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372 pages, Kindle Edition
First published December 1, 2016
How can you compromise with people who don’t want you to exist? They want us to disappear. I can’t adapt to death.
“It’s war, and I will do my part. I will not sit by why others die. If I can help, I will.”
“The more I see, the harder it is to believe in God… Some days it hurts too much to believe.”
“It hurts more not to believe. I am starting to think God is the only reason any of us is alive.”
"Fear is strange.
It settles on chests and seeps through skin, through layers of tissue, muscle, and bone and collects in a soul-sized black hole, sucking the joy out of life, the pleasure, the beauty.
But not the hope.
Somehow, the hope is the only thing resistant to the fear, and it is that hope that makes the next breath possible, the next step, the next tiny act of rebellion, even if that rebellion is simply staying alive."
"There was no one left to save.
He didn’t even know if he had the strength to save himself. Still, he rose on shaking legs and willed himself forward. It was a long way to Rome for a crippled man with a broken heart. "
"From sand and ash, rebirth.
From sand and ash, new life.
With every song and with every prayer, with every small rebellion, she vowed to push back, to make glass from the ashes."
"Eva is just a girl. She wasn’t given a choice.
The Jewish people have been stripped of choice. They have been stripped of liberty. They have been stripped of dignity. And they cannot save themselves."
"The war in the south continued. The death in the north raged on. The sorrow in the east was unrelenting, the struggle in the west was unceasing. But in an occupied city, with nothing left but love itself, Angelo and Eva held on to each other, if only for a while."
"No matter where they turned, where they hid, the results would be the same. So they stood, waiting for the world to end, wrapped in each other's arms, breathing, unable to process thoughts into words."
"She was reflected in him, and he in her. It had always been that way. When she was in front of him, she was the only thing he could see. She filled his vision."
"With our hands, we reach for things we shouldn't have and we grasp what isn't ours. The way I have always reached for you."
"He'd failed her over and over, and he didn't know what to do. He didn't know how to heal her, or hold her or save her. He didn't know how to be what she needed. All he knew was that he loved her desperately."
❝ How can you compromise with people who don't want you to exist? They want us to disappear. I can't adapt to death.❞
❝ I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you.❞
❝Will there ever be a time when people aren't afraid? ❞
❝ I wonder sometimes what would happen if everyone without a choice had made a choice anyway. If we all chose not to participate. Not to be bullied. Not to take up arms. Not to persecute. What would happen then?❞
❝ 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 melody.❞
He’d known for a long time that he loved Eva, but he had never admitted to himself that he loved her the way a man loves a woman.
“The more I see, the harder it is to believe in God. What kind of priest can I be if I don’t believe in God anymore?” he confessed, his voice thick. “Some days it hurts too much to believe.”
Loving someone and then losing them would be much worse than not having them at all.
❝"I have always been yours, Angelo," she said, echoing the very words he'd thought while he prayed. She was his. "But you have never been mine."❞
“Our immortality comes through our children and their children. Through our roots and branches. The family is immortality. And Hitler has destroyed not just branches and roots, but entire family trees, forests. All of them, gone.”The year is 1943 and World War II Nazi-occupied Italy played its part in the persecution, deportation, and ultimate murder of the Jewish people. However, Amy Harmon manages to incorporate so much beauty in this very dark time. From Sand and Ash is full of contrasts: life/death, hope/defeat, courage/fear, compliance/rebellion, faith/doubt, love/rejection, desire/restraint... the list goes on. But such is this magical life – we cannot survive the depths without having at least a flicker of light, and even more so when the world is at war and a beautiful people are being destroyed simply because they exist.
"Her touch— so reverent, so tender— broke him. How could something so gentle cause him to crumble? But shatter he did, and God knows a broken man is a vulnerable man."