With the Olympics in full swing and the pride of our nation in full view, I was ecstatic to download Laurie Halse Anderson’s finale to the Seeds of America trilogy, Ashes from Edelweiss. And like many of our Olympians winning gold, silvers, and bronzes, this book didn’t disappoint. In fact, after enjoying, but not overly obsessed with the first two in the series, I was pierced by the beauty of the arc of the story, the journey the main characters took, and the denouement. I will not spoil anything, but suffice it to say that while I am critical of most endings, especially in a series finale, my cup runneth over with warmth and calm.
Most memorable character: While Isabel is a strong character that demonstrates grit and strength as it relates to her sister, I was most intent on following Curzon’s story. His humbleness and pride blended healthily into the supportive man that he would become over the course of the three books. His cunning and creativity, his stories and sense of duty all provide ample opportunity to demonstrate his weakness for Isabel that becomes a story line in the third book, much to readers’ excitement. But while other writers beat readers over the head with romance in otherwise wonderful stories about other things, Anderson encourages the relationship with a gentle hand of a wise and prolific author.
Most memorable quote: Which leads to one of my favorite quotes that can only be truly understood in the greater context of the scene itself.
“‘God’s grace, Country.'” He sighed. ‘Then we have indeed finally won.'”
Most memorable scene: Yet the most memorable scene, while there are many beautiful and horrific ones that balance each other out as they are once again in the camps or when characters are reunited, it is the scene when Isabel and Curzon come across Ruth at the plantation– a moment that Isabel has waited so long for– and Ruth’s reaction to their appearance that is as heartbreaking as it is triumphant.
I advise everyone to read the entire series if they have not already. And if you haven’t gotten to the first two by now, wait until Ashes releases on October 4th so that you can read them in succession and not have to wait– the curse of many book obsessed people.