Title: From These Ashes
Genre: Cultural Heritage
Synopsis: From These Ashes chronicles the journey of two siblings looking for “home,” while searching for themselves, each other, their heritage and their destiny. In a center for cult recovery in Phoenix, Arizona, 16-year-old Native American Naomi West refuses to talk; instead she writes — about her life, about her brother, about the prophecy, and about the fire that nearly destroyed it all. Meanwhile, her half-white brother, Tim West, awakes alone in a forest without memories of his past, only an unconscious urge to head west. It is on a Cascade mountaintop where he once again gets too close to a fire, and what starts as a horrifying nightmare wakens him to the truth of his past and a devastating choice that cost him everything.
Author: Tamela J. Ritter
Note: Tamela J. Ritter is a first-time author. This book was written about two and a half years ago.
Several people told me that this was a good book and I should read it. Well, I have to decide for myself if a book is good or not. So, I started reading…
I was captured right from the beginning. The author, Tamela J. Ritter, had such great descriptions of characters and places that it drew the reader right into the story. I felt like I was there with them sharing the hurt, the pain and wanting to know why? The main characters were siblings in an American Indian tribe. This was of interest to me because I had lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a few years and had come in contact with many Indians and some tribes. I also saw many of them with an alcohol problem, like the children’s mother.
The reader readily knew that the writer presented Tim and Naomi’s story in a way that was written from her heart—it was touching. This book was an emotional page-turner. I cried, I got angry and I wanted to get even…throughout the book to the very end. I enjoyed how each character’s story—although similar, but so very different—was told from their point of view. Ritter is indeed an astonishing storyteller.
I realized that the American Indian had a hard life, mostly because of so many people wanting to use them in the disguise of helping them—such as The Way (a cult).
It was a compelling story with so much honesty and real life interwoven between the pages. This book takes the characters, as well as the readers on a journey of discovery. So much happened and I just couldn’t put the book down.
This is a great coming of age book for young adults. It is also a wonderful read for anyone!
There were some minor editing issues—misspelled and omitted words—that I noticed only because I’m an editor. The author refers to herself as the “wandering storyteller,” I think she is an unparalleled storyteller. This was an extremely well-written book for a first-time author.
I wish Tamela J. Ritter much success in her writing endeavors. I am looking forward to the next book!
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