Cover Image: Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash

Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash

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Member Reviews

Key time period that has little written about it. I'm a bit torn about this; I liked the writing style and that title is really, really cool. But I struggled with getting into this book, partly because of the abrupt beginning, partly because of the gore early on.
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I was just wondering how steel was made days before I started reading this book.  Although that answer wasn't really answered, this book did open my eyes. Immigrants, the Industrial revolution, steel mills, and coal mining are all things that are still front and center in todays headlines. Softening the hard lines of this story with a bit of romance was a nice touch.
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this was a really well done historical novel, the characters were great and I enjoyed getting to go on this journey. I enjoyed the journey.
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I love books like this!  They show me about times and places that I've never been to and never lived in. 'Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash' is why I enjoy historical fiction so much.  The author did a fantastic job with character development, they were engaging, the struggles that they went through seemed so real and tugged at my heartstrings. The feelings they experienced due to their living situation and the hardships they were going through were written so well.  The author wrote the chapters in the point of view of the different characters and flows through the book.  I will definitely be following this author to read her next book. Fans of historical fiction should definitely pick up this book!   Thanks to NetGalley for the advance e-book to read and review.
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An enjoyable book about a Slovak-American family and their relatives, friends, and acquaintances in early-twentieth-century Pennsylvania.  I liked the first part best; the time jump to the second part seemed to come with a drop in quality and shift in style, and I was no longer as invested in the characters and story as it became a bit predictable how things would be tied up.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction and those with a connection to or an interest in the Eastern European immigrant community.
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Very interesting story about a family of immigrant in the 1910s America. It describes what they had to live though and their relations with other immigrants. It also treats themes as mental health. It teach us not to guilt somebody for our circunstances without knowing theirs. A character seemed to be the villain of the story and resulted the most misunderstood.
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4.5 stars

This book grabbed my attention from the very first page, and I thought it was a fantastic historical fiction! Tammy Pasterick created some beautifully flawed characters and shed light on a period of our history in which immigrants were only given he  lowest paying and often most dangerous jobs. 

I admired the Kovac family and their determination to persevere through their struggles, but that Karina was a real piece of work. She set in a motion a series of tragic events, leaving her family shattered in the aftermath, and I couldn’t help but resent her for it. I loved the rest of the characters and the chemistry between them, but the way Karina stuck out like a sore thumb and tarnished her family was so heartbreaking for her husband and children. 

Though the ending was a bit rushed, I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, a bit of romance, and a whole lot of drama!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4243833730
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Wow! I was blown away by this book and can't believe it was the author's debut novel. This book is set in 1910's Pennsylvania following the Kovac family- parents Janos and Karina and children Sofie and Lukas. Janos and Karina immigrated from Eastern Europe for a better life but are faced with low wage, often dangerous work. Karina struggles with mental illness though Janos does his best to be supportive. The events of one day change their lives forever. I was drawn into this book and read it almost in one sitting as I couldn't put it down, wanting to see what happens next with the family. It was so heartbreaking but also full of hope and optimism. My great grandfather also immigrated from Eastern Europe and first worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines, so this gave a glimpse into that life that I am grateful to have read.
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IMPORTANT: I was unable to finish this book—the ebook formatting was really messed up. Lines ran into each other, odd characters were riddled throughout the text, pages were missing. 

The description sounded fantastic and I am very disappointed that the ebook was so messy.
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I loved this! Told from multiple characters' points of view, Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash paints a vivid picture of immigrant life in the early 20th Century. I'm a huge fan and tough critic of Historical Fiction, so when I saw this was the author's debut, I honestly didn't have high hopes, but I was swept up in the story immediately. There were times that it dragged a bit, and then others times that it skipped ahead too far IMO, or moved too quickly through important events, but on the whole, this was a well thought out novel that gives the reader a glimpse into the difficult life of factory and mine workers and their families before unions made things safer and more fair. I loved the characters and their unique personalities and qualities. The ending was a bit too cleanly and quickly wrapped up for me, but overall I'd recommend this to any fan of historical fiction! It was a great read and I'm looking forward to more from Tammy Paterick!
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Tammy Pasterick’s first novel, Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash, is historical fiction at its finest! Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash is the story of the Kovac family and the hardships they had to endure in the early 1900s. Well researched and beautifully written, Pasterick gracefully addresses many issues the immigrants had to face in this small mining town.  Wow! What an incredible book! Tammy Pasterick is a talented wordsmith; she is an author you will fall in love with.
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Janos and Karina haven’t lost the dream that first brought them to America. But somewhere along the way their dreams changed and are no longer shared. Janos is happy with his wife and children, but he’d love to find less dangerous work than the steel factory. Karina has lost interest in her family since going to work for Mr. Archer in his grand home, content to spend her evenings looking at the latest fashion magazines rather than reading with her family. And when fate gives her the chance to escape their drab steel town, she seizes it with both hands. But she leaves a wake of destruction in her path that will last for years to come.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. But there was something about the dark, foreboding mood of the story that captured my attention front when start. The multiple POVs and short chapters made it a super engaging and fast read. I read this one in 2 sittings which is highly unusual for me! I was intrigued by the history of the Eastern European immigrants settled in the coal and iron rich Pennsylvania mountains, and the culturally rich story of the Kovac family and their community. Overall the story was engaging and entertaining, though the ending was a bit expected. I enjoyed the Author's note at the end and understanding her motivation for starting on the journey that resulted in the novel.
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Tammy Pasterick reminded me very much of writing historical fiction in the vein of Kristin Hannah, which is excellent! Pasterick developed the characters and gave them rich imagery, which made it easy to like them and connect with them immediately. The struggles kept my attention and I was very sad when I was finished with the book. I highly recommend this read to anyone!
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This book promised to be everything I look for in a book, being historical fiction, set in the early 1900s, covering family relations and the difficulties of immigration, so I was somewhat disappointed when it took me a while to get swept up by the story. But oh my, am I glad I persisted, as Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash is every bit the well-researched, well-written, heart wrenching and tear jerking piece of historical fiction  I was hoping for. 

The story is told from the point of views of a whole host of characters. While I came to appreciate it much more over the course of the story, in the beginning it felt like I was just looking at all these different puzzle pieces, and I had no idea how to fit them together. However, slowly but steadily, pieces start fitting together, creating an image of what it must have been like for (Eastern European) immigrants moving to the United States, looking for the American Dream, ending up in dangerous steel mills and coal mines. Much of the turmoil the characters in Pasterick's book go through, can teach us important lessons about immigration today.

Beyond the beautiful scenic writing about conditions in the mills and mines, the story is ultimately one of a family torn apart by mental health issues. It is a story about hope and forgiveness, each of the characters finding their own way in life. While I did not care much for Karina's character, and could not completely identify with Sofie or Edith either, I absolutely loved Pole, Janos and Lukas. Regardless of whether I liked the characters, they all had their parts to play, and I enjoyed reading about them and putting the puzzle pieces together. Pasterick manages to bring all the storylines together in a messy messy bow, which really are my favorite endings, because life is messy.
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This book starts off in 1910 and transfers across to 1917. With each chapter being from the viewpoint of a character, the story just rolls on. The effects of the world back then is shown through the book with each character taking on a different role and finding their way through a hard life. What I liked about this book was that I couldn't put it down. I was always wanting to know what was happening next. The authors words and the story told had me swept up in the lives of the Kovacs and the emotions involved throughout the book. A great historical fiction which I am glad that I found and chose to read.
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I stayed up sooooo late finishing this book. It took me a little while to get into it and then I was hooked. 

There was a lot happening and so many characters to track, but the story all came together in the end nicely. 

I loved the glimpse into the lives of steel workers and miners, as well as the unglamorous side of that Era with its smog, the treatment of immigrants,  and the difficulties that class had in moving up in the world.

I didn't love that the story was kind of predictable.  There were so a few loose ends that were never tied up. The writing style also felt more juvenile in the beginning but improved as the book went on. 

Overall, I do recommend reading it. There were a few swear words but it was within the context, mostly closed door scenes, and violence was minimal. 

I received a Netgalley ARCin exchange for my review.
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I love books like this, that teach me about times and places that I've never been to or never lived in. This kind of book is why I enjoy historical fiction so much. The characters were engaging, the struggles that they went through seemed real and tugged at my heartstrings. The feelings that they experienced due to their living situation and the hardships they were going through were written so well. I enjoyed the switches from one character to another from chapter to chapter, because everyone's viewpoints were different. I will definitely be following this author to read her next book. I really enjoyed this one very much.
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Where do I start? This book was amazing! I was sucked in from the first page. This book was well written, and it just drew me in. I had to know what happened next. It’s told in several POV’s, which I normally don’t care for- however it was easy for me to keep track and I loved it! I fell in love with almost every character. 

I think this book is a real eye opener to immigrants, even though it’s written about 1910-1917, I still think it’s important now. I felt the characters struggles. I don’t want to give anything away. This is a beautiful story, and the ending wrapped up nicely.
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Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash tells the tale of seven characters - many of them immigrants-  in turn of the 20th Century Pennsylvania dealing with horrid work conditions, poverty vs privilege, and coping with mental and physical health conditions in those days. 


Overall, the story was good. However it loses a star for me because it was difficult to get into due to the various formatting issues that I hope is only due to my having a copy from NetGalley.
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I was given an ARC of this novel by NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair and honest review. This book takes place in the early 1900s. It is about the immigrant experience in and around Pittsburgh. It describes what it was like to work in the steel mills and coal mines during that time period. It is told in different POVs. Which for me either works well or doesn't. In this case, it worked very well. It presents a cohesive story. I also found the subject matter of the women during that time fascinating. What choices they did and did not have. What they thought they had to do to help their families get by. It also touches on the subject of postpartum depression which at the time they of course had no idea what it was. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more from this author!!!!
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