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From Ashes to Song eBook

From Ashes to Song eBook

A young Italian composer who’s never ventured beyond his grandfather’s pervasive influence seeks a new start in 1911 America.

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From Ashes to Song eBook

It's 1911 in Piedmont, Italy. Pietro has at last captured the melody of the harvest on his clarinet, but before he can share his music, a deadly disease sweeps through the countryside, forcing his family to burn their vineyard to stop its spread. The loss is too much for Pietro's grandfather, and by morning, Pietro has lost two of the most precious things in life—his grandfather and the vineyard.

Adrift with grief, Pietro travels to America and takes a job in a Pennsylvania coal mine where his musician's hands blister and his days are spent in silence until one day, the beautiful voice and gentle heart of his friend's wife stirs a new song within him. As Pietro draws inspiration from Assunta, his gift for music returns. But when tragedy strikes and Pietro is to blame, he is forced to confront the consequences of his admiration for another man's wife, all while fighting for the love he never thought he'd find.

Inspired by true events, From Ashes to Song is a story of unconventional love, hope, and the extraordinary gifts brought to America by ordinary people in the great wave of immigration.

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Chapter 1

the family vineyard, Piedmont, Italy. 1911

Pietro breathed lightly into his clarinet so his song would not travel the length of the grapevines that stretched like lines of music on either side of him. He didn’t want Nonno to hear it—not yet. On his oath, he’d make himself play it for him in the next week.

The song was Pietro’s first composition—not that anyone could credit him, he had simply captured the sounds of harvest, of the annual tending of plants whose roots had burrowed into the soil long before he’d been born.

Without a specific plan in mind, he had tucked away the beats and notes, adding new riffs each year until this summer, when it had all begun to spread out and rearrange in his mind. The paper-light tremble of leaves had given him the rhythm. It scampered so heartily it might have dissolved into chaos if it hadn’t been grounded by fruit held by the improbable strength of the vine. The grapes were a firm, reliable beat.

The only thing that had eluded him had been the ending, but now he had found it, he couldn’t imagine it any other way. It brought the music together, so it no longer felt like a rough sketch of a song, not telling the whole story at once as it did now.

He’d found the ending in the celebration that followed the end of the harvest when family and friends gathered around the table heaped with a feast that had taken an entire week to prepare. The culmination of the long season that brought both relief and melancholy for the end of the summer days, even though Pietro could depend on the same cycle beginning all over again next year.

At this year’s celebration, he’d wait until the food was gone and glasses filled with last year’s wine were raised to this year’s grapes, when he, Nonno, and the others gathered their instruments to shroud the night’s sky with song—that was when Pietro would play his music.
First, though, he needed the courage to play it for Nonno. Only then would he know if his efforts were worthy.

“… a moving novel that’s one part mystery and one part gripping psychological drama, and Hauck’s writing style has a straightforward simplicity that makes the story’s revelations feel all the more powerful. With remarkable subtlety and suspense, the author chronicles Everleigh’s attempt to figure out not only where Gualtiero is, but who he is…”
KIRKUS REVIEWS


“For those who love historical literary, deep with meaning for the characters and giving the readers a moment of pause to reflect on their own lives, then this is a great book to read. Very well done. “The Things We'll Never Have” by Hilary Hauck receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence by the Historical Fiction Company.”
HISTORICAL FICTION COMPANY

“From its low-key beginning… to its gut-wrenching ending, this novel is a literary masterpiece. Hauck’s prose is both lyrical and masterful, and deep meaning underscores every carefully crafted aspect of the tale. As a story with roots in World War II, The Things We’ll Never Have is a love song to Italy, and a testament to the Italian spirit. A rewarding read to be savored in depth.”
EILEEN ENWRIGHT HODGETTS, author of THE GIRL ON THE CARPATHIA

“Scattered throughout the book are white-knuckle scenes that the reader begins with eagerness and tension. Chapter by chapter, the heart palpitating suspense continues. The Things We’ll Never Have is replete with nerve-racking situations that are written in crisp and clear prose with literary sensitivity. The reader is richly rewarded with scenarios and sensibilities that are strewn like pink lotus on a blue pond. The Things We’ll Never Have is a real page turner and pleasurable must read!”
MADHU BAZAZ WANGU, author of THE LAST SUTTEE

“Hilary Hauck’s new novel mixes poignance and humor, love story and mystery. It’s the swinging 60’s London. Everleigh, an aspiring fashion designer, is engaged to be married, but her fiancé disappears. She travels to his home village in Italy, right to his family’s door, and finds confusion and rejection rather than the man she expected. Readers will fall in love with the brisk, persistent Everleigh as the determined textile artist unspools, unravels, and re-weaves her story.”
ELLEN PRENTISS CAMPBELL, author of FRIEDA’S SONG

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Meet the author

An Italian speaking Brit living in the US, Hilary Hauck is a bestselling, award-winning author of historical and fantasy fiction featuring characters struggling to find their inner amazing. Raised in the UK, Hilary later lived in Italy,
where she mastered the language, learned how to cook food she can no longer eat, and won a national karate championship. After meeting her husband, she came to the US and drew inspiration from Pennsylvania coal history for her debut novel.

Learn more about Hilary