WHOSE WAVES THESE ARE by Amanda Dykes, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie
I gave this 5 stars and wanted to give it far more.
Whose Waves These Are is the debut novel by Amanda Dykes.
This novel is a dual time story with many facets. Ms. Dykes writes with heart, just the right words on every page. It is a story of love and loss and hope, packed with emotion. Fascinating details are effortlessly meshed to tell an amazing tale. It unfolds like a beautiful flower with many layers.
“Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story”. This opening line spoken by Bob Bliss to his niece, Annie epitomizes this whole book. There are many stories here, delicately told by this gifted author. Stories that are intricately woven together in a tapestry showing how God weaves circumstances to build something worthwhile. “Sometimes the past has a whole lot of treasure to mine.”
This is a book to be savored for excellent prose that is sheer poetry.”The moon is high and new, its pale sliver of light slips into the vertical crevices of the cliffs like liquid silver.” Savored for lessons we can learn from days gone by in another era when love of country and respect for those who fought for our freedom was commonplace.
Annie Bliss is conflicted about her chosen path in life, the one she has given her all for. Can she find her own story by uncovering the stories of her family’s history, especially that of her great uncle Bob?
A woman talks about Bob’s brother saving her life: He submerged into the pain. And he gave himself into it. It’s as my husband used to say, just what our Yeshua did for us, giving life through His death. And we with to honor His life with ours.” Amanda Dykes pen is as mighty as any sword, cutting deep into the emotions. She depicts so many nuggets of ordinary but profound pieces of life and they come together flawlessly on the last page. This book is a treasure trove.
She is an author to watch closely.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
What a stunning and riveting debut novel Amanda Dykes has crafted! I was quickly drawn in and completely captivated with the exquisite, descriptive prose and the magnificent, complex characters. The story revolves around Robert Bliss, a small-town fisherman in Maine, and various members of his immediate and extended family. With a dual time-line split between World War II and the year 2009, the author has masterfully unfolded the story layer by layer until it melds together perfectly into a powerful ending.
The carefully crafted characters are realistic, beautifully drawn, and so endearing. Robert is caring, courageous, and deep, and he glues the story together flawlessly. I loved Annie Bliss and her heart for helping Robert. And Jeremiah Fletcher is a wonderful, broken and hurting, yet kind-hearted hero. (I must admit I was swooning a bit over him).
The author infused a great spiritual depth and beautiful metaphors into this book. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to go back and read it again to find the hidden layers. As a warning--this story brought out all the emotions in me—a real roller-coaster ride! Keep some tissues handy. It’s definitely a book for the keeper shelf and easily one of my top reads of the year! Kudos to Amanda Dykes for a completely captivating read. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/Bethany House. All opinions are my own.
In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss's humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.
Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn't anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.
She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.
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