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LoveReading View on Ashes

A thoughtful, stirring, and compassionate historical novel set during World War Two. Simone, the daughter of a Belgian First World War hero is best friends with Hava from a devout Jewish family, together they flee the advancing Nazi army in 1940. Inspired by the experiences of the author’s family members in Belgium, this is essentially a tale of what should be an uncomplicated friendship sitting within one of the most complex and horrifying times in world history. Author Christopher de Vinck introduced the reasons behind this book before Simone’s prologue slammed into my contemplations. Each chapter epigraph includes excerpts and memories that really do spread chills. It is interesting to note that those unattributed are from the author’s grandfather who was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery and was in the Belgian Resistance before being captured. Christopher de Vinck brings the girls to vibrant life by noting the small things that make each of us unique. He doesn’t sit in judgement, he releases the horror and emotion of the full story, with lost innocence spearing awareness and encouraging my own thoughts to form. Ashes (what a penetrating title that is), is a provocative read and yet also full of love.

Liz Robinson

Ashes Synopsis

A deeply touching novel about two young women whose differences, which once united them, will tear them apart forever, during Hitler's Nazi occupation of Belgium and France. Based on true events.

For fans of All The Light We Cannot See and Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Belgium, July 1939: Simone Lyon is the daughter of a Belgium national hero, the famous General Joseph Lyon. Her best friend Hava Daniels, is the eldest daughter of a devout Jewish family. Despite growing up in different worlds, they are inseparable.

But when, in the spring of 1940, Nazi planes and tanks begin bombing Brussels, their resilience and strength are tested. Hava and Simone find themselves caught in the advancing onslaught and are forced to flee.

In an emotionally-charged race for survival, even the most harrowing horrors cannot break their bonds of love and friendship. The two teenage girls, will see their innocence fall, against the ugly backdrop of a war dictating that theirs was a friendship that should never have been.

124 copies of The Great Gatsby to mark the 124th anniversary of Fitzgerald's birth!

124 copies of The Great Gatsby to mark the 124th anniversary of Fitzgerald's birth!

Closing date: 25/10/2020

To celebrate the 124th anniversary of F. Scott Fitzgerald's birth we're working with No Exit Press to give away a whopping 124 copies of Fitzgerald's most popular title The Great Gatsby! This new edition of the classic includes a foreword by critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith, as well as an exclusive extract of his forthcoming novel, NICK, which imagines narrator Nick Carraway’s life before The Great Gatsby. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 25th October 2020. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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Ashes Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

A story of friendship, loyalty and the horrors of war. Full review

Sue Packer

Ashes by Christoper De Vinck is following the trend to read about all things from world War Two but is told from a different perspective. An interesting read and should do well. Full review

Glenda WORTH

A beautiful, emotional telling of two young women's journey to escape the Nazi invasion. Full review

Neil Williams

Ashes is a poignant read with a message that we must never forget. Full review

Heather Byrne

A descriptive story showing the joys and horror of friendship, loyalty and war. Full review

Rebecca Unsworth

A deeply moving novel about friendship, and survival, that will stay with me for a very long time. Full review

Lisa Rowsell

An emotionally charged tale of friendship and courage against adversity. Based on real events in the authors' family history. An emotional, but unmissable story. Full review

Vanessa Breaks

Ashes was inspired by the experiences of the author’s family members during the invasion of Belgium in WWII. The Nazis invaded Belgium in May 1940 and within hours there was a mass exodus of people trying to flee Brussels. Full review

Alison Burns

A fascinating and captivating read about the horrors of World War Two that touches your heart. Full review

Nicola Coen

Two girls, different religions, best friends. The Nazis invade Brussels and the girls need to escape to safety. The strength of their friendship endures through unimaginable hardships. Full review

Dawn Vanstone

A beautiful novel about the determination of two young girls to survive the war and keep a friendship no matter what is thrown at them. Full review

Dawn Lynch

A compelling tale of two young women, their strength of friendship, racing against all the odds, trying to outrun the German occupation of Belgium. Will they make it? This book was a page-turner and hard to put down. Well written and look forward to more from this author. Full review

Yvonne Richardson

Immersive and accurate this tale of a Belgium general's daughter and her Jewish best friend is based on true events. Brilliantly written and highly recommended. Full review

Nikki Telling

Highlighting the horrors of the Nazi invasion of a country thought to be neutral and the perils of being a Jew made this book a harrowing but heartwarming read. Full review

Miriam Smith

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780310111986
Publication date: 20/08/2020
Publisher: Harper Inspire an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780310111986
Publication date: 20th August 2020
Author: Christopher de Vinck
Publisher: Harper Inspire an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, Debuts, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Diverse Voices,
Categories: Historical fiction,

About Christopher de Vinck

Christopher de Vinck is a teacher and the author of eleven books and numerous articles and essays for publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Reader's Digest. He delivers speeches on faith, disabilities, fatherhood, and writing, and has been invited to speak at the Vatican. He is the father of three and lives in New Jersey with his wife. His essays on everyday life have been published in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The National Catholic Reporter, and used in high school and ...

More About Christopher de Vinck

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