First Chapter Review: From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

From Ashes Into LightTitle: From Ashes Into Light
Author: Gudrun Mouw
Pages: 240
Genre: Literary/Visionary Fiction
Publisher: Raincloud Press

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

For More Information

  • From Ashes Into Light is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

First Chapter Review:

When we look back at WWII, visions of Nazis, Hitler, concentration camps, war on Jews, all that, comes to mind.  If we haven’t experienced it first hand, Gudrun Mouw brings it to life for you in her new visionary fiction, From Ashes Into Light.  What I wanted to do is give you my review on the first chapter, then the whole book at some point, but this first chapter is so totally riveting.  It’s November 10, 1938.  Ruth Gutherz and her family leave their home after it had been ransacked by the Nazis.  They knew their lives would be in danger if they continued to stick around.  Wearing extra clothing, they escape in the middle of the night.  They get into the back of a furniture delivery truck where they can hide from the Nazis until they get to their next destination – Vienna, where there is more family.  What happens at the end of this chapter might be a spoiler if I mentioned it but that’s where I presume the visionary fiction comes in.

All in all, I would definitely keep reading after this first chapter.  It is so intriguing.  Some first chapters don’t give you enough information to keep going.  Some first chapters you end up going if I keep reading I’m sure I’ll be able to fall into the story, but not so with this one.  I am a Holocaust buff anyway, but this sounds like it’s going to be an excellent story and I can’t wait to finish the whole book.


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