Today I’m sharing my review for this gorgeous book, the second novel by Amanda Dykes. Thank you to the team at the Love Books Group for inviting me to join the blog tour and to the publisher for a copy of the book – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.
Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.
Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.
As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.
I had never heard of Amanda Dykes before I received an email from the Love Books Group with details about the book. Now I want to shout about her stunning storytelling to everyone who loves books.
This book covers many genres – we have a dual timeline, with Lucy and Dash in modern times, and Frederick, Elias and Juliette two hundred years earlier, when Britain ruled the waves. There is friendship, romance, smugglers, secrets, tragedy and hope.
Lucy grew up as an only child, with her parents. Her dad, the Watchmaker, is a storyteller who fills her life with stories. The family welcome Dash into their lives, a young American, who enjoys the stories too, before being taken back to America to continue learning about the stars.
Frederick is the son of an Admiral, who ends up at sea earlier than expected, but is pleased to be able to see the stars he loves more clearly. He has had a lonely life growing up and enjoys the friendship of his fellow conscript. He makes a sacrifice, trying to do the best for a young family, but ends up creating a mystery instead.
Lucy and Dash reunite after many years apart to look for a lost ship, the Jubilee, linked to Frederick. We meet a family in East Sussex who may hold the key to the mystery of the missing ship.
As I said before, the storytelling in this book was stunning. This reader thoroughly enjoyed her journey through the book, staying up late at night to be able to read without interruptions. The story is full of detailed descriptions to help you see/smell/hear the ships or the Thames etc.
This was a 5 star read for me and I’m planning to read Whose Waves These Are in the future (the first Amanda Dykes novel).
Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She’s a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are as well as of three novellas. Find her online at www.amandadykes.com