From Silt and Ashes Reviews

From Silt and Ashes Reviews

A compelling story of human strength, dignity and compassion.

A pogrom against the Jews in the (then) Russian cities of Kishinev and Odessa more than a century ago unleashed by astonishing hatred and bigotry killed families and scarred many lives. In the sequel to Please Say Kaddish for Me the protagonist, Hava Gitterman, though badly wounded, survives and comes to America. Her wounds-physical and emotional-will torture her body and soul forever. Yet, she suffers with silent dignity and remains compassionate to others. Her story captures a tragic part of the Jewish experience, and the best characteristics of a people suffering persistent bias. It is a story of human strength and the promise of America.

A must-read historical novel that’s both brilliant and disturbing by S.C. Potter

From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

All power to Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s brilliant writing, this sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me left me even more emotionally drained than its predecessor. Even though Havah, plus some of her family and friends have managed to escape persecution, if not certain death in Czarist Russia at the hands of thugs who profess to be Christians, they still have family and friends back home who haven’t the money or means to escape.

Although most of the story is set in the US, which is far from perfect re openly expressed discrimination towards the Russian-Jewish immigrants, an excursion back to Russia reminds the reader of the horrors that befell those left behind.

For once, I’m left a little speechless as to what to say in a review because this novel makes me feel so angry that humanity was and still is capable of such stupidity and sheer evil. But it also fills me with hope that when faced with such evil, love can bind the sufferers together in a bond that transcends life.

Read this book, if you are feeling strong. It’s a part of history that is seldom talked about, but it resonates across time. To quote the chorus of Pete Seger’s well-known 1960’s song “Where have all the Flowers Gone?”, it makes me ask the question “when will they (people) ever learn?”

Book Review: From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It did NOT disappoint! The author’s voice and the authentic descriptive depth … By Jackie M. From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me

After reading Rochelle’s first book, Please Say Kaddish for Me, I couldn’t wait to dig into this sequel. It did NOT disappoint! The author’s voice and the authentic descriptive depth of her writing immerses the reader in the setting and the story line with Havah and her family, actually taking one on a journey back in time to the anti-Semitism and persecution of the Jewish people that posed insurmountable challenges in everyday life. Her detailed character development is amazing! Now waiting with anticipation for the release of her next book, As One Must, One Can to follow Havah and her family even further!

This series is fantastic for any high-school teacher wanting to do a unit … By ASM Printmaking From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me

This series is fantastic for any high-school teacher wanting to do a unit about Jewish persecution and immigration. (As a former teacher myself I often think of books in terms of how they can be used in lesson planning, ha! And this story is captivating enough to ensnare teens, but of course it’s an adult book and not young adult fiction. This is just where my mind goes when I enjoy a book.) It’s very well-researched, and the beloved characters from the first book continue their journey into a new country. It’s hard to write a review without SPOILERS, because a big part of why this book is so good is because of some of the characters get a little justice in this one. And that’s all I’ll say about that! Very good!

This author does it again – a must read! Couldn’t put it down!

By Anio

I loved this book! I can’t wait for the third book!
The characters are so richly drawn, I was wholly pulled into their world – an absorbing read – a must for me. I want to be transported into another world by a book. This one includes time travel, as a well-researched historical novel.
Highly recommend!!!

Annie Milne

Second great book by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me

Once again Rochelle Wisoff-Fields takes us into the lives of a strong Jewish family. Her writing style is so descriptive that you become a member of the family. I can’t wait to read the next book, As One Must, One Can!

  • Lynn Parks

Read this author’s other books! She consistently writes wonderfully thought-provoking books with well-developed characters

From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me (Paperback)

I have read this author’s other books and she consistently writes wonderfully thought-provoking books with well-developed characters. I am pulled into her stories immediately and find that I cannot put her books down until I’m finished. I love her beautifully, complex characters. I feel like her characters are real people about whom I have come to care about tremendously. As Rochelle Wisoff-Fields takes her people through the tumultuous times of the Pogroms, I cry along with Havah and her loved ones. I rejoice in their triumphs and am so sad when the book finally ends. I can’t wait to read her next book!

  • By Jan Allen

Creates hope that the horrors and anguish of the pogroms might be eclipsed by much better conditions and a more accepting society… A 5 Star review of From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields By Virginia Smith

This second installment of Havah’s story, her emigration to Kansas City with her family, creates hope that the horrors and anguish of the pogroms might be eclipsed by much better conditions and a more accepting society. The author writes, as in Please Say Kaddish For Me, with heart-rending integrity of the bigotry so many non-Anglo newcomers still face. While the physical conditions definitely are an improvement from the conditions in Russia, people generally are very similar in all ages and places. Research supports the author’s use of Theodore Roosevelt’s actions, and adds an intriguing touch to the difficulties the characters faced. The story consistently pulled me along and kept me entranced. I was sorry when I reached the end of the book and am anxiously awaiting the final (sad sigh) installment. Havah has become one of those women who inspires and encourages. My hope is that the author will continue writing such beautiful prose and sharing her own large heart. She must have a big heart. How else could she create that beauty in her characters?

Fantastic! Review for From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I must say that my list of all-time favorite authors has increased to include Rochelle Wishoff Fields

By Amazon Customer

This review is from: From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me (Kindle Edition)

Having just finished reading this book, as well as the first in the series, Please Say Kiddish For Me, I must say that my list of all-time favorite authors has increased to include Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, Rochelle has the amazing ability to bring characters and events jump off the page in a riveting way. I can’t wait to read the third book in this series as soon as it is available. Storytelling at it’s best!

It was amazing!

A fabulous sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me. This one continues the story of Havah and Arel, Nikolai, Ulrich and members of the Gitterman family. As in the first book, all is not rosy. It is a most difficult transition from Pogrom-torn Russia to racist-United States.

I do not want to go into any detail as I would hate to spoil this for any future readers but must say there were cringe-worthy moments – Rochelle does have a knack for describing horror in detail – and there were most beautiful ones.

There are characters I would like to smack and others I want to hold tight and comfort. Signs of a most satisfying and engrossing read. I tried to take my time reading it as I did not want it to end and must console myself with the knowledge that the story is not over and will continue in the up-coming As One Must, One Can.

  • Dale Rogerson


5 star by Ruth Grunden

I looked up from the book I’d been reading with a start!
I suddenly realized that I was still right there in my own house…..
in my own easy chair…..
in my own time in history…
I had been transported back in time by the skillful writing of this author.
That’s the point, isn’t it?
I have so little time to read…..the short chapters are a blessing. All the more amazing that in such a short time reading I can find myself in another place & time…

Four Star – I could have read this forever

By D. M. Miller

A beautiful story, with realistic characters, that captivated me from the very beginning. I eagerly look forward to the next.

Rochelle has a strong grasp of the written word. Her ability to pull you into the scenes—feeling the fear, anguish, joy and elation—shows her talents. The dialogue is true to each character as well. Seems she puts herself into each person’s shoes; mind-melding or channeling their souls. Besides that she is the artist behind the covers! INCREDIBLE. She needs her own studio/gallery!!! I highly recommend From Silt and Ashes and the first book, Please Say Kaddish For Me. Some of the best material I have ever read. I cannot say enough about how good, no, how great both books are. You finish them believing they were real people. That is excellent!

  • CJ Loiacono

Prior to reading From Silt and Ashes, I had little experience with Jewish culture. This book gives an eye-opening account of the bitter struggles that have occurred throughout the centuries between Christians and Jews. Senseless killings, broken lives, and ruined families were the “reward” for so much hatred. I highly recommend anyone who wants to learn the human toll of religious prejudice to read From Silt and Ashes. Thank you, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for bringing this historical tragedy to life through the characters you have created.

  • Caroline Giammanco, author of Bank Notes: The True Story of the Boonie Hat Bandit

In From Silt and Ashes, Wisoff-Fields brings back the beloved characters that we ached for and rejoiced with in Please Say Kaddish For Me. Some of these characters have made their way to America where, although they are physically safer, they are still contending with prejudice, even among other Jewish immigrants. Leaving their past behind is not as easy as it seems as Havah, one of the main characters, contends with post-traumatic stress issues and difficulty adjusting to her new life in America. Other characters are still struggling abroad–finding Russia at the turn of the 20th century to be every bit as inhospitable and terrifying as it was in Wisoff-Fields’ debut novel. From Silt and Ashes has everything: a bit of suspense, a bit of intrigue, stark realism, complex, well-drawn characters, romance and a poignant look at familial relationships. Heart-wrenching, incisive and elegantly written, From Silt and Ashes is ultimately a compelling and riveting look into the heart of humanity–at its worst and its best.

  • Lisa Regan, Author of Finding Claire FletcherAberration, & Hold Still

I found From Silt and Ashes immensely readable, enjoyable, and informative without being didactic. It describes the complicated Jewish family life and culture circa 1905, both in Tsarist Russia, representing fear and oppression, and the United States, representing freedom and hope. It shows how the transition to America, still not altogether welcoming to non-Anglo Saxon peoples and cultures, presented challenges as well as opportunities to those of the Jewish faith wishing to retain their cultural identity. Above all, it is an engrossing family saga. I can recommend it unreservedly to any fan of historical fiction.

  • Jack Martin, author of The Alphonso Clay Mystery SeriesJohn Brown’s Body, Battle Cry of Freedom, Marching Through Georgia, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and Hail Columbia and the soon-to-be-released, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

From Silt and Ashes tells the story of many journeys: from Moldavia to Kansas City, from England to America, from violence to healing, from isolation to love.  Most of all, it helps us see with the eyes of the heart, and tells us that if we see with physical eyes, but lack compassion, we are blind.

~~Juniper Ellis, author of House of Seven Days

In From Silt and Ashes, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields introduces the reader to unique and intensely-drawn characters who bring the story of Jewish persecution in Czarist Russia into stark realization. In scene after dramatic scene, the writer delves deeply into the lives of people who died in or survived the pogroms and the immigrants who, fleeing to the safety of America, discover daily that their new freedoms are shadowed by the pain of their past.

Wisoff-Fields gives the reader the sense of being there in the room with Havah and her family, sharing their pain and joy, learning from their harrowing experiences, celebrating their survival.

Every joy and sorrow detailed in this rich family saga leads the reader to the discovery that all humans love and suffer in the same way. From death and grief we make life.

  • Ginny Fite, author of Cromwell’s Folly Published by Black Opal Books (release 2015)