This was a beautiful story that I loved reading. The overarching idea behind this story was to show the hardships of traveling west for people in the 1800s. I was completely drawn into Where the Lost Wander from beginning to end by the descriptions of the travel and the people. I loved every single page of this story.
How I Felt:
Amy Harmon has quickly become one of my favorite authors! Her ability to write so many different types of stories leaves me speechless each time I finish a book. This is my favorite book she has written, however, I have enjoyed every book I have read, and I can’t wait to read more!
I’m going to start my review a little backward today because there is something at the end of the book I wish I would have known when I started the story! Amy Harmon provided an author’s note at the end of the book that was fascinating to read. She discusses that John Lowry, the male main character, is actually an ancestor of her husband’s. The family that the story follows out West are the May’s, who were Harmon’s own pioneer ancestors. In addition, many of the other characters like Lost Woman, Chief Washakie, and Chief Pocatello were real people. I started this book thinking it was historical fiction where the “historical” came from the overall event of westward migration. I would have loved to have known how much of this was founded in actual history when I started, so I wanted to share that with you!
I love it when a historical fiction novel takes me on a new journey, especially when it’s about World War II. There are so many WWII historical fiction novels written and it is wonderful when a new story emerges from one.
How I Felt:
Ugh, this book ripped my heart out a few times, but it was very worth it. Once again, Amy Harmon writes with such powerful words, I was just drawn into her story. Eva Rosselli’s character is such an intriguing woman, you want to know more about her, and you want her to succeed at everything she does. I enjoyed her love story that was so starkly juxtapose to the Nazi brutality.
To Read or Not To Read:
This book is perfect for historical fiction lovers! It’s a WWII story, told not from the concentration camps, but from the people struggling to hide and stay out of them.
Where To Find This Book:
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon is available at these sites.
Eva and Angelo grew up together in the same Italian household, due to life’s circumstances. They could have a budding romance, but Angelo chooses to become a priest leaving Eva heartbroken. The Nazi’s begin to invade Italy and Eva is finally convinced to go into hiding in Angelo’s church to keep from being captured. This book gives a view into the struggles that people resisting Hitler faced, the raids and arrogant soldiers. The curfews and the losses. And through all of that, we will find out if it is possible for a love to flourish in war-torn lives.
The telling of the story with connections back to clues early in the book was amazing. I loved that What the Wind Knows had such a wonderful full-circle feeling. All the pieces came together at the end, and it just left be in awe.
How I felt:
I really enjoyed this book, but I did disengage a bit when the writing focused on the Irish wars. I felt like it pulled me out of the story a bit. Outside of those portions, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written with wonderful characters that I connected to. I loved the mystical element mixed with the real-life making this book part fantasy and part historical fiction.
I tried to explain this book to my husband and didn’t do it very well. I hope to do better for you! Anne Gallagher’s grandfather raised her on his childhood stories of Ireland in the 1920’s. On his deathbed he makes her promise to go to Ireland to spread his ashes. While there she travels back in time to 1921 and finds herself mistaken for her great-grandmother, previously believed to have died. She has been shot and is found by Dr. Thomas Smith, her grandfather’s guardian.
Anne adopts her great-grandmother’s identity while she tries to adapt to what has happened to her. I loved the time travel and interwoven lives of her ancestors and her. I wasn’t as interested in the parts about the struggles of the Ireland fights happening during the story. They helped moved the story along, but her life and the events she encounters were so much more intriguing. This was definitely worth reading though!
To Read or Not To Read:
This is definitely a book I would recommend for historical fiction fans. Although I didn’t like the Ireland fighting portions, I know that there are a lot of readers that would like that. If you are a fan of historical fiction and magical elements AND time travel, What the Wind Knows is one you should check out!
Where To Find This Book:
What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon is available at these sites.
A woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…
Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.
The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.
As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?