From the Ashes by Lillis Lish

ashesAfter a fire that seemingly destroys her life, Marie Maxwell struggles to raise her two young children Laurel and Todd on her own. Now that her beloved husband Joe has died, she is forced to abandon the life she previously lived. As they begin to move from place to place, Marie and her children become squatters, taking refuge wherever they can find shelter now that her world has come crashing down around her. As this mother and her children learn to rebuild their lives in this unconventional way they befriend an unusual cast of characters including a woman named Fiona who is hiding from a dangerous Russian mob, Martha, a lost heiress who came from a wealthy family, and Rosa and George, relatives who have been displaced by society. Eventually, Marie finds balance in her life again, as she embraces a new love and becomes a successful ceramist. Unfortunately, her children are still tormented by the past, as they continuously have nightmares about their dead father. As a terrible secret is revealed about Joe’s past, Marie has to once again strive for peace, wondering if she will ever be able to find it.

A book that is largely told through the conversations the characters have with one another, From the Ashes by Lillis Lish is a heartbreaking book of one woman’s sacrifice in order to protect her children in the best way she can. At times gritty and realistic in its plot, the author has built up memorable characters that will stay with the reader even after the book has ended. Women will be able to relate to the character of Marie, who loses it all in a freak accident, her house, her husband, and the life she’d previously lived. Even when things get tough, she refuses to give up. Needless to say, readers will be rooting for Marie and her two children to find happiness once again. A fast paced read that often surprises, From the Ashes is an engrossing tale of one woman’s quest for a harmonious life.

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