All the Lost Places
by Amanda Dykes
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Pub Date 13 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 22 Jan 2023
Bethany House, Bethany House Publishers
When a baby is discovered floating in a basket along the quiet canals of Venice, a guild of artisans takes him in and raises him as a son, skilled in each of their trades. Although the boy, Sebastien Trovato, has wrestled with questions of his origins, it isn't until a woman washes ashore on his lagoon island that answers begin to emerge. In hunting down his story, Sebastien must make a choice that could alter not just his own future, but also that of the beloved floating city.
Daniel Goodman is given a fresh start in life as the century turns. Hoping to redeem a past laden with regrets, he is sent on an assignment from California to Venice to procure and translate a rare book. There, he discovers a city of colliding hope and decay, much like his own life, and a mystery wrapped in the pages of that filigree-covered volume. With the help of Vittoria, a bookshop keeper, Daniel finds himself in a web of shadows, secrets, and discoveries carefully kept within the stones and canals of the ancient city . . . and in the mystery of the man whose story the book does not finish: Sebastien Trovato.
"Introspective, surprising, and achingly beautiful."--Booklist starred review
"Dykes's pen is fused with magic and poetry. Every word's a gentle wave building into the splendor that is All the Lost Places, where struggles for identity and a place to belong find hope between the pages of a timeless story."--J'NELL CIESIELSKI, bestselling author of The Socialite
"Luscious writing, authentic characters, and an ending that satisfies to the core of the spirit, this novel is another winner from Amanda Dykes."--HEIDI CHIAVAROLI, Carol Award-winning author of Freedom's Ring and Hope Beyond the Waves
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 127 members
Forget 5 stars. This book needs another system of rating. It's a 5 diamond story in a world when most books only earn stars. If you haven’t found a delicious turn of phrase or beautiful, unique description within two minutes of starting All the Lost Places, I’d be surprised. I may or may not have teared up on the first page—both because of her beautiful writing and also because of what Amanda Dykes says of lost, light, and memory. If you don’t begin—and certainly end—this book with chills creeping up your arms, did you really read it?
Bridging time from Sebastien in early 1800s Venice to Daniel early 1900s San Francisco, we adventure through this city of water to unravel a mystery surrounding a rare book. There’s Vittoria whom Daniel meets through the bookshop, and jumping back a century there’s the woman in the lagoon who holds pieces of Sebastien’s past.
Amanda Dykes’s raw skill as an author is one element to this book’s delights, but her work to apply that skill is just as evident. There are books you read, enjoy, and return. Then there are books you savor, which dig into you and stay with you for a lifetime. I was constantly highlighting and marking along 4 different color themes of the story’s light/shadow exploration, these just delicious descriptions of the characters…Daniel’s memory.
One spoiler-free excerpt--which hit hard enough I had to step away for the rest of the day—describes life with amnesia in a way I’ve never heard but know too well (I lost years of my memories after trauma long ago): “The empty place that was my visual imagination…dug that hole deeper. Every grief doubled. Lost in true life and lost again to this wall between me and the simple act of picturing things.”
Ya’ll, All the Lost Places is incredibly special (and apparently others such as Booklist and Library Journal with their starred reviews agree!).
Amanda Dykes has done it again with her newest release All the Lost Places. I really enjoyed back in time with this story and meeting the characters. It was a beautiful book to read. Five stars.
I wish i could give this book more than 5 stars because this author has written another beautiful story that made my heart full and satisfied.
The way she wrote this book she made me visualize this beautiful city. I felt like I was there.
I'm going to put a quote that I loved from this book because there's just something about it that rings true for all of us.
"There's just something about you Daniel Goodman, that makes me think that perhaps you are right. " That a book, bell, or anything might be wrapped in a thousand invisible threads lives entwined without us even realizing."
I wanted to add that I felt like I could relate to the main character since he could "see" what things might've been like in the past. Like seeing what people used to look like how they felt and what they thought etc.
There seems to be a mystery part to this novel as well.
This author is just awesome in what she does.
I hope to see another novel from her in the future
I didn't want this book to end because it was so good!
5 stars for a job well done! I highly recommend for sure and certain!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Amanda Dykes will never fail to amaze me with her ability to spin ordinary words into extraordinary stories. I have yet to read another author that surpasses her craft at writing and touching my heart with deep and relatable themes. One of those themes was this question: Who am I? Who am I with a past behind me, a present in front of me, ands future ahead of me? Who am I when I feel lost and uncertain?
I think it’s impossible for Amanda to ever not get a five-star review from me so, without further ado, here’s to another five-star rating to another masterpiece.
“Remember—though it may feel as if it is, the story is not over yet.”
“And isn’t that the way of miracles? Something extraordinary because of the faithful ordinary?”
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an eARC of All the Lost Places. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are expressly my own.