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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
Only love and forgiveness have the power to re-awaken a heart that has been long dulled by acts of hatred. Out of the Ashes by Samantha Grosser is a historical novel that explores this theme. The year is 1944, and German prisoners are sent to camps all over England. Mixed feelings of curiosity and trepidation grip the hearts of people here. One of these people is Clare, a war widow. She detests the Germans and the unimaginable loss they caused with all her heart. However, things take an interesting turn when she finds herself falling for one of the prisoners. Her whole belief system goes through a dramatic shift as her heart opens up to the possibility of a second chance at happiness.
To describe Out of the Ashes as a romantic novel would be a huge misunderstanding. Samantha Grosser has put human emotions and their actions under a metaphorical microscope. It is easier to hate one whole community based on the results of their acts; what's tough is to realize our own part in it. Yes, World War II brought unimaginable destruction to society. However, did we stop to analyze the cause of the war in the first place? How many of us decided to change our flawed ways for a better tomorrow? The embers of prejudice still reside inside us. There is only one remedy for petty emotions: love. And, of course, love cannot blossom inside an unforgiving heart. The cause and effect of Clare's romance with the enemy open many festering biases of the people around her. Nevertheless, it also brings help from the most unexpected people. Packed with twists, the plot keeps its audience spellbound, hoping for a better tomorrow. Out of the Ashes by Samantha Grosser is a must-read story set in a very important time in our history.