From Sand and Ash(126)

By: Amy Harmon

I want to extend special thanks to Father John Bartunek for helping me to fall in love with Florence, art, and Catholicism. I am grateful for his generous time and attention, for his passion for his calling, and for sharing Donatello’s Saint George with me. I know I didn’t quite capture the essence of being a worthy and committed priest, dedicated to the work and to the calling, but I believe Father John understands it full well, and I am grateful for his time and friendship.

Thank you, Karey White—my personal editor and friend. I am grateful for your honesty and integrity and for your belief in me and my books.

Tamara Bianco—the best personal assistant in the history of assistants. There is nothing you can’t do, but this book needed you more than most. Thank you for your help with the language issues, and thanks to Simone Bianco as well, for use of his last name and for his help with all things Italian.

For Jane Dystel and the folks at Dystel and Goderich, I always feel like you have my back. Thank you for that. For the people at Lake union   Publishing, for loving my book and believing in this story. Thanks to Jodi Warshaw, Jenna Free, and so many others who worked to make this book a success.

And, finally, I’m so thankful for my husband, who never seems to doubt my abilities, and for my children, who have to put up with having a mother with her head in the clouds or immersed in history. My husband, children, parents, siblings, and family are the best parts of my life. Thank you for loving me and believing in me.

Like Angelo, I believe that God is quiet. But he is not blind or impartial in the affairs of man. I don’t know his mysteries, and like Eva, I’m not convinced anyone does. But I am grateful to know him to the extent that I do, to feel his love and influence in my life, and to walk quietly with him as best I can.