18 reviews
April 7, 2016
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 immerses you totally and completely into the three lives. The reader will real extremely close to the characters, but at the same time be able to view them from afar and asses and take in what they are going through. Mouw does a masterful job of painting a picture of each with her words. You are captivated and enthralled with Ruth, Saqapaya and Friede.

Mouw truly takes you on a journey that leaves you with lots to think about and ponder over. You will see that many hardships and struggles help them attain understanding and completeness. Suffering many times heals wounds. Good comes from bad--Mouw covered it all in a way that kept me reading--and reading--until I was finished.

Mouw is a very talented story teller and will keep you glued to From Ashes Into Light.
Profile Image for Rachel Foley.
76 reviews3 followers
November 13, 2016
"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 Phoenix was intriguing and I was expecting it to tie in very well. But adding that perspective only made it confusing. It was a nice idea, but not very well executed. Also, it was very hard to follow the time that the chapters are set in. Mouw introduced each chapter with the name of the character whose perspective was being represented. But, each chapter seemed to jump through years and wasn't specific on them. Friede was a baby, then suddenly was three. Then, there was story for and unspecified amount of time and she was thirteen. It didn't even mention when WWII was over, so I was very lost when suddenly it was very far in the future.

I wish I could say I loved this book, but most of it was lost on me...
Profile Image for Lorri.
552 reviews
September 17, 2016
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 move forward, within them.

I liked the addition of the Phoenix within each person's story. Its symbolism was an illuminating addition, which aided in their being able to rise up, gain the drive towards independence and reconstruct their lives. Through metaphysics and transcendence each person became grounded in strength, cognizance and freedom of self.

The historical fiction aspect is excellent, and I could tell the author researched the events, time periods, etc., thoroughly.

I am glad to have read this excellent novel.

Profile Image for cbdef.
154 reviews
March 13, 2016
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 duress and hardship, the mind seeks to escape our physical form and the abuses that are forced upon it, so who knows what is possible? Just because everyone hasn't experienced it, does not mean the possibility does not exist.

Overall, the book was a quick read with short chapters and the interest of the characters allows me to recommend the book.

Profile Image for Sheri.
1,946 reviews
December 14, 2015
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 handles their situation, is emotional, and compelling. Overall I (greatly) enjoyed From Ashes Into Light and highly recommend to all.

*I recieved this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Danielle Urban.
Author 15 books138 followers
March 9, 2016
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 whose words come off the pages. Anyone who loves history will find it hard to stop reading this novel. From Ashes Into Light is one story that is both highly entertaining and educational. I loved the different point of views from the characters. That's what really sets this novel different from most in its genre. Overall, I highly recommend this beautifully told story to readers everywhere.
Profile Image for kim.
412 reviews
December 17, 2016
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 the characters and I never really understood what was happening or why. I kind of felt like I was in a fog, maybe making out things ahead and hoping it would all clear soon. It never did. It might in the last few chapters, but I no longer care.


*I won a copy of this book from the Library Thing Early Reviewers' program.*
Profile Image for Jenn.
602 reviews
November 9, 2015
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 guide, a Rabbi, who helps her find inner peace.

Their stories were palpable and for the most part they were really good. I didn't like the Phoenix in the beginning, but I got used to it. The author's imagination and creativity are wonderful.
Profile Image for Diane.
456 reviews
May 10, 2016
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 Spanish conquest. Last there
is Friede Mai who is born during World War 2.

The story tells us of each life and how it effects them. We see the suffering that each
must endure. The effect and straights of family that will hold them together.

I would recommend this
Profile Image for tea.
144 reviews13 followers
February 22, 2017

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 the election. I do wish that the stories of the three characters in this book were more closely connected; at the same time, I understand the experimental nature of this book.

I seem to make a habit of reading really strange fiction lately, lol.
Profile Image for Tel.
Author 2 books20 followers
April 2, 2016
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 chapter so you know "whose voice" you are reading. The ending does keep you wanting more and to stop and think once you close the book. It's a very good read and I would recommend this book to others.
Profile Image for Karen Conner.
157 reviews2 followers
July 10, 2016
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, it was clear and enjoyable. However, the transcendental parts felt a bit contrived sometimes. Fans of New Age works will probably enjoy it more than I did.
128 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2016
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 of us or those who have no one else to bear witness to their suffering. Truly a moving read.
An advanced copy of this book was provided for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kelli.
2 reviews
April 4, 2016
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 finish it. I do think at it will speak to many people.
Profile Image for Emily.
141 reviews55 followers
September 21, 2016
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 intertwined but it just got a little unclear throughout the story.
Profile Image for Lynn.
1,242 reviews
September 28, 2016
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 not seen this connection before, and so am very glad I read this novel.
1,009 reviews10 followers
June 7, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Lee Parker.
247 reviews
May 20, 2016
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.
3 reviews
December 28, 2015
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.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.